Monday, June 4, 2007

In State Tutition Breaks For Illegal Aliens Passes IN CT - Governor Rell... Veto This Bill !

That about does it - these lawmakers brought a bill forth, HB5656, to reward illegal aliens with in-state tuition breaks in post-secondary schools in CT, and let bills die that would have helped children of those killed in the military to obtain a post-secondary education! They could have passed legislation to fund college tuition and ensure space at public institutions of higher education in this state for veterans whose tuition assistance from the military has been exhausted - but they choose to give in-state tuition breaks to illegal aliens instead.

That is disgraceful!

If you live in CT - Please call Governor Rell's office today and tell her to VETO THIS BILL -
Call her at 860-566-4840 or toll free at 1-800-406-1527
(and while you are at it - let her know how the Department of Education and DCF are conspiring to take children away from families who have decided to homeschool.)

Not only does this in-state tuition bill for illegal aliens reward illegal activity, but by approving this legislation in CT, legislators essentially eliminated higher out of state tuition price for ANYONE because they are by federal law not allowed to allow illegals to take in-state tuition breaks while a citizen from another state is made to pay more. This may affect our college's incomes adversely, and they may lose millions of dollars in revenue as a result!! More money for the taxpayer to have to subsidize!

Federal law (Title 8, Chapter 14, Sec. 1623) states: "an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the basis of residence within a State ... for any postsecondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of the United States is eligible for such a benefit (in no less an amount, duration, and scope) without regard to whether the citizen or national is such a resident."

Giving in-state college tuition to adult illegal aliens residing in each state would give them benefits not given to American citizens in other states ( e.g., war veterans). A 1996 Federal law mandates that if instate rates are given to illegals, those rates must also be given to all applicants of each state's colleges and universities from the other 49 states. Although the law is not actively enforced, giving in-state tuition to illegal aliens is a clear violation of federal law.

Allowing illegal immigrants to get extra special benefits like this is a slap in the face to immigrants who have come here and did so legally. While I understand that some of these kids are not here through any fault of their own, they have an obligation to follow the law, just as other immigrants have done.

The Governor MUST veto this legislation. First and foremost, we should not reward people for breaking the law and our lawmakers are obligated to follow federal law as well. If this legislation stands then we will have to eliminate any higher tuition for any other legal resident of this country just to be fair, and in order to obey federal law.

The bill says this:
A person, other than a nonimmigrant alien as described in 8 USC 1101(a)(15), shall be entitled to classification as an in-state student for tuition purposes, (A) if such person (i) resides in this state, (ii) attended any educational institution in this state and completed at least four years of high school level education in this state, (iii) graduated from a high school in this state, or the equivalent thereof, and (iv) is registered as an entering student, or is enrolled at a public institution of higher education in this state, and (B) if such person is without legal immigration status, such person files an affidavit with the institution of higher education stating that he or she has filed an application to legalize his or her immigration status, or will file such an application as soon as he or she is eligible to do so.
An article in the New York Times said this:
Illegal immigrants who graduate from Connecticut high schools will be eligible for the resident tuition rate at the state’s public universities and colleges if the governor signs a bill that the Senate narrowly passed on Friday.

Connecticut would join 10 other states, including New York, that allow illegal immigrants to pay the in-state rate that is available to other residents. Illegal immigrants now often pay twice as much to attend Connecticut’s taxpayer-supported colleges and universities.

The Senate approved the bill, 20 to 15, after a three-hour debate in which several Republicans vigorously argued against the measure, saying that it would reward illegal activity. The debate in the House was similarly heated before the bill passed, 76 to 67, on May 17, with several Democrats joining most Republicans to vote against the measure.

“What we’re doing here today is trying to incorporate some kids who, through no fault of their own, have arrived in our communities,” said Jonathan Harris, a Democrat from West Hartford who was the bill’s lead sponsor in the Senate. “They reside in our state. They’ve gone to four years of high school. They’ve demonstrated the acumen and the academic success.”

Like most states, Connecticut gives its residents a substantial discount on tuition at publicly supported colleges and universities. For example, the in-state tuition rate per semester at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain is $3,367. Out-of-state students pay $7,727.

Backers of the bill said that the legislation would benefit about 250 of the 109,000 students enrolled in Connecticut’s public colleges and universities.

Much of the debate in the Senate on Friday focused on whether the bill would give illegal immigrants what opponents called “special benefits.”

“It is a reward for illegal behavior that we should not be sanctioning,” said Daniel Debicella, a Republican from Shelton. “This bill makes a fundamental assumption that illegal immigration is O.K.”

Five amendments sponsored by Republicans, which would have restricted benefits for illegal immigrants on tuition and other matters, were easily defeated.

As the debate came to a close, Senator Edward Gomes, a Democrat from Bridgeport, said the opponents’ concerns were misplaced. “These are not people who did something illegal,” he said. “These are people who deserve a chance to be a cornerstone in the community.”
I am ashamed of my Senate Representative Jonathan Harris, who was a lead sponsor of this bill. His comments are a slap in the face to his relatives, and mine, who immigrated here legally and followed the established rules. These kids may be here, but they are here illegally. How they have fared in our public schools has no bearing on their immigration status.

Perhaps legal status and citizenship means nothing to Senator Harris and his colleagues. Perhaps he should tell the legal immigrants in the communities that he represents, why their obtaining legal status to be here or obtaining US citizenship was a waste of time. Perhaps he should have championed legislation to help the children of servicemen and women who desire a post-secondary education instead of rewarding people who have no regard for our laws that those servicemen and women fight to protect and defend.

Please call Governor Rell today and tell her to veto this bill.