Ending In-State Tuition for the Undocumented–H.B. 191

Representative Carl Wimmer introduced H.B. 191 to a house committee this past Friday. H.B. 191 seeks to end in-state tuition for undocumented students. This bill will have little real effect on immigration issue and it marginalizes a group of innocent people.

Rep. Wimmer initially ran for his seat based on improving children’s educational opportunities. I would like to thank Representative Wimmer for his strong position on education as education is an important component in the stability and progression of the world economy and our home country. I believe like Representative Wimmer that children’s educational opportunities are important for all human kind not just “our own kind”

HB 191 seeks to make it difficult for qualified undocumented children to receive a higher education, due to the economic challenges HB 191 will present if in-state tuition for undocumented students is repealed. When I asked a young man at East High in the AP Art Program what his college plans were, he responded “I don’t really have plans [to go to college] because my 4.0 isn’t going to do me any good.” Before that response I had no idea the challenge this young man was facing through no fault of his own.

The hardworking student is not the problem. The federal government is the problem. I ask all of you don’t be complicit on that problem.

Our government due to its egregious lack of action since 1986 to implement sound immigration policy, is what has created the situation we are in today. HB 191 seeks to not only punish the wrong faction of our society, but also seeks to limit their opportunities and thereby create an under-educated and idle population.

Utah’s legislative body should not indirectly punish the children of the parents who brought them here illegally. Many of the undocumented students who graduate from US high schools have been living in the country for five years or more and have already strengthened their lives through our great public school system. By providing a path to affordable education, students can train for careers, find jobs and become taxpaying citizens.

In 2002 the Utah Legislature had passed legislation that allowed undocumented students to qualify for instate tuition as long as they attended 3 years of high school and planned on becoming legal citizens. Which was a great piece of legislation brought for from forward thinking lawmakers.

According to a recent report by the American Association for State Colleges and Universities, a “large portion of undocumented alien students are likely to remain in the United States, whether or not they have access to postsecondary education. Accordingly, it would seem to be in states’ economic and fiscal interests to promote at least a basic level of education beyond high school to alien students, to increase their contribution to economic growth while reducing the prospect of dependence on public/community assistance” (AASCU 2005). Students with a degree are more productive, less likely to need government assistance, and help to maintain a strong state economy (National Immigration Law Center 2005a).

According to Utah Commissioner of Higher Education, William Sederburg, “Even though this [in-state tuition] program affects only a few hundred [590] students throughout the state, we’re supportive of anything that helps students get a higher education who wouldn’t otherwise have that opportunity.”

Education has a crucial role in the cultivation of our society and in sustaining our political and cultural heritage. America is the mother of freedom and democracy and has instilled those values within every child educated by our system. The few hundred students that will be affected by this legislation salute the American flag and most have pledged to that same flag their entire life and believe in the values that motivated their parents to break the law and bring them here. It would be simply cruel to make it more difficult to obtain an education in the country they love. The deprivation of education takes an inestimable toll on the social, economic, intellectual, and psychological well-being of individuals and poses an obstacle to individual achievement. So I urge all of you to contact your elected officials and ask them to vote NO in advancing this specific legislation.

I would like to and with this quote from one of our founding father, “An education is the investment with the greatest returns.” –Benjamin Franklin

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  1. #1 by Larry Bergan on February 20, 2011 - 1:16 pm

    I believe that all of the people who are here or were forced to be here out of necessity should be provided for; to the best of our ability.

    Nobody crossed the border out of greed or to get health care or to burglarize us. That notion is insanity.

    Sadly, America can no longer provide for the needs of ANY of the hard working people who live here. We have been duped for decades.

    It’s not rocket science!

  2. #2 by Richard Warnick on February 20, 2011 - 2:13 pm

    These students are here, in our schools already. For many if not most, the USA has been their home as long as they can remember. They are Americans, they just don’t have the paperwork to prove it.

  3. #3 by Larry Bergan on February 20, 2011 - 4:58 pm

    Of course they are Americans!

    They came here and worked hard for years like the rest of us!

    We are all North/South Americans!

    Brave, proud, and free…

    They tell us!

  4. #4 by brewski on February 20, 2011 - 10:14 pm

    Wow, really? That is so cool. I guess I am just going to show up to Switzerland and say I am now Swiss and I want all of the rights and privileges thereon. I am really looking forward to my new Swiss health care and education and clean heroin needles. I can’t wait. I didn’t realize it was so easy.

  5. #5 by cav on February 20, 2011 - 10:47 pm

    No brew, just go to Madison and pretend to be a union man.

  6. #6 by brewski on February 20, 2011 - 11:13 pm

    I can’t pretend to be a union man. I’m not fat and I don’t take about dese and dose.

    • #7 by Glenden Brown on February 21, 2011 - 7:37 am

      No, no, brewski, you go ahead and insult millions of Americans. Of coure you’re also the person who wrote a comment in which you claimed Bill Clinton was president in March of 2010 so it’s kind of hard to take seriously any claims you might make.

  7. #9 by Uncle Rico on February 21, 2011 - 7:15 am

    Addressing an issue like undocumented students from a purely idealogical standpoint is relatively clean and easy. Dealing practically with that same issue, however, is a messy affair. So before you run off to Switzerland for your bag of goodies brew, tell me how we should solve the undocumented student issue from a practical standpoint.

  8. #10 by brewski on February 21, 2011 - 8:10 am

    March 2000 crash. If I typed 2010 then I admit mistyping. Hope that makes you feel better.

    So Melodia, I assume that you agree then that Mexico’s immigration laws are immoral since they make it illegal for someone from say Guatemala to just show up and demand all the same rights and benefits of a Mexican citizen. I mean, those Mexican laws are purely racist, don’t you think?

    I remember when I was a college freshman. It was so fun.

    • #11 by Glenden Brown on February 21, 2011 - 9:23 am

      Given that you insulted millions of Americans, I’m not sure what you think you’re adding to the conversation here brewski. I’m surprised given your previous passionate defense of toothless, cousin raping hillbillies that you’d make fun of anyone. You hypocrisy is stinking up the joint. And I guess it’s you’re way of compensating – we all know you’re sensitive about the fact that you’re a racist, so maybe you are trying to draw attention away from that.

  9. #12 by Uncle Rico on February 21, 2011 - 8:30 am

    So Melodia, I assume that you agree then that Mexico’s immigration laws are immoral since they make it illegal for someone from say Guatemala to just show up and demand all the same rights and benefits of a Mexican citizen.

    That is part of what makes Mexico, Mexico and not the United States. Ditto Switzerland.

    BTW, I thought looking to the laws of other nations was anathema to the conservative mind. What up?

  10. #13 by cav on February 21, 2011 - 9:08 am

    The federal government may be part of the problem, but it is not the whole of it.


  11. #14 by Melodia on February 21, 2011 - 11:38 am

    brewski :
    March 2000 crash. If I typed 2010 then I admit mistyping. Hope that makes you feel better.
    So Melodia, I assume that you agree then that Mexico’s immigration laws are immoral since they make it illegal for someone from say Guatemala to just show up and demand all the same rights and benefits of a Mexican citizen. I mean, those Mexican laws are purely racist, don’t you think?
    I remember when I was a college freshman. It was so fun.

    How does this statement apply to the written piece or even my response to your earlier comment in which I’m encouraging you to move to Switzerland…or anywhere else really…. ???

    If you remembered your education perhaps you would have more appropriate social cues and conversational skills.

  12. #15 by brewski on February 21, 2011 - 3:58 pm

    It applies to your post where you say that everyone has the right to move to any country they want and demand the full equal rights as citizens of that new country. Every Guatemalan has the right to move to Mexico and demand Mexican citizenship. Everyone has the right to move to Switzerland and demand Swiss citizenship. That is how it applies.

  13. #16 by Ken on February 22, 2011 - 2:45 pm

    Tell me how a legislator refusing to do their duty as to block a vote from occurring not an act of treason? At best it is a violation of their oaths of office. If the vote doesn’t go their way their are other avenues to legally fight the law. Lawlessness is not the answer to laws that you oppose.

  14. #17 by cav on February 22, 2011 - 3:04 pm


  15. #18 by Richard Warnick on February 22, 2011 - 3:18 pm


    This has been done many times in many places. I remember when I lived in Texas in the late 1970s legislators did the same thing to deprive the Republicans of a quorum. Not all of them left the state, though — some hid out in Austin while the famed Texas Rangers tried to find them!

    I see it as the equivalent of Republicans abusing the filibuster in the U.S. Senate to effectively veto progressive legislation. Under the filibuster rules, not only can the minority prevent legislation from coming to a vote but they can refuse to allow it to even be debated!

  16. #19 by Uncle Rico on February 22, 2011 - 3:22 pm

    Tell me how a legislator refusing to do their duty as to block a vote from occurring not an act of treason.

    Article III, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution. Try reading it sometime.

    “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

    The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.”

    18 USC section 2381:

    “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”

  17. #20 by Larry Bergan on February 23, 2011 - 4:08 pm

    Besides that, republicans ARE enemies of America. Some of them don’t even plan to stay in the country after they’ve destroyed it. Tell me Karl Rove isn’t going to disappear before he is asked to testify under oath.

  18. #21 by G washington on March 8, 2011 - 11:42 pm

    mexico IS NOT the 51 state in the union and those kids have NO right to be here their parents broke the law and rewarding the children for their parents criminal act is WRONG i don’t care if they have lived here 18 years or have a 4.0 grade point average. THEY DO NOT BELONG HERE. go back to mexico or guatemala or where ever but get out.

  19. #22 by Uncle Rico on March 9, 2011 - 7:10 am

    “The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations And Religions; whom we shall wellcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.” -George Washington, Address to the Members of the Volunteer Association and the Other Inhabitants of the Kingdom of Ireland Who Have Lately Arrived in the City of New York, December 2, 1783

    You are a disgrace to your screen name.

  20. #23 by brewski on March 9, 2011 - 11:51 am

    if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment

    The word “if”, means contingent upon.

    So “if” they come to this country illegally, then they have not demonstrated the “decency and propriety of conduct …. to merit the enjoyment”.

  21. #24 by Uncle Rico on March 9, 2011 - 2:25 pm

    And that is really the nub of it, isn’t it. The conservative litmus test for determining “decency and propriety” so as to warrant enjoyment of the rights and privileges of this country is solely the mechanism by which that person first enters the country. A kid who is dragged across the border at 3, who has learned the language and culture, has integrated into society, who has excelled academically and and is motivated to become further educated, who works and/or is otherwise productive, and who is willing to do his/her fair share is plain shit out of luck. On the other hand, the low acheiving, uneducated, drug taking, baby-making, non-English speaking, unemployed video game playing loser who, by sheer dumb luck, arrived legally in this country at the age of 3 automatically demonstrates the “decency and propriety of conduct…to merit the enjoyment” of the rights and privileges of this country.

    I must say I do envy the conservative way of looking at the world. It’s rather beautiful in its absolute simplicity. Yeah, it contributes to inequities and irrationality, but it is consistently consistent and you never have any of that messy nuance stuff to confront.

  22. #25 by brewski on March 9, 2011 - 3:11 pm

    The problem with laws are that they have to apply to everyone. It would be pretty hard to come up with a system which applied some laws to people we like and not to people we don’t like. I have a hard time picturing ICE applying different rules on a case by case basis evaluating the moral decency of each of the bazillion illegal aliens in this country and coming up with a value judgement of which laws will apply to some people and which laws we will let them break since we like them. It just doesn’t work that way. So you can get off your high horse about how stupid conservatives are and how we are hung up on these silly law things.

    The child of a legal immigrant

  23. #26 by Uncle Rico on March 9, 2011 - 3:52 pm

    Well brew, I’ll let the “high horse” comment slide given the way you address other posters at 1U (see e.g., “Why the Obsession with Gold” thread). I know how much you despise hypocrisy. And as an initial matter, I didn’t say Conservatives were stupid. I said they view the world in very simplistic terms (i.e., black-white, moral-immoral, you’re either with us or against us, you either crossed the border legally or illegally) [see #21 above]. There’s a difference.

    In terms of the substance of your post, I wasn’t addressing (and quite frankly, neither were you or G Washington) immigration enforcement. Instead, my comment was directed at the articulated statement of policy that mandates that the only crieteria worthy of consideration in the immigration debate is whether intentionally or through no fault of their own, someone initially enters this country illegally or legally. Whether you like it or not, that is an extremely narrow and unrealistic approach to the problem which doesn’t account for other factors that should, from an objective standpoint, mitigate, and in some instance even override, the illegal entry issue.

    Once the dust settles on the policy, the practicality of implementing that policy can be addressed. It is not an insurmountable task. We do it all the time.

  24. #27 by brewski on March 9, 2011 - 4:11 pm

    I find it hard to justify proposals which would mean that a person born and raised in Wyoming would pay out of state fees to the U, a person born and raised in Mexico and attends the U legally would pay international student fees, but the one and only one person who broke the law would get the discounted in-state fees.

    What kind of a system of incentives is that?

    That would make it pay for the legal student from Mexico who is here on a legal student visa to go back to Mexico and re-enter the US illegally and then demand the he/she should get the in-state fees. Then the student from Wyoming could renounce his/her US citizenship, leave the US, re-enter illegally, and now qualify for the discount. Outlandish? You bet, but these are the incentives that are being seriously proposed including by people on this site. And these same people sneer at anyone who disagrees with them as being stupid, uneducated and racist. And you wonder why civil discourse is a little tough these days?

    Then people say, “oh, no one would really make that sort of effort to take advantage of our immigration laws. They just come here for work. They’re all good people. You’re just being paranoid”

    From that well known right wing source, NPR:

  25. #28 by Uncle Rico on March 9, 2011 - 4:40 pm

    the one and only one person who broke the law would get the discounted in-state fees

    Do you really equate someone who was brought here by their parents as a child with an emancipated college student who knowingly and deliberately enters this country illegally?

    Do you really think that someone who was dragged across the southern border as a child needs to be punished for “breaking the law?”

    Is breaking the law the issue, or is it breaking the immigration laws that gets your blood up? Stated another way, are all law breakers created equal or are some lawbreakers better than others? Because if its lawbreakers getting tuition breaks that you’re worried about, perhaps we ought to deny tuition break to all student who have broken the law. Otherwise, the lawbreakers (i.e., pot smokers, underage drinkers, sex havers, etc.) will be put on par with and receive the same benefits that the non-lawbreakers recieve. What kind of system of incentives is that?

  26. #29 by brewski on March 9, 2011 - 4:45 pm

    By all means. Let’s put up billboards in Mexico and tell all the parents that we promise to give their children and all future children a far better deal that we do to the citizens of Wyoming and to all Mexicans who apply for legal student visas. But the only way their innocent children and future children can get this deal is if the parents promise to breal the law. If they follow the law, then no dice. Makes tons of sense.

  27. #30 by Uncle Rico on March 9, 2011 - 4:52 pm

    We can and should differentiate between dealing with the extant problems we have now in a realistic and productive manner and policies that create the environment for recurrence of those exact same problems in the future. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an either-or proposition. Your comment suggests otherwise.

  28. #31 by brewski on March 9, 2011 - 5:07 pm

    I have yet to hear any proposal which pretends to fix any extant problem today which will not ignore or make worse the same problems tomorrow.

  29. #32 by cav on March 9, 2011 - 8:23 pm

    Cut taxes, start wars, and don’t prosecute white collar crime.

    It’s a set up. I see that now.

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