Oregon Legislature

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.

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

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.
 

Be at the Capitol - Tuesday, Feb. 26 - DRUG WARS: Silver or Lead screening

Alert date: 
2013-02-22
Alert body: 

If you couldn't make it to the showing of DRUG WARS: Silver or Lead last month, you're in luck.

Tuesday, February 26 from 9-11am, OFIR will be showing the documentary again at the Oregon State Capitol Building - Room 257.

Every concerned citizen should attend and find out what's really happening. This is not an issue confined to the US-Mexican border. Like a cancer, it's spreading throughout the entire US. Citizen APATHY is one of the greatest tools used by drug cartel operatives. Now, they want our drivers licenses!

Your attendance is encouraged! Before or after the event, please plan to visit your Senator and Representative. Tell them about your concerns. If they aren't available, make an appt. for a later date (or make one before you come).

The Capitol is YOUR building and the people inside should be working for Oregonians. Your Legislator has regular visits from lobbyists and advocates working to advance the agenda of illegal aliens. Have they seen you? If not, you should introduce yourself and tell them YOU are a constituent. Thank them if they are working to protect Oregon jobs and American sovereignty.

NOTE: Bring quarters for the meter (75 cents an hour). Plan to stay at least the first hour and a half...the last half hour will be Q&A. The documentary is 1 hour and 21 minutes long.

Hope to see you there!

Mexican drug war topic of film

Showings of “Drug Wars: Silver or Lead,” a 2008 documentary about drug trafficking in Mexico and its implications for the United States, will be sponsored by Oregonians for Immigration Reform.

One showing will start at 1 p.m. Wednesday [February 20th]; the other will begin at 9 a.m. Feb. 26. Both will be in Room 257 of the Capitol. The film runs 82 minutes.

The group has been critical of federal immigration policies and hopes to influence state legislative debate on related issues.

— Peter Wong

 

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.
 

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