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Why pay for illegal immigrant students? [Most commented]

August 19, 2011 |  1:01 pm

Dream Act

As a community college professor, Elena Reigadas often has students "come out to her" as undocumented immigrants, she wrote in an op-ed Friday. Many of these "reluctant immigrants" had no knowledge of their illegal status until high school. There are bright, talented young adults who won't be able to reach their goals because they were brought here illegally as young children, wrote Reigadas, who teaches psychology at Los Angeles Harbor College. The nation was founded on immigration, and we should be demanding that our leaders give these students a chance, she argued.

There are countless such students on college campuses across America, and they come from around the world. Why are so many of them overachievers? Maybe it's because talent knows no borders. Or perhaps it has to do with the immigrant ethic of hard work, family values, honor and respect that immigrant parents instill by example in their children. The irony lies in the fact that in using these values as the path to success, these undocumented immigrants become the very embodiment of the American dream. At the same time they are unable to become citizens and contribute fully to society. We are literally allowing the talent of our undocumented students to go to waste.

[…]

I want to be able to tell the next student who comes to my office to reveal his or her secret identity that there is no need to close the door, and that the dream of citizenship will soon be a reality. Offering a clear path to the legalization of our undocumented students is no longer just a political issue; it is also about individual human rights and the best use of our human capital for the benefit of society as a whole.

Readers on the discussion board had less sympathy for students in the U.S. illegally.

Until their home countries pass a DREAM Act for U.S. citizens, we shouldn't have one

As soon as Mexico, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and all the rest of the countries contributing to our "higher education deficit" create a parallel "Dream Act" that allows for birthright citizenship, free education, welfare benefits, free medical benefits for those US citizens that want to "contribute" to their countries, I am not interested in hearing these ridiculous proposals. Education in the US is relatively cheap even when it is not subsidized. Go out and get loans, earn your way or get your employer to pay for higher education. By the way Elena, your students have been given a chance-they received a free education all the way through high school. If you want more than that, you and your idiot friends can go ahead and pay for it yourselves. Not one cent of my tax money should go for this. Period, end of discussion. 

--Community Organizer

What about American students?

Illegal is illegal.  What about American students?  This makes absolutely no sense.  These students should go back to their home country and get their educations.  Any issues their home countries will have only reinforce the unfairness and political grandstanding that disenfranchises American citizens.

--mwilliams0082

Put your money where your mouth is

Sob... sob... sob...

Quit it already... I'm out of Kleenex... Sob

When those on the left (or right) put their money where their mouth is I might decide to listen, but when you're asking the taxpayers to shoulder more and more of their (illegals) costs then your talking points are moot.

We cannot and should not put anyone in line in front of those who've been waiting to do things legally, in most cases for years.  No one likes a line cutter and that's exactly what's going on here. If these people are so good then they should go home, apply, prove that they are, and then get in line with everyone else.

Just because some treasonous bureaucrat in Washington wants to pander for votes doesn't make it okay with most law abiding Americans.  Start contacting your representatives now and continue pressuring them until Obama and his lapdogs repeal this directive.  This completely side-steps Congress' directives and the President does not get to pick and choose what laws he will enforce.  Enough is enough!

--weirdo2odriew

White Europeans were once illegal immigrants too, in response to weirdo2odriew

what are you talking about?

White Europeans, for over four hundred years, have had a head start over ALL people of color on this continent with convenient racist laws they created like Jim Crow, Slavery, Free White persons law, etc etc.

And you're complaining of a very minute percentage of the total US population, who for many have ancestors who roamed this continent for thousands of years, because they came here uninvited.

Did you know the Pilgrims came here uninvited?

--Derekgrr

Why should illegal immigrants get a free pass when so many people earned their citizenship?

Dear Elena,

I want you to mentor me, since you mentor your students, let me tell you my story...

I came here legally, I followed the rules, and did what was asked of me.  I didn't break any laws, learned English, and EARNED my citizenship.

Can you tell me why, these people, should be allowed to jump of all of those in line, who want to do it the right way ? 

I also want you to tell me, what should happen to those who aren't considered "the best and brightest"?   Will they be deported ?  Will they remain illegal ?

I, like MILLIONS of others before me, were legalized the right way, and I do not appreciate you trying to pull the rug from underneath me.

By the way - no is undocumented.  Documents are EARNED, and getting passed our Border Patrol nor is overstaying a Visa the criteria for those documents.

--Beast_SPQR

It's not my fault they came here illegally; why should I pay for them?

How many times are we going to hear the phrase " through no fault of their own", it's as if those are the magic words that are supposed to make everyone allow the continued abuse of our laws and borders. How about this phrase "through no fault of MY own" as in it's not MY fault that people are coming here illegally and then triggering the consequences of that act , yet every legal taxpaying citizen is being asked to pay for that act. Huge tax increases,diminished quality of life, less opportunity for employment and education, why should WE have to suffer? Why should we be called racists  for simply saying no to this nonsense?

Why don't these ingrates say thank you for the "free" education, health care, food and housing that they have already received?

--anarchysrus

*Spelling errors in the above comments have been corrected.

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--Samantha Schaefer

Photo: Demonstrator Ruben Bernal, who recently graduated from San Jose State University, rallies for the Dream Act in downtown San Jose on June 29. Credit: Paul Sakuma / Associated Press

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