FLORIDA COLLEGE TUITION SUBSIDY FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS
Senator Wilson has filed S366 a College Tuition Subsidy for Illegal Alien bill for the 2006 Session. The House companion bill has not yet been filed but surely will be soon.
Please do the following:
This alert contains two articles of importance:
A Major Victory Against Illegal Immigration -- in Massachusetts?
by Mac Johnson
Posted Jan 16, 2006
As far as the media is concerned, good news is no news -- especially when the news is
good for conservatives. That’s why an absolutely amazing grassroots victory against illegal
immigration last week occurred in virtual obscurity.
Mr. Johnson, a writer and medical researcher in Cambridge, MA., is a regular contributor to Human Events. His column generally appears on Mondays. Archives and additional material can be found at www.macjohnson.com.
The AP promo below shows the utter bias of the pulp peddlers (newspapers) toward promotion rather than objectivity by:
Undocumented students face financial hurdle to college education
Associated Press 01-01-2006
HOMESTEAD, Fla. - When Fabiola Guevara graduated from South Dade Senior High School in June, 11 years after her mother fled with her from Mexico, she had nearly a perfect 4.0 grade point average.
Her dream was to enroll in a state university nursing program, but she didn't even apply. Guevara couldn't afford higher education.
Like thousands of other illegal immigrant students, Guevara was ineligible for college financial aid. And it would cost triple what legal Florida residents pay, impossible on her mother's houskeeper wages, to attend a public university because undocumented students don't qualify for in-state tuition discounts.
"When I started high school, it never hit me that when I graduated, I had no place to go," said Guevara, who is 17. "I studied here all my life. What am I supposed to do with the rest of my life? Work as a housekeeper? Pick beans in the fields?"
Federal law prohibits illegal immigrant students from receiving government-backed loans and grants to attend college. The law, which was part of 1996 immigration reforms, also discourages states from providing these students with in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities.
But lawmakers in Congress have proposed legislation to help students like Guevara. The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, more commonly known as the DREAM ACT, would allow undocumented students who arrived in the U.S. before they turned 16 and have lived here at least five years to become temporary legal residents, making them eligible for college financial aid and other benefits.
Florida also is moving to join other states with huge illegal immigrant populations - such as California, New York and Texas - that allow in-state tuition rates for undocumented students. A bill, introduced in October and scheduled for committee consideration in March, would offer in-state rates to undocumented students who attended Florida schools at least three years and agree to seek permanent U.S. resident status.
Across the country, an estimated 65,000 to 90,000 high school seniors who graduate each year - including some 4,000 from Florida - face the same dilemma as Guevara. As children, they migrated to America illegally with their parents but find their college and career ambitions blocked by their illegal status.
"The children that are here should not be punished for the sins of their parents," said Hector M. Flores, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, the country's oldest and largest Hispanic civil rights organization. "They are the children that are going to give us the competitive edge."
As high school seniors who are among an estimated 1.7 million undocumented children under 18 graduate, many abandon higher education - and career plans - because they cannot afford college, said David Hawkins, director of public policy for the National Association for college Admission Counseling, a Virginia-based association that represents 9,000 secondary school and university counselors and financial aid officers.
"They're stuck in a limbo where they can't get formal employment and they can't go on to college," Hawkins said. "At best, they become part of the underground economy. At worst they become a liability." Some turn to crime, he said.
The DREAM Act, which is sponsored by Sens. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., and Richard Lugar, R-Ind., has been introduced with each Congress since 2001 but has never passsed. It faces a difficult battle amid congressional concern over national security and illegal immigration.
Flores and other advocates for undocumented students hope the bipartisan bill will be more successful than in previous years because the Bush administration and Congress are now pushing hard for immigration reform.
Foreign-born students could potentially fill teaching and nursing jobs, addressing a shortage that grows more critical as baby boomers retire, Flores said. Texas needs 10,000 bilingual Spanish-English teachers and California needs 20,000, he said.
Like the federal bill, the state legislation proposed by Sen. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, has been introduced before - 2005 marked the fourth year. The bill is scheduled for consideration this spring. Wilson compares the fight with a civil-rights issue.
"These children are being penalized. It's no fault of theirs that they're not citizens," she said. Many were brought to the United States by their parents when they were as young as five or six, and worked hard for years in U.S. public schools.
"I think we owe them. They have a right. They want to be somebody. It's reminiscent of many civil rights battles that I as an African American had to fight," Wilson said.
A stream of students beseech counselors at Miami Dade College to allow them entry at in-state rates, said Jose A. Vicente, president of Miami Dade North Campus. Typical in-state tuition is about $2,000 per year, while out-of-state tuition is $6,000, he said.
"These are kids whose English is flawless. There are cases when we have had valedictorians, very high ranking students, and still they are required to pay out of state tuition, with no scholarships," Vicente said. He said some have "broken down in tears" when told they have to prove they are U.S. citizens or legal residents.
Fabiola Guevara cannot forget the shame she felt as she hid her undocumented status from other seniors and tried to share their happiness when they were accepted at college.
"You don't want to be jealous, but it just hurts."
But Guevara, who spends her days baby-sitting her cousin, won't have to wait for changes by Congress or the Florida Legislature to pursue her dreams. Her mother's remarriage to an American has made her eligible to pursue legal status, a nursing degree and her eventual goal of becoming a doctor.
Oscar Rosales, 18, a senior at South Dade, has not been so fortunate. His mother emigrated from Honduras 10 years ago, after his father died, and there is little chance he can study computer programming as he wishes. He dropped soccer to tend plants in a nursery part time, and after graduation plans to labor in construction with his brother.
"I have the grades to go to college, but not the money," Rosales said.
January 17, 2006