education

A million here, a million there - and the billions mount up fast for school costs

FAIR writer Kenric Ward dissects the figures from a new report on expenditures resulting from large numbers of immigrant children in the public schools.  Overly-generous immigration policies of recent administrations are costing state taxpayers in the U.S. nearly $60 BILLION this year alone in education expenses for immigrant children.

“Five states — Arkansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee — each saw their English Learner populations more than double between 2000 and 2014.” 

See excerpts from the FAIR blog below.


Immigration Policies ​Weigh Heavily on U.S. Schools

by Kenric Ward, Federation for American Immigration Reform,  Nov. 7, 2017

America’s immigration policies are amplifying the perennial pleas for more public school funding.

Each year, an estimated 5 million refugees and immigrants – legal and illegal – are enrolled at K-12 campuses with a variety of special needs. More than 175,000 unaccompanied children settled in the U.S. since 2014, with some 18,000 arriving in just 10 counties last year.

A new report by the Migration Policy Institute runs down these pupils’ high-cost needs. Going far beyond the basics of learning English, the list includes mental-health care, legal representation, “socioemotional services,” even “housing rights.”

This naturally necessitates a growing phalanx of providers inside and outside the classroom. Surveying widely varying literacy rates among the new arrivals, “Beyond Teaching English” advises districts to check the “linguistic and cultural competence of staff.”

 How big is the challenge? FAIR estimates that public schools will spend $43,396,433,856 serving children of illegal aliens this year – a massive unfunded mandate. Folding in the costs of legal immigrant pupils, FAIR said the tab totaled $59.8 billion.

A recent sampling of 27 high schools found 9,000 refugee/immigrant students speaking 170-plus languages. “Foreign languages are a cause for celebration,” an MPI researcher said, echoing the mantra of Washington’s immigration enthusiasts.

Amid the celebration, however, the MPI study never addresses the actual costs of the party. Not a single dollar sign appears in the 36-page report

The failure to address the fiscal impact of immigration is shared by federal politicians and policymakers who craft immigration policy with little or no regard to the downstream financial consequences. Under U.S. Department of Education edicts for minimum language proficiency, high school graduation cycles are creeping up to five or even six years among immigrants, according to the MPI report.

The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement issues modest School Impact Grants to 39 state and charitable agencies.

It’s mere chump change compared to the $59.8 billion spent educating immigrant children. a cost shouldered almost exclusively by state and local taxpayers.

Doubling down on the unsustainable situation, Sugarman’s Migration Policy Institute and like-minded groups are busy building a cottage industry to lobby for evermore immigration-induced entitlements, at whatever cost. Expect tax bills to rise accordingly.

Missouri GOP overrides veto of scholarship ban for students brought into country illegally

JEFFERSON CITY The Missouri House voted 114-37 to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill banning the state-funded A+ Scholarship from being awarded to undocumented immigrants.

The Missouri Senate voted to override the veto earlier in the day, so the bill becomes law.

UPDATED AT 6:40 p.m.

JEFFERSON CITY The Missouri Senate voted to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill banning the state-funded A+ Scholarship from being awarded to undocumented immigrants.

The bill now moves to the House, where 108 Republicans voted in favor when the bill originally passed earlier this year. That’s one shy of a two-thirds majority, although 11 Republicans were absent and did not vote.

At issue are students who qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. It was created by President Barack Obama in 2012 to stop the deportation of children brought to the country illegally by their parents.

Because these students were brought to the U.S. as young children and are undocumented through no fault of their own, DACA allows them to legally live, work and study in the U.S. It does not, however, create a path to citizenship.

In response to the federal government’s action, the Missouri Department of Higher Education established a rule last year stating that because the students were now lawfully present in the U.S., they were eligible for the A+ Scholarship.

As long as the students have attended a Missouri high school for three years and graduated with a 2.5 GPA, a 95 percent attendance record and 50 hours of tutoring or mentoring, they qualify for the state-funded scholarship.

Supporters of the bill say it’s unfair for students who are in the country illegally to receive the scholarship when money for the program is tight.

“I am protecting the citizens and permanent residents of this state right now,” said Sen. Gary Romine, a Farmington Republican who sponsored the bill.

Opponents say these students were brought to the U.S. as young children and are in the country illegally through no fault of their own. The students in question kept their grades up, volunteered in their community and stayed out of trouble, advocates say, most while learning English as a second language.

“Why are we punishing children for a fault of their parents?” said Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, a St. Louis Democrat.

Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, a University City Democrat whose district includes the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, said the Legislature’s priorities are out of whack.

”People are dying in my district every day,” she said, “and we’re arguing about who gets a scholarship?”

The House is expected to take up the bill tonight.

Undocumented student grant measure clears Senate

SALEM — State grants could go to college students who were brought to the United States as children but lack immigration papers under a bill that cleared the Oregon Senate on Thursday.

The 17-11 vote, largely along party lines, moved Senate Bill 932 to the House.

Sen. Michael Dembrow, a Democrat from Portland and the bill’s chief sponsor, said that based on estimates, ...350 of them were likely to get them.

Given that lawmakers have boosted funds in the next two-year budget cycle to make grants available to 13,000 more students, Dembrow said the 350 would be a small share.

“They are exactly the kind of kids we should be investing in,” Dembrow said. “Most of these kids have lived here all of these years and they deserve a shot.”

But Dembrow, a community college instructor, acknowledged that his sponsorship of the bill is a shift from two years ago, when as chairman of a House committee, he was floor manager of the bill that allowed in-state tuition rates for undocumented students.

Dembrow said then that the 2013 bill, which became law, did not open the way for state aid to these students — unlike SB 932.

Jim Ludwick of McMinnville, spokesman and former president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, made a pointed comment about Dembrow’s 2013 remarks in written testimony filed for a June 15 budget subcommittee hearing.

“I remember nudging the person next to me and saying wait two years,” Ludwick wrote. “Here we are just two years later and the same advocates now want to do just that.”...

...If the House passes SB 932, Oregon would join California, Washington and some other states that allow state aid.
 

Populism On Immigration Is the Winning Message

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest held a hearing on the displacement of American workers through the H-1B and related guest worker programs. Among the witnesses was Prof. Hal Salzman of Rutgers. This exchange pretty much says it all, with regard to the fictitious “STEM shortage.”

Q. Prof. Salzman, in an article that appeared in U.S. News and World Report, you wrote, “guest workers currently make up two-thirds of all IT hires.” That’s two-thirds of all information technology hiring in America was done by guest workers. What would happen if the guest worker green card provisions in the Gang of Eight bill, or the SKILLS Act, or I-Squared became law? How would it change things?

Prof. Salzman: Well, it would dramatically increase the number. And we find, based on those estimates, that it would provide enough guest workers to fill 100 percent of the jobs with perhaps 50 percent left in reserve that could then be used to backfill and replace current workers. So the current bills supply more than even what the industry says it needs to fill every new job.

So who would lose those jobs? Right: American citizens. In his prepared testimony, Salzman added:

* The U.S. supply of top performing graduates is large and far exceeds the hiring needs of the STEM industries.

* Future demand for computer science graduates can be met by just half to two-thirds of the current annual supply of U.S. computer science graduates.

* Guestworker supply is large and highly concentrated in the IT industry; it is likely a factor in both stagnant wages and job insecurity.

* The predominant function of IT guestworker visa programs is to facilitate the offshoring of IT work.

* A growing function of the IT guestworker visa programs is to replace American workers for domestic-based projects.

* The number of guestworkers is equal to two-thirds of current entry-level and early-career hiring.

* Current guestworker visa policies for students and new graduates appear to provide incentives to colleges and universities to establish Masters programs that, as their business model, almost exclusively recruit foreign students into lower quality programs that provide easy entry into the U.S. labor market, further expanding the supply of entry-level STEM workers. …

* “Green Cards for Grads” provisions in I-Squared, S. 744 and other bills would provide incentives for colleges and universities to establish or expand current Masters programs as “global services” that offer a green card for the price of a graduate degree, and that are offered primarily or even exclusively for foreign students and directly or indirectly exclude U.S. students.

* In sum, current policies and the proposed changes in high skill guestworker visas and immigration policies that increase the supply of guestworkers are likely to accelerate the already deteriorating labor force conditions and career prospects for STEM graduates and workers.

None of this seems very hard to grasp. All across America, workers have seen their wages decline as jobs grow ever scarcer. This is Obamanomics: Democrat Party cronies get rich, while the middle class withers away.

Jeff Sessions, as always the main spokesman for the aspirations of American workers, said this at today’s hearing:

People aren’t commodities. We compare labor to commodities, but they’re not commodities. They’re human beings. They have families. They have hopes and dreams. They want stability in their lives. They would like to have a good job at a company like the biggest utility in California—California Edison [where hundreds of Americans were laid off and replaced with guest workers]… We have no obligation to yield to the lust of big businesses… Mr. Zuckerberg is worth $27 billion, I guess he is 27 years old, I’m not sure. So he wants more foreign workers. I would like to think he might want to pay his employees more and maybe not have quite so many billions, if he’d like to be helpful, and maybe he could get more local workers.

And here he is on video, with his customary plain-speaking style:

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/03/populism-on-immigration-is-the-winning-message.php

It is undeniable that Congress’s duty is to American workers, not foreign workers, however admirable those individuals may be. The message that Sessions articulated today, as he has repeatedly over the past several years, is devastating. The Democrats cannot stand up against it. If Republicans consistently articulate a populist, pro-American worker message on immigration, they will sweep the 2016 election from the presidency on down to your local county commissioner. And they will be doing the right thing for the people they represent.

TAKE ACTION! Tell Your State Representative to Support Official English for Oregon

Alert date: 
2015-03-17
Alert body: 

State Representative Sal Esquivel has introduced HB 3078, an official language bill in the Oregon House of Representatives. This bill would require that all official business of Oregon be conducted in English. Rep. Esquivel is a strong supporter of assimilation and understands how knowing English is the key to success in this country.

"There are at least 138 languages spoken in the State of Oregon," Esquivel said. "The State should dedicate itself to assisting people in attaining fluency in English, rather than attempting to learn and do business in the language of individual immigrants.”

Robert Vandervoort, Executive Director of ProEnglish, said "Making English the official language of Oregon will help the taxpayer and promote assimilation."

Contact your Oregon State Representative today. Tell your Representative to support HB 3078 and vote YES when the bill goes to the House floor.

ProEnglish is a self –governing project of U.S., Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and the nation’s leading advocate of official English.

We work through the courts and in the court of public opinion to defend English’s historic role as America’s common, unifying language, and to persuade lawmakers to adopt English as the official language at all levels of government.

Learn more about ProEnglish.

Today’s Grads Face Mounting Pressure From Foreign Tech Workers

Writing in the November 15 issue of ComputerWorld, Patrick Thibodeau reminds us of the plight of today’s college graduates who have obtained pricey degrees in technical fields, but have become burdened with tuition debt while trying to compete in a tight job market with the estimated 650,000 foreign workers already here under H-1B visas.

Things could get worse under the Senate immigration reform bill, which calls for increasing the current annual H-1B visa cap of 65,000 to about 180,000...

Ironically, with an anemic economy and a stubborn unemployment rate of 7 percent, the nation’s blue chip companies continue to lobby for more H-1B visas at a time when many are shedding headcount to cut costs.

Last quarter, Cisco laid off 4,000 people, bringing its two-year total layoffs to 12,000. HP just completed a plan announced in 2012 to cut 9,000 American jobs. Pharmaceutical giant Merck announced it will cut 8,500 more jobs, bringing the total number to 16,000...

Mass layoffs are typically justified in terms of restructuring to meet changing market needs, retooling for the next phase of innovation, or remaining competitive in an increasingly dynamic industry. But there’s more to it than this. These goals can be achieved in large part by replacing American workers with foreign workers who will do more for less and not complain about it.

In September, IBM agreed to settle a claim with the Justice Department that its job listings for almost four years expressed a preference for foreign workers with temporary visas over U.S. citizens. According to one HR manager at the company, the cost difference is too great for IBM not to look for foreign workers first. Many firms routinely violate the “citizens-first” hiring rule, but because they are hit with paltry fines if caught, it is easy to dismiss them as a cost of doing business.

Tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Cisco are among the many companies awash in cash, yet claim to need more foreign workers to stay on life support. If corporate profits are any measure, this line of reasoning falls squarely into the category of pure blather. The SP500 companies are sitting on a cash pile of $1.3 trillion.

Apple is widely hailed as the world leader in innovation. It has accumulated a cash hoard of $147 billion, which equates to nearly 10% of all corporate cash held by non-financial companies, according to Moody’s. Google pales in comparison with only $56 billion cash on hand and Facebook with $10 billion. All three companies are key players in petitioning Congress to lift the H-1B visa cap, as if they faced imminent extinction without a drip infusion of foreign workers.

The prospect of a big increase in H-1B visas could have serious consequences for American students and society...

Under the H-1B program, companies are allowed to pay foreign workers less than American citizens. When a company sees its competitors doing this, they have little choice but to follow suit to lower their own operating costs. This situation lowers wages across the board, making it difficult for American graduates to compete for jobs, pay down tuition loans, buy homes and raise families. With an uncertain job future in technical fields, high school students have good reason to think twice about pursuing expensive university degrees in preparation for jobs they are not likely to get.

In the ComputerWorld article, Karen Panetta, IEEE-USA Vice President for Communications and Public Awareness, and a professor of electrical engineering at Tufts University, warned that the cost of tuition in the U.S. is so unrealistically prohibitive that a class shift is underway. “The really wealthy are the only ones who can afford to send their kids to school,” she said. With her students owing $50,000 on average, “It’s the house you are not going to be able to buy for another 10 years.”

Also reported in ComputerWorld, Hal Salzman, a professor of public policy at Rutgers University, noted that the U.S. produces enough graduates to satisfy the demands of the labor market. But if the H-1B visa cap increase goes through, he sees a market that will be flooded with workers, with people under age 30 being especially hard hit by the increased job competition.

As the Wall Street Journal noted in its October 23 editorial, “With total employment at 144.3 million, for every three Americans over the age of 16 earning a paycheck there are two who aren’t even looking for a job. That’s an ugly portent for American prosperity.”

It’s hard to fathom how an annual influx of ever greater numbers of foreign workers will improve on this dire situation. It may very well accelerate the decline in workforce participation and increase dependence on the expanding array of government benefits as a substitute for work – both of which may trigger unforeseen consequences, including societal turbulence, followed by remedies we may prefer not to think about.

Read the full article.

Gov. Kitzhaber signs tuition bill allowing in-state tuition for immigrant students

Gov. John Kitzhaber signed into law today a bill allowing in-state tuition for immigrant students without documents.

“This bill will help them get their shot at the American dream,” he said to legislators, advocates and students packed into his ceremonial office at the Capitol.

He described the students, whose parents brought them illegally to the United States when they were young, as “exactly the kind of young people we want in our system of public education and universities.”

For House Bill 2787, it was the end of a decade-long journey. Similar bills cleared the Senate in 2003 and 2011, but both died in the House without reaching a vote.

Students would qualify if they graduated from high school or its equivalent in Oregon, attended Oregon schools three years prior to graduation and U.S. schools for five years, and show their intent to obtain legal status or citizenship in the United States.

Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, is the chief Senate sponsor of the law and was the first to introduce such legislation in 2003. He did so at the request of Laura Lanka, then the principal of Woodburn High School.

In her original 2002 email, which Courtney read aloud, she wrote, “What a bill like this would do is allow our college-ready students, regardless of their immigration status, the opportunity to get an education.”

Lanka, who is retired and now lives in Washington state, was present at the ceremony.

State university officials said they expect the number of qualifying students to be limited, given that they still are ineligible for state and federal financial aid.

They estimate only 38 additional students in the coming two-year cycle, and 80 students in the 2015-17 cycle. The net gain in tuition was estimated at just under $350,000 in the next cycle, and $1.5 million in 2015-17, assuming that none pay out-of-state tuition at rates three or four times in-state rates.

Oregon joins 12 other states with similar laws, including California and Washington. Two others have acted by other means.

Democratic majorities in both chambers resulting from the Nov. 6 election made passage likely. Five Republicans joined all 34 Democrats for it in the House, and three Republicans joined all 16 Democrats for it in the Senate.

The minority Republicans in the House sponsored a substitute that would have limited eligibility to those participating in a delayed-deportation program created last year by President Barack Obama. Participants are eligible for work permits. But the House defeated the proposed substitute on a party-line vote.

Kitzhaber took no public stance on a similar bill in 2011. But he said during his budget presentation on Nov. 30 he would sign such a bill, and held a news conference on it Feb. 11 with business leaders.

Oregon’s major business groups joined the Oregon Student Association and immigrant-rights groups in backing the bill. Oregonians for Immigration Reform, which is critical of federal immigration policy, opposed it.

Opponents have already said a legal challenge is likely. Gabriela Morrongiello, a sophomore at Oregon State University who is from California — and who is president of the conservative Young Americans for Freedom chapter — stated there would be a challenge in her testimony to a House committee on Feb. 13.

California’s law was upheld in 2010 by that state’s highest court, and in 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal.

If Oregon’s law is challenged, the case would go directly to the state Supreme Court, which has the authority to appoint someone to sort out disputes on facts before the justices hear oral arguments.

HB 2787 - express yourself at the Capitol - March 19th @ 1:00pm

Alert date: 
2013-03-06
Alert body: 

If you traveled to the Capitol early in the morning for the opportunity to testify against HB 2787 last time and never got to speak, there is another chance.  The bill giving instate tuition benefits to illegal aliens has passed the House and moved to the Senate.  The Senate has announced that there will be a hearing on HB 2787 at 1:00pm on Tuesday, March 19 in Hearing Room C.  Bring quarters for the meter ($1.50 an hour).

This bill is misguided and unfair to US citizens from other states that would like the opportunity to attend an Oregon University.  Please, take the time to come to Salem, testify or lend support to those who do.  If you have questions about what to do, please call 503.435.0141.

Your Legislator is under constant pressure from illegal alien advocates to cave in to their demands.  Ask your Legislator to stop this bill in its tracks.  Oregon should not be usurping Federal law to grant benefits to a special group of illegal alien students.

OFIR member Cliff Girod explains the "inequity" of tuition equity

OFIR member Cliff Girod wrote and outstanding op ed which was recently published in the Statesman Journal.
 

Just who is the Oregon Legislature working for?

The Oregon Legislature has failed to pass a bill giving instate tuition benefits to illegal alien students for the past 10 years. Now, with the Democrats running the show, and some very misguided Republicans in their pocket, they are once again attempting to ram this bill down our throats. While this poll is not scientific, it is certainly open to anyone to express their opinion. If it's such a great idea, why does it fare so poorly in the Statesman Journal poll? Ask your Representative if they voted in favor of the HB 2787, passing it out of the House and sending it over to the Senate.

The House passed a bill allowing in-state tuition rates for undocumented immigrant students. If it becomes law, do you believe it will be beneficial for Oregon?

Yes 13%

No 84%

Don’t Know 1%

Total Votes: 349

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