The fate of California's illegal immigrant students [Most commented]
The California Dream Act, which would allow undocumented immigrant students to receive private scholarships from universities, has passed both houses of the Legislature and awaits Gov. Jerry Brown's signature. Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles), who wrote the bill, has proposed similar legislation several times, but he has been met with the concern that the measure would encourage more illegal immigration and would displace legal residents from the state's universities.
The bill should be signed, The Times' editorial board wrote July 25, because these students' immigration status is not their fault, and they should not be penalized for it after working hard to get into college. Only Congress can fix the nation's immigration problems, but Cedillo's bill is a good start for the state, the board wrote.
Some will object to granting illegal immigrants benefits that they believe should be reserved for legal residents. But barring undocumented immigrants from receiving private scholarships is both hard-hearted social policy and foolish economics. Society already has invested in these students. Most of them graduated from public schools. And few are likely to return to a country they have no memory of. As long as they are here, it is just as much in society's interests as it is in theirs that they be productive, taxpaying workers with solid educational credentials.
Most readers on the discussion board are opposed to assistance to illegal immigrant students, citing the same arguments many of the opponents of AB 130 have used.*
They should go back to their country of origin and get a visa
"AB 130 won't alleviate the crisis, but it will crack open a window of opportunity for those students who, through no fault of their own, were brought here illegally..."
If I break into your home and leave my child in your kitchen and tell him to help himself to your refrigerator, that child might be in your house through no fault of his own, but it doesn't mean we should re-write basic laws in order to make him your foster child against your will. It's still your home, after all.
I still don't see how providing scholarships to people who cannot legally work in the United States somehow improves their lot in life, unless they are somehow able to use fraudulent documents to secure employment. This "window" that the Times would like to see "cracked open" is probably a prelude to justifying future amnesty demands by saying, "Well, we can't let all that money we've invested in his college eduction go to waste NOW, can we?"
The dispensing of scholarships should, first and foremost, be conditioned on the illegal alien student's filling out the necessary paperwork, going back to their country of origin and patiently waiting their turn in the immigration visa line. If they feel they are too good to perform this chore, I have absolutely no sympathy for any of them.
If you're too good to play by the rules, then you can't play. Buh-bye.
If this was popular, it would have passed a long time ago
First, it is time to revisit Plyler v Doe. At the time it was assumed that the number of students who would benefit from this decision would be small and the impact on the public would be small. Today, no one knows whether or not the Supreme Court would or would not uphold this decision.
Second, one way or another the Dream Act has been around in Congress for a decade and has yet to pass. There must be a reason for this. Why? If it was popular it would pass. If it was unpopular it would fail. The members of the house and senate look at it as a loser and vote accordingly.
Third, the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times assumes that at some point legalization for illegal immigrants will happen. At best this is a maybe. In a very progressive state, the attempt to pass a version of the Dream Act will be put to the voters. Today, the best guess is that the voters will vote to reject the Dream Act.
The editorial board of the Los Angeles Times has not seen one proposal that benefits illegal immigrants that it does not support. In these circumstances, after advocating something for years and years and years, it should occur to them that there is a divergence between their views and the views of the great American public. Maybe they should listen instead of lecture. Maybe they would stop the decline in circulation.
Cheating is wrong
My parents could have cheated to get me into Harvard (through no fault of mine) I could attend and even be an exemplary student while there and graduate.
There several IMMORAL acts here that politicians and others are willing to overlook.
Cheating to get anywhere is still cheating. It displaces the rightful to be there. There are limited resources, just as there are limited places in colleges. Illegal immigrants are teaching their children to cheat, to gain what they want unethically and disregard those who gained that place rightfully and legally. This demoralizes those who enter legally and cheats THEM.
Whether it's the parents cheating to be here, or cheating others in the name of their children, it's still cheating and so very wrong. Everyone wants a better life for themselves, but cheating or stealing to get it will NEVER be right. And should never be rewarded, no matter how good a student these kids are. This will put these parents on notice we won't tolerate it, nor should we.
Shouldn't this money go to U.S. citizens instead?
What is so 'hard hearted' about paying your own way through college? I did it.
Shouldn't this money go to US citizens whose parents fell on hard times? With the unemployment rate this state has right now, I don't understand why we are taking that opportunity away from them. Isn't that 'Hard Hearted"?
Why educate them if they can't work here?
There should be absolutely no funding of education for ILLEGAL aliens. These scarce resources should be directed toward U.S. citizens. Anyhow, these illegal aliens cannot legally get a job here...so why waste these precious resources on them? There is no social payback.
Rewarding them will only encourage them
Any reward for illegal aliens only exacerbates the problem and persons and organizations giving such aid are aiding and abetting. Furthermore, such actions punish those who abide by our immigration laws by allowing the undeserving to cut in line.
These students are free to return to their home countries to apply for student visas. If granted, I fully support their return and eligibility for private financial aid.
(*spelling errors corrected)
Photo: Maria Luna, a 2010 graduate of Cal State Sacramento, wears her cap and gown in the Senate gallery to show her support for a measure to allow students who are in the country illegally to qualify for privately funded aid. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press