Dream act

David Cross tracks the folly of HB 2787

David Cross, in factual detail, explains the folly of HB 2787.  Read his just published guest opinion to find out how taxpayers are being snookered by not paying attention to the details of this bill.
 

Oregon tuition equity bill gets amended

Oregon lawmakers will have to wait until next week to advance a bill that would allow some students without immigration documents to qualify for in-state tuition.

On Friday, the House Committee on Higher Education and Workforce Development made a few changes to House Bill 2787, mainly clarifying what proof students would need to submit to show they intend to become a citizen or lawful permanent resident.

Proof would include an official copy of the student’s application to register with a federal immigration program, federal deportation deferral program or a statement of intent that the student will seek to obtain citizenship. Students would also need to show they have applied to become a taxpayer.

“We wanted to make sure that these are the students that are going to benefit from tuition equity, but felt that perhaps there was some looseness in the language that might cause unintended consequences,” said Rep. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, chairman of the education committee.

Since the bill was amended, lawmakers have to wait for a fiscal analysis on the new version of the legislation before they can vote on the bill.

House Republicans got some of what they wanted changed, but not all.

The amendments supported by Republicans did not include a statement of intent as part of how students could prove they intend to become a citizen or lawful permanent resident.

It also included a section that states a public university may not give admission preference to students who benefit from the bill over that of Oregon residents.

“House Bill 2787 doesn’t call for it or infer it but there can be and is a concern that in addition to offering in-state tuition the Oregon University System could considerably lower the bar for admission or create some sort of special exemption,” said Rep. Mark Johnson, R-Hood River.

He said it was clear from hearing from minority students that they don’t want any kind of special academic treatment from the bill.

Dembrow said he would not support that amendment because the language is too vague and would set the state up for unintended consequences.

(Page 2 of 2)

Split by a vote along party lines, those package of amendments did not move out of committee. Some Republicans then voted for the alternative package of amendments after the ones they proposed failed.

Francisco Lopez, executive director of the immigration-rights group Causa Oregon, said both parties met each other half way.

“In the end, all those amendments became a bipartisan effort,” he said. “I think that tells you the level of quality of this conversation.”

One change lawmakers from both parties agreed on was providing an exception to the bill’s residency requirements for students who leave the state to serve in the U.S. military for more than three years.

Under the bill, the State Board of Higher Education is only allowed to offer in-state tuition to students that have received a high school diploma no more than three years before they enroll in a public university.

The Oregon University System estimates that about 38 students would take advantage of the opportunity to pay in-state tuition in the 2011-13 biennium and 80 students would use the program in 2015-17.

With more students paying in-state tuition and fees at Oregon public universities, the revenue impact would be about $334,820 for the 2011-13 biennium and $1.5 million for the 2013-15 biennium, according to the original bill’s fiscal statement.

OUS would report to the Legrickislature and presiding officers on the number of students that applied and the fiscal impact before July 1 of every year, under the amended bill.

“Of course, the idea is that we have opened the opportunity for any resident of the state of Oregon that wants to go to a public university,” Lopez said.

Lawmakers are expected to pass the bill out of the House Committee on Higher Education and Workforce Development on Monday.

It would then head to the House floor.
 

OR Legislature puts the law before the horse

Rep. Michael Dembrow and his band of co-horts are attempting to usurp Federal law by not only allowing foreign nationals, most likely illegally in our country to remain here, but now they want to give them an instate tuition benefit so they can attend college here.

I have asked this question repeatedly and not gotten an answer:                                                                                                                                                      How will these students and their parents pay for college?  Several students testified that they or their parents are working 2 or 3 jobs already.             Is that not another law being broken?

Is it just me...am I the only one who thinks we have we become too 'tolerant' of these lawbreakers?  To think that we can sit in the State Capitol Building - the hub of lawmaking in Oregon - surrounded by kids that freely admit they are here illegally and so are their parents and siblings.  They admit they are working several jobs (and most likely driving to those jobs without a license or insurance). And nothing happens to them.  "Living in the shadows", haha...it wouldn't appear so.

Barely allowing testimony from the opposition at yesterdays hearing, these legislators hope to pass a bill that would allow these student lawbreakers to be awarded the opportunity to pay instate tuition at our colleges and universities. 

Then what?  We will have subsidized the college education of illegal aliens who will be competing for jobs with college graduates that are US citizens.                Sounds like people need to stop and think first.  This is a bad idea.

When does this stop?  When do we finally say enough is enough?

 


 

Action on tuition bill set Friday

In-state tuition for students without immigration documents is on a fast track in the Oregon House.

After hearing testimony for two hours Wednesday, mostly from supporters, the House Higher Education Committee plans to consider action Friday on House Bill 2787. Approval would advance it to a vote of the full House, which shelved similar bills in 2003 and 2011 after they passed the Senate.

Hugo Nicolas, who testified for similar legislation two years ago while a senior at McNary High School, spoke in favor of the current bill. He is attending Chemeketa Community College and working at two jobs, hoping to transfer to the University of Oregon and then return to Salem.

“I deserve a shot at the American dream,” he told the committee. “Let me enhance my talents. Today we may be undocumented, but tomorrow, we want to lead the way to be the next generation of entrepreneurs that will energize this state.”

Edith Gomez is a sophomore at the University of Oregon, but only because her visa status was changed and she was granted special permission for in-state rates that are a third of out-of-state rates.

“I can’t help but think of others who are not so lucky,” she said.

Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, is the chief Senate sponsor of the current bill and also sponsored Oregon’s first such bill in 2003 at the request of Woodburn High School’s principal.

“It would be a great disservice to our state and our people if we allow the next generation of brilliant minds to go uncultivated simply because we refuse to acknowledge they are as much a part of Oregon as much as we are and our kids are,” he said.

Courtney said that students without immigration documents are simply not attending state universities.

But Gabriela Morrongiello, a sophomore at Oregon State University and chairwoman of its Young Americans for Freedom chapter, argued that lawmakers should not defy a 1996 federal law.

“Should the Oregon Legislature ignore federal law and confer such privileges, it must also give the same benefits to out-of-state students” such as herself, who is from California. “Failure to do so may result in a class-action lawsuit.”

Twelve states, including California and Washington, have such laws.

Cynthia Kendoll of Salem, president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, questioned some provisions of the bill relating to how students prove they are seeking legal status in the United States.

“Wouldn’t it make more sense to wait until the federal immigration issue is resolved before pushing to pass a state law that could easily contradict the federal law?” she asked. “Banking on a federal amnesty to make enforceable the provisions of this bill is reckless and shortsighted.”

Kendoll also complained afterward that aside from her group and three public opponents, most of the testimony was given by the bill’s supporters. Three hundred students, mostly in support, filled overflow rooms and part of the galleria.
 

Kitzhaber to back bill on immigrant tuition

Gov. John Kitzhaber is expected today to put his political weight behind a bill allowing in-state tuition rates to state university students who lack immigration documents.

He is scheduled to be joined by speakers for Associated Oregon Industries, Oregon Business Association, Portland Business Alliance and the Oregon Association of Nurseries — and the three leaders of the House Higher Education Committee, which will take up House Bill 2787 for its first public hearing on Wednesday.

Among its sponsors are Chairman Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, and the vice chairmen, Republican Rep. John Huffman of The Dalles and Democratic Rep. Chris Harker of Beaverton.

Kitzhaber took no public stance on a similar bill two years ago, when it passed the Senate but died without a vote in an equally split House. But when he presented his two-year budget on Nov. 30, Kitzhaber said he would sign such a bill.

The current bill is similar in that it requires residency in Oregon for three years before high school graduation, graduation from high school in Oregon, and steps toward legal status in the United States. The latter would be in the form of affidavits filed with the state university attesting to applications for legal status or an intent to apply for it as soon as someone is eligible.

It also provides for a direct challenge of the law before the Oregon Supreme Court.

A similar law was upheld by the California Supreme Court in 2010, and the U.S. Supreme Court let it stand in 2011 when the justices declined to hear an appeal by opponents.

Although he is a sponsor of the bill, Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, said legislative leaders have agreed it is up to the House to act first this session. The Senate passed bills in 2003 and 2011, but each died in the House.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 12 states — including Washington and California — have laws allowing in-state tuition rates for undocumented students. Two states have done so through other means.

Four states specifically ban such rates, and two others bar enrollment of any students who cannot prove legal presence in the United States.

The political battle lines in Oregon will be the same as in 2011.

Immigrant-rights groups and student groups will support the bill. A comprehensive federal immigration bill could make action by states unnecessary, but as Causa Oregon’s Erik Sorensen said, “I do not anticipate Congress is going to have anything that soon.”

Oregonians for Immigration Reform, which has been critical of federal immigration policy, will oppose it again. But Jim Ludwick of McMinnville, a spokesman for the group, said opponents will emphasize arguments that the bill would be a money loser for the state because higher out-of-state tuition rates would not apply to those students.

Given that Democrats have majorities in both chambers this session, Ludwick said, “it’s going to be tough for us.”

What’s next

The House Higher Education Committee will conduct a public hearing on House Bill 2787, which grants in-state tuition rates to state university students without immigration documents, at 8 a.m. Wednesday in Hearing Room D in the Capitol. Overflow rooms are likely to be designated.

The committee plans a “work session” Friday, when it could advance the bill to a vote of the full House.
Follow all our political and state government coverage on the Oregon Politics Watch blog, StatesmanJournal.com/politics

Calendar

Selected legislative committee meetings and other events this week. Agendas are subject to change; for updates, call the numbers listed or see the Oregon Legislature’s website at www.leg.state.or.us.

Wednesday

House Higher Education: 8 a.m., Hearing Room D. Public hearing on House Bill 2787, allowing in-state tuition rates for university students without immigration documents. (503) 986-1664.

Feb. 13 - Hearing on HB 2787 - instate tuition for illegal aliens

Alert date: 
2013-02-10
Alert body: 

On Wednesday, February 13 at 8:00am, the Higher Education Committee will hear testimony regarding HB 2787 - giving instate tuition benefits to students illegally in the country.  Testimony will be accepted from both proponents and opponents.  If you would like to testify about this bill, get there early to sign in.

If you don't want to testify, but would like to show your support for those who are testifying against this misguided legislation, please join us in Hearing Room D at the Capitol Building before 8:00am.  Bring quarters for the meter.

Most likely, proponents of the bill will bus in hundreds of kids (taking them out of school), to overwhelm the hearing rooms and create the appearance of a majority.  In the past, I have asked several of the children why they were at the Capitol...they didn't even know...but they were excited to be able to skip school to be there.

 

 

Do you think Congress should create a path to citizenship for "Dreamers"?

Poll: Do you think Congress should create a path to citizenship for "Dreamers," illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. at a young age?

Yes 455 (15%)

No 2476 (81%)****

Undecided 119 (3%)

Other 23 (0%)

 

DACA - just another form of amnesty

One of OFIR's original founders, Elizabeth VanStaaveren spells out the meaning behind the madness of the DACA -  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  Read the full article here.

Poll results don't support Legislature's plans

These are the final results of the Statesman Journal’s online poll yesterday. Results were printed in the hardcopy edition of the newspaper today, January 28, 2013. The paper’s practice is to give results in the print edition the day after each poll closes, and results are not posted online after the poll has closed.

Statesman Journal, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, p.5C (editorial page)

POLL RESULTS TO YESTERDAY’S QUESTION

Should immigrants in Oregon be allowed to pay in-state college tuition if they met these conditions?

- 3 years in Oregon high school

- Graduation from Oregon High school

- Admission to a state university

- Actively working toward U.S. citizenship

Yes 31.5%

No 66.6%

Don’t Know 1.4%

Don’t Care 0.5%

---------------------------------

Several OFIR members objected to the wording of the question, which omitted the word “illegal” in referring to immigrants. In the context of the paper’s recent coverage of immigration issues, it is reasonable to assume the question meant illegal immigrants, and most viewers read the question that way. Of course the question should have been made clear to all by specifically referring to illegal immigrants, not just “immigrants.”

OFIR Board member Vandermolen's letter to the editor sparks agreement

OFIR Board member Lyneil Vandermolen expressed her discontent with plans to give an instate tuition benefit to illegal alien high schoolers.  In a letter to the editor, Lyneil explains how "feel good" legislation doesn't "feel so good" to those of us who have to pay the bill.  Other readers have expressed their concerns, as well.  Read the letters here.
Our Legislators need to know and hear your discontent about their plans for the upcoming Legislature.  Please call, write or visit your Legislator.  Always be polite, respectful and to the point.  Thank them for their time.

 

 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Dream act