Monday, January 12, 2009

Illegals Instate Tuition should be REPEALED

The SL Tribune recently reported on the upcoming California Supreme Court hearing on Instate Tuition for illegal aliens which is virtually the same as the Utah law.

In sanitizing the original LA Times article, all references to "illegal" immigrant were replaced with the politically correct "undocumented" immigrant. Also missing from the article were many of the very poignant statements by the plaintiffs, such as:
  • "U.S. citizens should have at least the same rights as undocumented immigrants," said one of the plaintiffs, Aaron Dallek, an Illinois native who graduated from UC Berkeley in 2006.
  • Another plaintiff, 2006 UC Davis graduate Onson Luong, said he didn't think it was fair that he, as a native of Nevada, had to pay higher tuition than illegal immigrants.
  • Michael Brady, who represents the out-of-state students and their parents in the case, said California is "completely undermining the intent of Congress" and that the state law should be invalidated because it violates federal immigration law. . .

As the Utah Attorney General’s office opined in a 2002 letter to the University of Utah: "This Utah statute provides, by its own terms, that it is only operational ""[i]f allowed under federal law"". Federal law places limitations on a state allowing higher educational benefits to aliens who are not lawfully present in the United States unless the same benefits would be available to any other individuals in the United States regardless of whether they are residents of Utah." . . .

Utah passed Instate Tuition predicated on the passage of the proposed so-called Dream Act, which would have allowed States the option to offer reduced tuition to illegal aliens. Click here to listen to the actual floor debates in 2002.

When posted in the Utah Office of Education regulations (R513-13) the phrase "If allowed under Federal law," was omitted. The Dream Act has never been passed.

The Utah AG letter went on to say: "We have not found applicable judicial opinions interpreting 8 U.S.C. Section 1623, so there is always the possibility that a different or more strict interpretation might be applied by the courts, but on its face, at this preliminary juncture, we are of the opinion that it does not override Utah’’s tuition statute."

A California Appeals Court (Martinez v. Regents of U.C. 9/15/08 CA3) has now issued an opinion: "As we shall explain, the three-year attendance requirement at a California high school is a surrogate residence requirement. The vast majority of students who attend a California high school for three years are residents of the state of California. Section 68130.5 thwarts the will of Congress manifest in title 8 U.S.C. section 1623."

That appellate court decreed that all US Citizens paying non resident tuition would be eligible for reimbursement for the excess payment above the resident rate. The potential to the taxpayers of Utah for such a decision in voiding the Utah instate tuition could easily be in the $10's, or even $100's, of millions.

Additionally, upon graduation, the undocumented immigrant graduate can still not LEGALLY obtain employment in the United States.

In addition to being in violation of the federal law on tuition, allowing that reduction also appears to violate federal law declaring it illegal to aid, abet or "encourage or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing . . . that such . . . residence is or will be in violation of law;" US Code Title 8, sec 1324 .

Instate Tuition for illegal immigrants should be repealed by the Utah legislature - this year - to comply with federal law, avoid huge potential costs and be fair to US citizens, regardless of what the California Supreme Court decides.

Monday, January 05, 2009

2009 Legislative Session in January

The upcoming session of the Utah legislature should remind everyone of the continuing need for legislation stemming illegal immigration in the state (SB 81 was a good start). At a minimum, two issues need to be rectified - Instate Tuition and Driver Privilege Cards.

Hopefully, legislators (and voters) will remember last year's Press Release on the subject:

For questions contact Rep. Carl Wimmer 801-608-4763
Key Utah Legislators oppose The Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2007

As Legislators in the Utah House of Representatives we stand together to call upon our Senate and Congressional delegation to oppose the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act which the senate will be hearing this week.

This so-called "Immigration Reform" highlights the failure of our federal government, to protect our sovereign rights as a country. Instead of enforcing the current laws passed by Congress and signed in 1996, the current Congress seems determined to vote on new laws that will most likely not be enforced. It is truly government at its worst.

Unfortunately Congress is too often willing to accept poor law simply because there are a few quality compromises within it. In this comprehensive and lengthy bill, Title’s I, II and III are outstanding pieces of legislation and completely worthy of support. These titles deal with the realities of the situation at hand and would increase the enforcement of our current laws. They would clearly create greater security for our country but unfortunately the bills up side end in Title III.

With the sole exceptions of the above three titles, the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act is nothing more than an all out blanket amnesty bill. The law is aimed at giving a complete, quick and lawful status to those who have broken our country’s law’s, does the rule of law mean nothing anymore?

We reject such amnesty, as a reward for those who have lied, cheated and broken the rules to get into our country. Such a plan gives preference to those who have violated the law over those who have followed the law and patiently await legal entrance into the United States. The message we are sending is that if you break the law you will be rewarded.

As Utah legislators, we must continually deal with the complete and utter failure of the federal government to secure our borders and enforce our current laws. It is incomprehensible that Congress would propose another amnesty plan after the dismal failure of the 1986 amnesty that has helped lead us to this point.

A recent estimation in regards to the cost of amnesty and earned citizenship for just 7.9 million amnesty recipients would be $2.4 trillion, a cost that must be born by the American taxpayer. It is unconscionable that any legislator could vote for a measure of this magnitude without knowing and debating all the costs involved.

The Border Security and Immigration Reform Act has a few quality ideas which may help alleviate the current immigration problem, unfortunately most of the bill is corrupted with ideas such as amnesty and rewarding those who blatantly broke our laws. If this bill passes, we will never again be able to say to our children and grand-children that cheaters never win. It is our belief that no responsible elected official would consider voting for this fraud which is being offered as "comprehensive reform" in the U.S Senate.

Rep. Carl Wimmer
Rep. Greg Hughes
Rep. Ken Sumsion
Rep. Keith Grover
Rep. Curtis Oda
Rep. Glenn Donnelson
Rep. Chris Herrod
Rep. Steve Sandstrom
Rep. Mike Morley
Rep. Brad Daw
Rep. Aaron Tilton