Elliott's Defense on Instate-Tuition for Ilegal Aliens - Fact, Fiction, or Deception?
1. Elliott: SB799 has NO effect on Arkansas citizens to attend college. None.
Just for thought, consider this. If a law were filed to allow illegal aliens to become legislators, would legislators agree that it "has no effect on Arkansas legislators to pass laws. None?" Is that the fact they would consider, or would other factors be more important?
But SB799 does have an effect on taxpayers. Taxpayers pay for higher education (Taxpayers pay about 58% of higher education and student tuition about 35% -2001 figures) That is why every state charges a higher fee for students who attend state colleges from out of state. It is not fair for Arkansas taxpayers to foot the bill for residents of other states; and it is even more unfair for Arkansans to educate students from other countries.
And SB799 could have some effect on Arkansas citizens attending college when citizens and parents keep having to pay these taxes. If passed, it would cost Arkansans for a court case as well. A three judge panel of the California Court of Appeals unanimously ruled Monday that a California law intended to permit illegal aliens to attend public colleges and universities at in-state tuition rates is unconstitutional because it "conflicts with federal law, and violates both the equal protection clause and privileges and immunity clause of the constitution." http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS238307+16-Sep-2008+PRN20080916
2. Elliott: It is not illegal for undocumented students to attend college in Arkansas. It is just prohibitively expensive because they must pay 2-3 times the tuition of other students.
Who says it is not illegal for undocumented students to attend college in Arkansas. Federal law, 8-USC-Section 1621, specifically says you can't provide postsecondary education to illegal aliens.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency Pat Reilly said, "The only way foreign nationals can attend college in the United States legally is through the agency's International Student Exchange and Visitors Program. Illegal immigrants in the U.S. cannot qualify for that program, Reilly said."
I know that our inexperienced Attorney General ruled differently on illegals being able to attend college (but without instate tuition) , but how does he have the right to give a legal opinion that conflicts with federal law and ICE? See this link for my rebuttal to AG Dustin McDaniel's Opinion on this issue. http://www.wpaag.org/Illegals%20-AR%20%20AG%20Rebuttal%20on%20illegals%20&%20college.htm
Plyler vs. Doe, the Supreme Court ruling in 1982 that mandated education for K-12 did not include postsecondary education (for some very good reasons included below).
Even if it were legal for undocumented students to attend college, it would still be illegal according to federal law and according to Governor Beebe to give instate tuition to undocumented (illegal alien) students unless students from any other state could also go to college in Arkansas without paying out-of state-tuition. The federal law is very clear on that point.
8 USC Section 1623 (pasted below) prohibits giving any "postsecondary education benefit" to an "alien unlawfully present in the US" unless any other citizen of the US in any state is given that same benefit. http://law.onecle.com/uscode/8/1623.html
This is the way the AP article May 23, 08 by Andrew Demillo reported it: The bill failed [Elliot's bill in 2005] after Beebe, then the state's attorney general, released a legal opinion that said offering illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates likely would violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment....Beebe's 2005 opinion also said the measure might run afoul of a 1996 federal law that said no higher education benefit shall be available to illegal immigrants' children unless it's also available to every U.S. citizen.
Governor Beebe was also quoted in a newspaper article in January 25, 09 as saying, We can’t afford to give scholarships and in-state tuition to every child of every American citizen in the other 49 states. Since you can’t do that, you can’t do that with illegal aliens either. It’s real simple.” http://arkansasnews.com/?p=22740 January 25, 09
3. Elliott: SB799 does only two things: (1) Allows undocumented students to use their own money to pay tuition at the in-state rate and (2) requires them to sign an affidavit declaring their intention to legalize their immigration status. There are NO scholarships involved.
Signing an affidavit of intention is just a deceitful smoke screen. Children of illegal aliens become illegal themselves and subject to deportation at 18 1/2 (unless they were born on US soil). Therefore, college undocumented students are unlawfully present here and cannot lawfully operate and hold jobs, so it makes no sense to use taxpayers' money to subsidize their education or to tempt them to steal a citizen's identity in order to get a job.
To become naturalized these students would have to go back to Mexico or other country and be put on a waiting list. If these students apply for citizenship before going back to Mexico or other country, legally they could and should be deported at that time. As Senator Bisbee said in 2005, if his children were in that situation, they would have more sense than to do that, and he felt sure these college-age illegal aliens would have more sense too. It would be easy for them to SAY they intend to legalize their immigration status, but they won't under the circumstances.
At legislative hearings on HB1525, in 2005, a bill to give scholarships and in-state tuition by Joyce Elliott, several presidents of colleges spoke in favor of the bill. However when asked one by one by Senator Bisbee if they would hire these students when they graduated, these university presidents ALL admitted they would not. They knew they had to answer this way; otherwise they would be confessing they would be willing to be involved in criminal activity by hiring them. They knew the law on hiring illegal aliens, but they did not know the law on allowing postsecondary education or chose to ignore it.