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"We have do to it for the children!"

Today's Boston Globe has yet another heart-tugging opinion piece about the plight of illegal aliens. The issue this time is "tuition parity," which means that illegal aliens can access the same in-state tuition rate as legal residents.

The piece hits all the standard talking points -- the "children of immigrants;" the comparison to hospitals, which help all who ask; the appeals to fairness. But, as usual, it's when you read between the lines that you see the truth.

First up, let's look at the "children of immigrants" tag. It's a remarkable phrase -- two lies in three words. If we're discussing college tuition, then the "children" involved are almost certainly legal adults. Also, the restrictions are not on the "children of immigrants." It isn't even on the children of illegal aliens. It's on illegal aliens themselves, regardless of age or the immigration status of their parents.

Next, let's look at Mr. Connors' comparison of emergency health care with a college education. It's laughable on its face. The notion that access to reduced college tuition is comparable to life-saving treatment in the face of imminent death is ludicrous.

But perhaps we should take a closer look at the comparison for a moment. In the American southwest, border-area hospitals are under severe financial burdens from caring for illegal aliens. Many have had to close their emergency rooms in order to stay solvent. Perhaps Mr. Connors would like to see Massachusetts' state colleges suffer similarly?

One issue Mr. Connors does not address is a certain federal law. Washington cannot forbid the states from offering such tuition breaks to illegal aliens, but it can make it far more expensive. Currently, any state that offers in-state tuition to illegal aliens must make the same rate to any American citizen, regardless of residency. Since state colleges make a heap of money off of out-of-state students, that has proven a rather remarkable check on the idea.

But back to Mr. Connors' column: I have a hypothetical situation I would like to put forth.

Let's presume that there is a man who lives in Nashua, New Hampshire -- which sits right on the Massachusetts border. Mr. Travis works in Lowell, Massachusetts, about a dozen miles south. He has a son who is looking to go to college. Young Bill Junior considers New Hampshire's state colleges, but the University of Massachusetts in Lowell is much closer to home and offers just the degree program he wants to pursue. Now, Mr. Travis has worked in Lowell for well over a decade, paid Massachusetts income taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes -- in general, he's paid quite a tidy sum to the Bay State.

Mr. Travis is not a legal resident of Massachusetts, yet he's been a taxpayer for years and years. Why should he not get back some benefit from his contributions, and why shouldn't his son be eligible to the same rate of tuition as an illegal alien?

In this case, it seems that it would actually be beneficial for young Bill Junior to renounce his citizenship and establish a fake address in Lowell, instead of being proud of his citizenship.

When I can so easily construct a scenario where it's actually better to be an illegal alien than a citizen or legal resident in the United States, there is something seriously wrong.


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Comments (23)

"For the Chirren" is the mo... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

"For the Chirren" is the most dishonest, ridiculous mantra going in Dem circles these days.

It is so easy to say that, and not mean it, and certainly not do much about it--other than govt. largesse, as if the schools in the U.S. aren't already over-funded compared to their peers in Europe and Asia.

Give me a fricken break.

Next, let's look a... (Below threshold)
langtry:
Next, let's look at Mr. Connors' comparison of emergency health care with a college education. It's laughable on its face. The notion that access to reduced college tuition is comparable to life-saving treatment in the face of imminent death is ludicrous.
Well, in the context of how EMTALA (the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, see here: http://www.emtala.com/) has been "adulterated" by those with intent to exploit, it's not so audacious of Connors to make the comparison. After all, EMTALA was created after it was reported that a Mexican woman in active labor was denied treatment at a Mexican E.R. and subsequently she (and her unborn child) quite literally died on the hospital's sidewalk.

Many activists/agitators for "immigrants' rights" have chipped away at the restrictions on EMTALA (hospitals/clinics being required only to stabilize a patient an acute medical distress until such time that the patient can be safely transfered to the appropriate public hospital), claiming EMTALA gives illegals the right to seek treatment for any and all conditions at the E.R., and that they are entitled to a higher priority within the facility's traige process due to their lack of comprehensive healthcare. It effectively removes the illegal from having to establish a relationship with a Doctor, clinic, etc., lest they fear being forced to divulge their address and be subject to "harrassment at the hands of the INS" (read: being billed for the services they receive). The problem of southwestern U.S. E.R.'s having to close is already near to happening in major U.S. cities. I know: I was in healthcare administration at a large Chicago hospital for five years.

The problem begetting illegal immigration, inarguably comprised primarilly of Mexicans, is not one of the United States' making. Period. I don't understand, beyond the pandering of incumbent-minded politicians, why this is such a difficult concept for Liberals to grasp. Mexico must address the problems inherent in it's own culture and socio-economy: only then will a just solution for Mexico's destitute be created. It simply doesn't follow that the U.S. economy, and the availability of healthcare for U.S. citizens in need of state and federally-supported healthcarem, should continue to deteriorate, and that U.S. citizens and legal immigrants should continue to suffer because we can't recognize this fundamental truth.


Using this logic, should'nt... (Below threshold)
Plainslow:

Using this logic, should'nt the in state citizens (legals) get the same as the illegal aliens, less the taxes, they and there parents have paid to the state. That's one way to get the cost of college lower. I like it.

Two Points:First, ... (Below threshold)

Two Points:

First, as a rule, children don't get to choose where they live. Instead, they are required to live with their legal guardians, who in most cases are the children's parents. This rule applies to the children of illegal immigrants.

Second, children of illegal immigrants don't make the choice to immigrate to the USA. That choice is made by their parents. Because of the aforementioned rule, these children are forced to accompany their parents to USA.

Now, how should we treat such children? Are we to punish them for the sins of their parents?

I believe that when such children reach the age of 18, they should be given opportunity to gain legal status, especially if they have become completely Americanized.

If such children prove that they are trying to gain legal status, then for the purpose of college admission, they should be treated like people who were born in the USA.

Notice that I differ with Jack Connors Jr. on one point.

I believe that such children should be in the process of obtaining legal status before they can be allowed to pay in-state tuition.

Connors, however, doesn't mention anything about children of illegal immigrants trying to become legal.

There is something else that I would like for others to consider. If the children of illegal immigrants are young children whenever they enter the USA, if they spend most of their childhood living in the USA, if they have become completely Americanized, then their places of birth are as foreign to them as they are to those of us who were born in the USA. Thus, it would be inhumane to force such children to return to their places of birth without first giving them opportunity to obtain legal status.

Like the conservatives who regularly post comments here, I, too, want the USA's immigration laws to be enforced, but I want those laws to be forced in a way that is humane.

There's been one nagging qu... (Below threshold)
Tim:

There's been one nagging question I've never got a straight answer on. If Washington is saying ("they do the jobs Americans aren't willing to do"), then why do they need college tuition?

PS: I'm aware that's a Bush quote, but I'm also aware of the Senate vote which was a clear Democrat majority.

Okay, let's consider anothe... (Below threshold)
Lurking Observer:

Okay, let's consider another illegal immigrant: Elian Gonzalez.

Here was a little boy, whose mother risked all to get him to America.

And the Administration had no problem giving him back to his country of origin, claiming it was wrong and heart-rending to keep him here, despite sponsors.

I would suggest, then, that in the interests of consistency, children be sent back to their country-of-origin, whatever the risks and dangers involved.

Should Elian wish to emigrate, or any other child, to the United States, then come his turning 18, he can apply, like anyone else.

Sorry, but an illegal alien... (Below threshold)
Scott in CA:

Sorry, but an illegal alien admitted to college is going to end up an illegal alien with a college degree.

He's STILL illegal. So what is the point of giving him in-state tuition? He's just as deportable with a degree as without one.

All this talk of regularizing status is nonsense. If the kid came is at age 2 illegally with illegal alien parents, he's still going to have to go back to his birth country and apply to come here if he wants to be legal. There is no way to do it otherwise, short of another "amnesty".

I have a feeling that the people supporting this nonsense believe an "amnesty" is coming, so why not just let them stay?

How about they go home and take a number. We'll call when your table is ready.

Why just pick the fruit whe... (Below threshold)
Tim:

Why just pick the fruit when you can be ceo of the fruit company

If those applying to colleg... (Below threshold)
MMS:

If those applying to college are American citizens and meet residency requirements, they should get the in-state tuition. If they are here illegally or do not meet residency requirements, they should not get the in-state tuition. It's that simple. I don't know where he gets the idea that legal residence of Massachusetts would not get the in-state tuition? He does not seem to back it up with any facts, but then, he works for the Boston Globe.

Actually the federal govern... (Below threshold)

Actually the federal government has far more leverage than forcing state schools to give in-state tuition to out of state students. How much federal money do you think regularly flows through these places?

They could just decide to make that states schools and their students ineligible for federal financial aid.

But I think the notion that there would be any federal action to correct the situation in naive optimism.

Dear Senator Sarbanes, <br ... (Below threshold)
Steve:

Dear Senator Sarbanes,

As a native Marylander and excellent customer of the Internal Revenue
Service, I am writing to ask for your assistance. I have contacted
the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to determine the
process for becoming an illegal alien, and they referred me to you.

My primary reason for wishing to change my status from U.S.
Citizen to illegal alien stems from the bill which was recently passed
by the Senate for which you voted. If my understanding of this
bill's provisions is accurate, as an illegal alien who has been in
the United States for five years, all I need to do to become a
citizen is to pay a $2,000 fine and income taxes for only three of the
last five years. I know a good deal when I see one and I am anxious to
get the process started before everyone figures it out.

Simply put, those of us who have been here legally have had to pay
taxes EVERY year so I'm excited about the prospect of avoiding two
years of taxes in return for paying a $2,000 fine. Is there any way
that I can apply to be illegal retroactively? This would yield an
excellent result for me and my family because we paid heavy taxes in
2004 and 2005.

Additionally, as an illegal alien I could begin using the local
emergency room as my primary health care provider.
Once I have stopped paying premiums for medical insurance, my
accountant figures I could save almost $10,000 a year. Another
benefit in gaining illegal status would be that my dau ghter would
receive preferential treatment relative to her law school
applications, as well as "in-state" tuition rates for many colleges
throughout the United States for my son.

Lastly, I understand that illegal status would relieve me of the
burden of renewing my driver's license and making those burdensome car
insurance premiums. This is very important to me given that I still
have college age children driving my car.

If you would provide me with an outline of the process to become
illegal (retroactively if possible) and copies of the necessary
forms, I would be most appreciative. Thank you for your assistance.

Your Loyal Constituent,

Lurking:Elian Gonz... (Below threshold)

Lurking:

Elian Gonzalez wasn't given back to his nation of origin. He was given back to his father, who decided to return to his nation of origin.

The idea that it's a hardsh... (Below threshold)

The idea that it's a hardship for poor children who didn't have anything to do with their parent's decision to come to the United States illegally to be denied in-State tuition and other benefits is wrong on a couple of levels.

Firstly, they almost certainly *did* have something to do with their parent's decisions, even if they had not yet been concieved. Ask an immegrant, any immegrant, why they came to this country. How many of them come very much in the hope that their children have better lives? My family came because America offered opportunities that their own countries did not. Almost uniformly, family members who came here did better than those who stayed in Europe. Their focus was on family then, and nothing much has changed now.

And even without extra bennies available to legal immegrants, those who come here illegally still will come for a better life and better hope for their children. The cup-cakes are tasty even without adding frosting and sending out scented invitations.

If you are of the opinion t... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

If you are of the opinion that it's "inhumane" to prevent aid going to illegal children here, or to deport them, what do you tell the millions of others in Latin America that want an opportunity, too, but don't have the ability to simply cross one border, like the Mexicans?

What would you tell someone from Ecuador, Peru, Nicaragua, Honduras, Columbia, Venezuela, etc?

Sorry, we only do Mexican charity here???

Currently, any state tha... (Below threshold)

Currently, any state that offers in-state tuition to illegal aliens must make the same rate to any American citizen, regardless of residency.

The law is quite clear on that point. The problem is getting DHS to enforce the law. After, they want to be "compassionate" and all.

Dodo says: Are we to punish them for the sins of their parents?

No, but as part of fair and just public policy, we need to make sure that there are as few of them as possible here, and the only way to do that is to enforce our laws.

I've read dozens of similar articles, and not a single one has ever mentioned a) the parents, or b) the governments of which they're citizens. If Mexico wants to pay out-of-state tuition for their citizens that they've sent here, I'd support that.

Odd how all those "liberals" who support such discounts never seem able to discuss the responsibility of the parents or of the foreign countries.

As for the propaganda aspect, it'd be great if a news room source could tell me where all these highly similar reports originate. Immigration lawyers? The Mexican government? (Don't laugh about the latter: they collaborated with the Denver_Post on a similar article).

As for the politicians, click my link for a question you can ask of anyone who supports in-state tuition for illegal_aliens. I think if you ask the question that or a similar way, you might have a fair impact on their campaign and even their career.

Let's call them what they r... (Below threshold)
K:

Let's call them what they really are. They are not "the children of illegal immigrants" which implies some sort of innocence or legality on the "children's" part. They are illegal aliens, regardless of age or educational level.

Illegal alien children, regardless of age, how they arrived, or educational level, are entitled to a free guaranteed education despite their illegal status from K-12. Remember, any alien who would enter legally, on a student visa - be it for secondary, high school, or college - would be subject to various paperwork, visa requirements, and steep nonresident tuition requirements.

Subsequently, illegals enjoy, for free, far special and reduced cost treatemnt than the kids and college students who enter legally do.

I'd say the US has more than fufulled any obligation or expected entitlement by giving away to "the children of illegal aliens" a free K-12 education and all the perks along with it, from free meals, health care, special ed classes, tutoring, computer classes, English language lessons, etc. Even prep for college, living skills, etc.

If they really want to go to college, they can always go in their home countries. Or apply for student visas like many other foreign students do and pay full tuition and play by the rules.

As adults who are expected to be responsible and able to make decisions - even better decisions than their parents did, like following the law, they can return to their home countries with the exceptional education and skills handed to them for free and put them to use there or at a college in their own country.

Imagine the magnet (currenly called the "DREAM ACT") that would be created if by sheer virtue of being illegal and successfully staying underground? By merely being illegal and attending school, graduating, and being accepted to college, would be the ticket to financial aid, in state tuition and automatic legal status...which, in a matter of years, they would be able to turn around and immigrate the parents that brought them. Not to mention that the financial aid or slot at a college may be at the expense of a US citizen.

Who would ever bother with applying for a student visa or entering legally with that kind of incentive to give your kids a "better life" and in turn yourself and maybe the rest of the family, all because you entered illegally?

Well, seeing as how everyon... (Below threshold)
Desiree:

Well, seeing as how everyone here is so concerned with an illegal taking a legal student's place in college, I have one suggestion that should alleviate the argument: get the legal student to just DO BETTER in school.

Contrary to popular belief, illegal aliens do not receive preferential treatment in entering institutions of higher education. The poster that said that his daughter would receive preferential treatment in entering law school is a flat out liar. Illegal aliens cannot attend law school or any other graduate school because of the fact that you need a Social Security number to enroll in this school. To make a joke about asking a Congressman to "illegalize" you is flat out stupid and ignorant. Things are not better for the illegal immigrants and I think everyone in their heart of hearts understands this. To not understand this would be to be living under a rock.

And as for financial aid, if any of you were to actually read the documentation of the DREAM Act, you will find that it will NOT FORCE states to give an illegal alien in-state tuition; it is merely returning the right BACK to the states to decide whether they deserve in-state or not. As I gather, most of you are Republicans and the Republican party is a strong advocate of states' rights. Also, the DREAM Act would not allow beneficiaries from recieving Pell Grants and most federal loans or work-study program benefits.

Simply put, the DREAM Act is just a piece of legislation that would allow an avenue of legalization for these young adults as opposed to leaving the country and not being able to come back for ten years, if even that.

The beneficiaries of the DREAM Act would not be receiving "hand-outs" as many of you would like to put it. They are merely given a work permit first so that they can work legally to pay for their studies. With this work permit, they would be allowed to PAY TAXES and such. They would also be eligible to RECEIVE A DRIVER'S LICENSE and [gasp] PAY CAR INSURANCE. Likewise, many would buy BRAND NEW CARS that will benefit the U.S. economy by putting more money in said economy.

Let's not only think about ourselves here; the DREAM Act is the most common-sense measure of immigration reform that Congress has come out with. I do not agree with full legalization or amnesty if the individual was fully knowledgable of what they were doing at the time they came into this country illegally. However, I do not believe in punishing those who had no say in the matter.

Oh, and by the way, the poster that said he wanted to be "delegalized" mentioned something about not having to pay car insurance because no illegal pays car insurances. I know of a family that has a legal family friend that puts their family car under this friend's plan to pay for car insurance. When there is a will to try to assimilate, there is a way. Most illegals are not stupid enough to not get car insurance for fear that a policeman will deport them. Many don't even drive anymore. And, if they do, put yourselves in their position; if you could no longer legally obtain a license and that way your avenue to get car insurance was blocked but you still needed transportation, wouldn't you drive a car illegally? And don't reply back saying "I would just go back home" or "I wouldn't have come illegally in the first place" because that's bull. If you were starving in your native country and the line to get in here was 7 years, you would come here as well.

Those who come here "legally" are the ones that are just as better off staying in their home country. Obviously, if they have the time to sit around and wait for an immigration decision, they must not be starving huh?

Now is the time to tax that... (Below threshold)
william schwab:

Now is the time to tax that 4.2/5.2 billion of dollars sent to Mexico & other central/south american countrys. use the monies on the fence or help fund the B/P or I.C.E.

Tangentially on topic, I am... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Tangentially on topic, I am practically BANKING on my half-hispanic daughter getting some kind of freebie due to the feckless multicultural fanatics who populate our institutions of "higher" learning.

I will mark every f'n form that calls with a disclosure of race with "hispanic," "latin," "non-caucasian," "indian," whatever, until the page is full of check marks. I might even make up a new race, GISWISE (german irish scotish welsh indian spanish english).

What a f'n basket case of a country we've become when we have to register our skin color, like some damn cow getting branded to make sure we don't stray off the farm?

She'll be darker than Harold Ford, and poorer, but probably less "advantaged" for her ethnicity.

I hope the govt and the college choke on her paperwork, bunch of pantywaist faux do-gooder narcissists.

There, I feel better.

Desiree screams: get the... (Below threshold)

Desiree screams: get the legal student to just DO BETTER in school

What a presumptuous and anti-American statement. While there are many reasons why our students should do better in school, none of them should involve having to compete with foreign citizens who are here illegally.

Given a sample size of say, 1 million U.S. citizens, their college abilities will range from the very top to the very bottom. We have no shortage of very bright students, there is no reason why we should add very bright illegal aliens to the mix. If a college wants very bright students, they have a wealth of American students to draw from.

As for former illegal aliens buying cars and propping up the economy, I think we'll take a pass. Not just because the economic impact will be small, and not just because any benefits would accrue whether it were an illegal alien or a U.S. citizen who bought the same car (if he had been given the college slot instead of having it taken away from him), but mostly because it's extremely bad public policy to try to profit from illegal activity.

Drug runners have a lot of disposable income, and they buy fine luxury items. Does that mean that we should encourage drug running?

If you actually think things through, you'll see that the DREAM Act is one of the most reprehensible and anti-American pieces of legislation ever devised. In a perfect world, Dick Durbin and Orrin Hatch would be forced to resign, because they clearly do not understand who they're supposed to be working for.

No, my statement was not pr... (Below threshold)
Desiree:

No, my statement was not presumptuous OR Anti-American. All I'm saying is what's obvious. If you are so afraid that "foreigners" are going to take up "American" spots in colleges and universities, obviously there is a problem with the amount of esteem American students have in a world-view and in the U.S. If the American student was so much more "entitled" to the spot, why should they just receive it because they happened to be born in the right place? If anything, that would be a form of discrimination. These children did not have any say in coming to this country and those who say they did are so full of it. Americans just seem to think they deserve EVERYTHING because they were born in the right place. I'm sorry; if the student DESERVES the spot in a university, they DESERVE it. No if, ands, or buts about it. Have you read the story of Dan-el Padilla Peralta in the Wall Street Journal? If so, you know that he is an illegal student who graduated salutatorian of his PRINCETON graduating class. He has just as much worth as an American student.

Nothing bad ever comes from having an educated workforce. With this piece of legislation, Americans workforce would increase in power and amount. No one here is asking for full amnesty; just a chance for these children to live up to their potential. American students have that kind of chance. Regardless of anything, they can still apply to universities and colleges, they can receive financial aid, and they can apply for loans. And when all else fails, they can work their way through college. These kids are only asking of more of the same benefits. Don't blame a child for an adult crime he DIDN'T COMMIT.

By the way, I am a natural-born American with descendancy dating back to the Mayflower. Don't EVER call me "unAmerican" AGAIN.

I think that if the reader ... (Below threshold)

I think that if the reader analyzes Desiree's POV, the reader will find that she doesn't seem to understand basic concepts such as U.S. citizenship. So, I'll leave it at that regarding her.

And, it's clear that many Dem leaders such as Durbin and even GOP leaders such as Hatch, Bush, et al also don't understand such basic concepts.

U.S. citizens should oppose those who do not understand these basic concepts and who would try to strip them of their rights.

No, I do understand the con... (Below threshold)
Desiree:

No, I do understand the concept of citizenship. You just don't understand the concept of "humanity". People like you all get off on racism and unjust rationale. The problem with America is that we have all become greedy "I deserve everything" people. And othenr countries have begun to notice it. Don't go crying when other countries want to attack America for its anti-humanitarian policies and exploitation. If we were all as educated as we want to say we are, we wouldn't be placing blame on a child for a crime that they never made.

Don't be stupid.




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