Friday, June 8, 2012

Denver College Gives Illegal Immigrants Tuition Break


Federal law currently requires colleges that give tuition breaks to illegal immigrants to extend those same breaks to all American citizens regardless of their state of origin.  Metro State College located in Denver, Co, announced today they will be violating that law and will allow illegal immigrants to attend the school for $3,358 per semester.  By comparison, the school charges out-of-state American citizens and legal immigrants $7,992 per semester.

The new rates will reward illegal immigrants for breaking the law to the tune of almost $10,000 per year.

As far as Sarahi Hernandez is concerned, the only difference between her and every other student at Metropolitan State College of Denver is nine digits.
"A Social Security number — that's it," Hernandez said, shortly after Metro State's board of trustees voted 7-1 Thursday to pass a new tuition rate for illegal-immigrant students like her.
Nine digits and a felony or two...

9 comments:

smoore123 said...

First time illegal border crossings are generally class A misdemeanors. I state this as a matter of correction to your post and not in support or opposition to the CO law. Still I do wonder why there is not equal outrage that someone convicted of a DWI could still receive in-state tuition at this college. Is there something unique about illegal immigration over other class A misdemeanors that makes this tuition break a reward for criminality?

Anonymous said...

1 - aiding an abetting illegal immigration is a felony.

2 - Using stolen IDs and social security numbers is a felony.

3 - 2nd violation of illegally crossing the border is a felony

4 - Funny you mention DUI, since the majority of deaths as a result of DUI over the last decade have been at the hands of illegal immigrants.

Anonymous said...

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=illegal+immigrants+and+dui&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

smoore123 said...

9:14pm anonymous,

Thank you for pointing out that there are in fact immigration related offenses which are felonies. I still would like to know precisely what level of criminality should disqualify a person from receiving subsidized tuition. Are you suggesting that only immigration related felonies are disqualifying? The argument in the post was that we should not reward criminality with reduced tuition. I just want to understand how this standard should be applied to other crimes or hear an argument as to why it only applies to illegal immigration.

I was not aware of the DUI stat you mention. I would be interested in learning more about this problem. Forgive my request as it is my nature to be skeptical of claims I can not verify myself so could you provide an actual link to a credible statistical source. I do not believe google search results on the terms "illegal," "immigrants," and "dui" offer any clarification on the issue.

James said...

For me personally, its not about the criminality of illegal immigration, per say. It is about the fairness.

Federal law clearly states that if you provide tuition breaks for illegals, those breaks must be extended to all legal US residents regardless of state of origin. This includes active military members stationed in a state that is not their own, legal immigrants, and people living right across the state line.

I am not against illegals getting instate or reduced rate tuition. I just want to see those same rates rightfully and fairly extend to legal US residents.

Is it your opinion that discriminating against legal immigrants and the others I mentioned by charging them significantly higher tuition rates is acceptable?

Let us also not forget that even if an illegal immigrant completes a college degree they will still not be legally employable in the US and hiring them is a felony.

smoore123 said...

James,
I’m glad you have removed the issue of criminality from this because I think that is a boneheaded argument to make if we’re not going to treat all criminals the same. So I can't really answer your question because I don't accept your premise that offering different rates of tuition to different classes of people is necessarily discriminatory or unfair. It could be, but in this case I’m just not seeing it. Help me understand this. Why you think it is unfair to offer illegal immigrants that meet Colorado’s graduation and other requirements lower tuition than out of state individuals. State governments have various reasons for subsidizing tuition at public universities for those living in the state, (benefit for having paid taxes, human capital formation and other economic externalities, vote buying, etc.). I think your argument would have to contend with some of these; one being that out of state residents likely never paid any taxes in CO while illegal immigrants at least pay sales tax. Legal residents certainly pay much more in taxes to the state given that they are probably legally employed. Perhaps this explains why they have adopted a three-tiered schedule of tuition in the state. I don’t know.

James said...

First, you completely ignored what determines what is fair in setting tuition rates and that is federal law which quite specifically states those beneficial rates to illegals needs to be extended to all Americans regardless of state of origin.

Second, I do not buy your premise that they meet CO requirements. They are not legal residents of the state. They are only allowed to attend public schools because of supreme court cases that state they can not be denied access.

Your sales tax argument is also nonsense. Out-of-state students and legal immigrants will be paying sales tax while attending school. They will also be paying state employment tax while working to pay for their education. As I am sure you are well aware, most illegals work under stolen IDs and then use ITINs to get back 100+% of what they paid in. The plus comes from the childcare credits they are increasingly claiming for children that don't exist or still live in Mexico, costing tax payers $4b per year and increasing.

Also, you ignored the legal immigrants who also are discriminated against with these tuition rules. Unlike their illegal immigrant counterparts they followed the rules. They are rewarded by having to pay $10k more per year. That, my friend, is simply un-American.

smoore123 said...

First, you completely ignored what determines what is fair in setting tuition rates and that is federal law which quite specifically states those beneficial rates to illegals needs to be extended to all Americans regardless of state of origin.

I understand that Colorado is violating federal law here but I’m not sure how the federal law sets the appropriate standard of fairness. The federal law could be completely stupid or it may be based on a rational argument. I was hoping to hear you elaborate on this. I thought conservative were all about states’ rights. Federal law leaves immigration enforcement up to the federal government. Does your primacy of federal law mean you support the government’s case against Arizona’s recent immigration law? I don’t mean to incite anything with these statements. I’m just trying to follow the logic of the arguments you are making and see if they are consistent. If they are not consistent but there is a good reason for it, I want to understand why. I’m trying to make sense of your position and see if I need to modify my own view.

Second, I do not buy your premise that they meet CO requirements. They are not legal residents of the state. They are only allowed to attend public schools because of supreme court cases that state they can not be denied access.

An illegal immigrant is eligible for the tuition benefit if they meet certain requirements which are specific in the article you link to. Those are the “requirements” I was referring to. I though you would get the meaning since you posted the article and I used the phrase “graduation and other requirements.” Perhaps I’m wrong but my understanding is that a school district could allow illegal immigrant children to attend public schools prior to the case if they wanted to. It was a local decision. The ruling was that school districts could no longer exclude them.

smoore123 said...

Your sales tax argument is also nonsense. Out-of-state students and legal immigrants will be paying sales tax while attending school. They will also be paying state employment tax while working to pay for their education. As I am sure you are well aware, most illegals work under stolen IDs and then use ITINs to get back 100+% of what they paid in. The plus comes from the childcare credits they are increasingly claiming for children that don't exist or still live in Mexico, costing tax payers $4b per year and increasing.

I’m sure there are illegal immigrants committing tax fraud like you are talking about. Would you advocate for a robust guest worker program at the federal level so that they pay all due taxes? Still, this doesn’t seem relevant to the hypothetical high school age student referred to in the article, one that must otherwise be in good standing with the law and plan to seek lawful status when eligible. What we’re talking about is an illegal immigrant that graduated from a CO high school and has been in the state at least three years. They likely have been in the state for much longer. On the other side we have someone from out of state that could possibly have never set foot in CO. Who is going to pay more in cumulative sales taxes to the state of Colorado from the time they entered the state to the time they graduate college?

And it is more than just the issue of taxes paid as I said in my prior comment. You have to look at who is more likely to remain in the state after college and contribute to the state’s economy, who is more likely to start a family and help grow the state’s population or a host of other factors. States quite often incentivize certain things which they deem beneficial. In the legislature’s calculus, it seems they think out of state students are not worth subsidizing and that if illegal immigrant college graduates are ever naturalized they will be a benefit to the state. I don’t see this as unfair. It is an economic decision.

Also, you ignored the legal immigrants who also are discriminated against with these tuition rules. Unlike their illegal immigrant counterparts they followed the rules. They are rewarded by having to pay $10k more per year. That, my friend, is simply un-American.

But the one that followed the rules is still from out of state. A legal immigrant that is a resident of CO would be eligible for the lowest tuition. One that never set foot in CO but wants to attend a school there would pay the out of state rate just like an out of state natural born citizen. I don’t see the discrimination in that. I see that you are back to making the reward rule the breakers / punish the rule followers argument. If you want to make this argument then you have to explain why all rule breakers are not treated the same. Should CO not grant subsidized tuition to people with criminal offences comparable to illegal immigration?