Dream act

Played like a fiddle

It's been a rough month for those of us working to stop the move to legitimize the presence of illegal aliens in our country. Sadly, we lost a 10 year battle against giving instate tuition benefits to students here illegally. We tried to negotiate with both the House and Senate Education Committees and nearly all the Legislators, either in person, by phone or email.

OFIR brought good, reasonable suggestions to the table. But, it was as if they could smell blood in the water and they didn't need to give an inch in any negotiations. Democrats sensed they could ram the bill through with lightening speed without any amendments that would protect Oregon students and Oregon taxpayers.

It was really quite sickening to hear the debate on the Senate floor as several Democrats and even a Republican gushed about giving every opportunity to students here illegally. They made no mention of the fact that these students and their families have likely "gamed the system" for years. They have stolen identities, have been working illegally, maybe even being paid under the table and are likely driving without licenses or insurance. But, aside from all that, the most important point is they are here illegally! When we have elected officials working so hard for the special benefits for illegal aliens, citizens have to wonder what's next!

I fear that we have taken the first step onto a very slippery slope. If our Legislators do not hear utter rage from their constituents now, the next move will be drivers licenses for all...legal, illegal...who cares!

Find out what happened in Tennessee and New Mexico when they started giving driver licenses to illegal aliens. It wasn't pretty!

 

Call every Oregon Senator today!

Alert date: 
2013-03-20
Alert body: 

Citizens likely have only today to stop passage of HB 2787 which would give in-state tuition benefits to illegal alien students.  The bill has passed the House and was heard by the Senate Education Committee yesterday. Recent reports tell us us they will send the bill to the Senate floor for a vote as early as Thursday.

CALL, email or visit your Senator.  Tell them you are a constituent and you VOTE.  Tell them you do not support, nor appreciate, that they would put the demands of people illegally in our country, ahead of the rights of US citizens.  Even our veterans are getting shafted in their zeal to get this bill passed ASAP.

If you don't know who your Senator is, find out here:  http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/
 

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.

Rep. Esquival hits the nail on the head

e southern
OREGON.com IBLOGS

Tuition equity unfair to citizens
 

The session has taken off like a rocket. Our office is flooded with meeting requests and we have been surprised by a number of visitors from home.

Tuition Equity –HB 2787 allowing Oregon students who are here illegally to pay in-state tuition for Oregon colleges.

As many of you know this is a difficult issue for me. I open my arms to anyone who wants to come to America but obeying the law is first and foremost. By encouraging students to stay here illegally, Oregon violates federal law.

“It is a violation of law for any entity to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection in any place, any illegal alien who is in the United States in violation of law. Harboring means any conduct that tends to substantially facilitate an alien to remain in the U.S. illegally.

If you are a U.S. citizen from another state you have to pay approximately $114,000 for out-of-state tuition – but Oregon colleges will accept students here illegally at approximately $32,000 per year. Basically I see this legislation as a direct discrimination against U.S. citizens.

In 2009 when I presented the legislation to allow U.S. veterans to receive instate tuition in Oregon schools there was a fiscal cost to the state of more than $7,000 per student per year. Interesting enough with HB2787, the carrier stated there was no fiscal impact involved. In other words it costs Oregon to have U.S. veterans attend at in-state rates but doesn’t cost for illegal students?

HB2787 passed the House 38-18.

Rep. Sal Esquivel

http://blogs.esouthernoregon.com/southern-oregon-legislators/2013/02/28/tuition-equity-unfair-to-citizens/

 

Gabriella Morrongiello - a gold nugget

College students across the country should read Gabriella's recent letter recently posted by 

Young America’s F O U N D A T I O N.                                                      

OFIR is working so hard to protect American sovereignty and the rights of future US citizens and Gabriella is a shining example of what is right for our future.

 

Immigrant tuition equity bill is not an equitable solution

Passage of the so-called tuition equity bill was neither surprising nor equitable.

Tears flowed, children were paraded to the Oregon House floor and galleries to witness their “historic” moment and representatives employed hyperbole alleging that through no fault of their own, these students cannot afford college. Headlines the next day obliged this sensational spin on a complex issue.

I don’t feel sorry for these youngsters or guilty about their situation. I saw possibility in their faces and I feel pride for a country where the mistakes of parents cannot dim the hope of a child to follow the American dream.

The federal government has failed to protect our borders and enforce a sane immigration policy. Oregon hasn’t done much better. But can we ignore the sheer numbers of undocumented folks in our communities? The “round ’em up and send ’em back” mentality is not only ridiculous in the Willamette Valley, it smells of bigotry.

The reality is, despite shoddy immigration practices and the difficulty of raising a family under a dark cloud of illegal residency, we have an undeniable mass of undocumented citizens the majority of whom are hardworking, honest neighbors.

They’ve been here a long time and have provided much of the work force that sustains our region’s agricultural foundation. They’ve done back-breaking work and many now manage farms, nurseries or work in numerous vocations. Are we surprised that now their children and grandchildren want a higher education and to attend football games as bona fide Ducks or Beavers?

Republicans and Democrats are ready to offer in-state tuition to these children but the bill was rushed to the floor last week and is deeply flawed.

Addressing fairness for some while disallowing provisions for veterans currently ineligible for in-state tuition or ignoring American students now paying out-of-state tuition is not fair at all. The bill received one two-hour public hearing, thereby disallowing many to even testify. Some amendments were allowed but efforts for substantive improvement were largely ignored and I couldn’t support it as written.

The debate barely acknowledged impending federal immigration policy now boiling over in Washington, D.C. and the effect on Oregon. The fiscal analysis was pathetically vague and testimony about projected costs ranged from negligible to millions of dollars of lost revenue. Further, a prudent sunset clause to re-examine this noble experiment was rejected out of hand.

Perhaps the most troubling omission is the refusal to provide clarity for students to obtain citizenship and permission to work legally during their college studies and, most importantly, after graduation. This glaring error puts the graduates and Oregon businesses in an untenable lurch.

In the quest for “historic headlines,” I fear the House of Representatives has set up to fail the very children we want to assist. I’m not fond of the phrase: “Fix it on the Senate side,” but now that may be the only hope to find tuition equity for all Oregonians and students wishing to study here.


Vic Gilliam / Special to the Statesman Journal

Rep. Vic Gilliam, R-Silverton, is a member of the House Committee on Higher Education & Workforce Development and the Committee on Human Services & Housing. He can be reached at (503) 986-1418 or Rep.VicGilliam@state.or.us.

 

OSU student spells out the flawed thinking of the instate tuition benefit - HB 2787

Gabriella Morrongiello, a sophomore at Oregon State University, and chairman of the OSU Young Americans for Freedom testified before the House Committee of Higher Education at the hearing for HB 2787.  She was poised and eloquent.  Following her testimony she submitted an article about the proceedings to the Barometer (the OSU campus paper), who felt it was too controversial to publish. 

So, she submitted the article to the New Guard which is the national blog sponsored by the Young America's Foundation.  Read Gabriella's article here.

 

Polls should be considered by Legislators

While not scientific, anyone can respond to the frequent polls offered in newspapers across the country.  But, when the results are the same time and time again, shouldn't Oregon Legislators factor these results into their decision making? 

It would be a welcome change if many of the people elected to represent us, actually did!

The World

Should illegal immigrants be allowed to pay in-state tuition to Oregon universities, if they graduated from Oregon high schools?

February 25, 2013

POLL RESULTS

- Yes. Educating these kids is in Oregon's economic interest [Votes 157 or 23%].

- No. We should not subsidize people who are in this country illegally [Votes 484 or 70%].

- Not yet. But if federal law grants them some kind of amnesty, then yes [Votes 47 or 7%].

http://theworldlink.com/news/local/should-illegal-immigrants-be-allowed-to-pay-in-state-tuition/poll_6f15cb7e-7c53-11e2-929c-0019bb2963f4.html

 


 

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.
 

Tuition equity bill goes to Senate

In-state tuition for immigrant students without documents, which made it through the Oregon House by a big vote Friday, drew differing reactions from participants in the long-running debate.

“I can finally go home, look my parents in the eye and say, ‘Mom and Dad, I can go to a four-year college,’” said Hugo Nicolas, a Chemeketa Community College student who was one of many students present in the House gallery for the vote.

“It means more freedom for me — and more responsibility,” said Nicolas, who testified last week for passage of House Bill 2787. “So I’m going to have to work harder to shoulder my investment.”

A 2011 graduate of McNary High School, Nicolas hopes to transfer to the University of Oregon, where he plans to study economics and Chinese.

Victor Mena was able to transfer from Portland Community College to Portland State University, where he is studying criminal justice and hopes to join the Navy.

“I grew up here ever since I was 3,” said Mena, whose change of visa allowed him to attend Portland State. “Maybe tuition equity does not affect me anymore, but it will definitely affect a lot of other potential students.”

The 38-18 vote moved the bill to the Senate, where Jim Ludwick of McMinnville, a spokesman for Oregonians for Immigration Reform, said, “it’s likely to pass — they’ve got the numbers.”

The Senate passed similar bills in 2003 and 2011, but the House let them die without a vote. Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, is the chief Senate sponsor of the current bill.

They are cowards using children as their shields to get something like this through,” Ludwick said after the vote. “This is just a denigration of the value of citizenship.”

Ludwick said immigrant students without legal presence can attend state universities now at out-of-state rates, which are three or four times higher than in-state rates that are partly subsidized by the state.

Although the bill does not make them eligible for state grants, Ludwick said, “Does anyone doubt that is the next step?”

The bill would allow state universities to charge in-state tuition if students meet specified conditions, including five years in U.S. schools and three in Oregon, graduation from high school or its equivalent in Oregon, and proof of intent to seek citizenship or legal status in the United States.

“They did not choose to come here; they were brought here,” said Rep. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, the bill’s floor manager. “They have no other country to go to, but they have plenty to offer this state. Unfortunately, they have become collateral damage of this country’s immigration debate.”

The bill was backed by the Oregon University System, student and immigrant-rights groups, and the state’s major business associations.

“It brings hope to current and former students in my hometown,” said Rep. Betty Komp,D-Woodburn, whose House district is the only one in the 2010 Census to have a majority of racial and ethnic minorities.

Rep. John Huffman, R-The Dalles, said critics’ arguments that the university system would lose income from out-of-state tuition rates are wrong: these immigrant students are not attending and paying now. “You can’t lose something you don’t already have,” he said.

The House, on a party-line vote, defeated a Republican-backed substitute that would have set an expiration date, limited in-state tuition to those already here on the date it takes effect, and required students to be enrolled in a federal program for delayed deportations.

“It holds the university system to the same standard that all of our employers must comply with,” said Rep. Gene Whisnant,R-Sunriver.

The state bill would not by itself confer the authority for students to seek work permits in the United States.

But under a program of delayed deportations approved by President Barack Obama last year for those who arrived illegally in the United States as children, known by its acronym DACA, some participants are eligible for work permits. The state bill would recognize participation in the federal program as their proof of intent to seek legal status.

Five Republicans, including Rep. Vicki Berger of Salem, joined 33 Democrats to pass the bill.

Among those voting for it were Democratic Reps. Joe Gallegos of Hillsboro and Jessica Vega Pederson of Portland. Republican Rep. Sal Esquivel of Medford voted no.

Twelve other states, including Washington and California, have similar laws. A federal Dream Act — which passed the U.S. House in 2010 but died after a filibuster threat in the Senate — could become part of federal immigration legislation in the works.

Gov. John Kitzhaber, who is en route to Washington, D.C., for a conference, said he looks forward to signing the bill.

“By removing roadblocks to their post-secondary education, we open new opportunities to them and the opportunity for our state to capitalize on the investment we've made in these students through the K-12 system,” he said in a statement.

Hugo Nicolas, of Salem, testifies before the Oregon House Committee on Higher Education and Workforce Development at a public hearing on House Bill 2787, which would allow some students without immigration documents to qualify for in-state tuition rates. / KOBBI R. BLAIR / Statesman Journal

How they voted

How Mid-Valley representatives voted on House Bill 2787, which allows in-state tuition rates for students without immigration documents. A proposed substitute failed on a party-line vote.

Vicki Berger, R-Salem Yes
Kevin Cameron, R-Salem No
Brian Clem, D-Salem Yes
Vic Gilliam. R-Silverton No
Betty Komp, D-Woodburn Yes
Sherrie Sprenger, R-Scio No
Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer Excused
Jim Thompson, R-Dallas No
Jim Weidner, R-Yamhill No

What’s next:

House Bill 2787, which passed the Oregon House on a 38-18 vote Friday, goes to the Senate. The bill is likely to be assigned to the Senate Education Committee.

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