Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dream Act part two

1) video from PBS
2) NYTimes

And, BREAKING NEWS:

Bill: financial aid to illegal immigrant students
The Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. Illegal immigrant students could get state financial aid for college under a bill being considered by Washington state lawmakers.

State Rep. Dave Quall, a Democrat from Mount Vernon who sponsored the bill, says many of these students are moved to the United States by their parents at an early age, are groomed in the American education system, and it wouldn't be right to deny aid to qualified illegal immigrant students.

The measure would expand current law to allow illegal immigrant students to be eligible for a state need grant program, which provided around $182 million in financial aid for 72,000 students in 2008.

The House Higher Education Committee has scheduled a Wednesday afternoon hearing on the bill.

The illegal immigrant financial aid bill is House Bill 1706.

10 comments:

John Y. said...

I don't know how anybody else feels but the idea of giving illegal immigrants money for school when my wife and I as citizens struggle to pay for classes, makes me seriously sick to my stomach. I say citizens get priority...if there is any money left, give it to the illegal immigrants, after my wife and I have graduated. Sorry it sounds selfish...but I take my future very seriously. For both sides of the argument I understand....If you want it you have to fight for it but I just feel as a citizen my government should back me up first. Compassion is one thing but paying for college is another.

Brianna said...

ok, if you were 2 yrs old and your parents decided to come here to america illegally, probably part of their decision was because they wanted you to have a better future. so you're here and you're a good student and you wanna go to college...but you're poor. so if you were a legal citizen, if you're poor, you try for fin. aid and scholarships and all that. so what's to say that just because someone is illegal, they aren't as important as the legal student next door?
i understand that they aren't legal, but i think that sometimes being a legal citizen is overrated. so what if they are here trying to make a future for themselves which would in turn help our country's future, therefore YOUR future...

John Y. said...

Sure I'll buy that it isn't some ones fault if they come over here at two years old and are illegal when they get here. But what is stopping them from becoming legal before they go off to college? If their parents made a decision fine. But to say that they are going to college with money that could have allowed me to go to college and than say it's for the good of my future is ridiculous. How's that directly helping me and my family? Why is it suddenly my fault that I was born in this country? Our government can't even take care of it's citizens needs let alone people that aren't supposed to be here. Not because they are not worthy of being here but because they or their parents made a decision to not respect the laws of this country. In addition, there isn't going to be anymore money added to fund these extra individuals. So in my opinion, there has to be some kind of priorities that take place. The financial system we are talking about was not meant to handle citizens and illegal immigrants both. If illegal immigrants want to go to college here, fine than set up a separate program just for them that does not involve taking food from my grandchildren's mouths by denying me an education in my own country.

Abby said...

John Y-

They don't just give money to illegal immigrants, like hey, everyone who's illegal just show up at such and such tomorrow and we'll just hand you five thousand dollars! It's not like that. It just means they have the right to apply- and they'll have the same chance of getting denied that you do. Come on. Listen to the language you're using.

Also: many children who are illegal don't find out that they are illegal until they're a bit older, like a teenager. Do you know what it takes to become legal? As far as I have understood it, it involves going back to your country of birth and applying there, which means getting put on a waiting list and waiting potentially years for any kind of visa to clear. Or you apply here and they ship you back while you are waiting, which also results in years of waiting. A teenager who doesn't have any connections to Mexico and has not been there since they were a toddler does not have any way to go live back in Mexico for a year or five until they get a visa. That would defeat them graduating high school where they were raised in America anyway.

They aren't taking money from you and your wife. It just means that they could fill out a FAFSA and be considered for financial aide, just like everyone else who lives here.

They didn't make the choice to break the law, and they shouldn't be punished or looked down on for being here. They can contribute to our society just as much as you or I. They just have a birth certificate that happens to say "Tijuana" instead of "Yakima". They grew up here, too. They have all of their memories, all of their history, here too. And they don't want your money, they just want a chance.

John Y. said...

Abby,

I don't know what I would do if I were a child who is illegal but didn't find out until I was older. It's a crappy situation, especially if I wanted to go to college but couldn't apply for financial aid. Also I'm in agreement, certainly the immigration system sucks in this country. Number one cost of applications and fees are expensive and number two the process is bogged down and very slow. I have a friend who is from India, he followed the laws and every year he pays I don't even know how much money (it's a lot),in order to work for minimum wage (he works 12 hour shifts by the way). He's married to a U.S. citizen and it's been six years! He's still waiting for his application to go through. Something needs to be done about that. However, he managed to follow the laws that are in place for a reason. To me that is the difference. As far the immigration scenario,I would be happy that I was in this country with all of the opportunities but I would be pissed at my parents for breaking the law and I would recognize why those laws are in place .It is to protect the people that are already here. Like a legal citizen who will suddenly have to compete application to application for like you said a "chance" but with the same amount of money that is in place now. So in a sense it would be allowing an undocumented individual to get money for school that could have gone to a U.S. citizen. I don't like that idea and I don't think it's fair. Your not only helping the individual that has been here their whole life since they were two years old. You are also helping those individuals that broke the law and were only here a month. If I were to agree with any part of this they would have to make a distinction between which undocumented individuals could qualify.

publius said...

This is such a difficult situation. Both sides have very valid points and I hope that law makers think long and hard about this issue before coming to a decision. Personally, I would like to see financial aid become available to illegal immigrants, only if they are on track to becoming citizens. (And obviously we would need to make this a smoother process then the cluster it is now.) How’s that for a middle ground guys?
-Matthew

John Y. said...

It works for me. It's a tough issue and I'm glad I'm not the one making the decision. It's pretty hard to see both sides of the arguement and still stick to a humane solution that is fair for all sides.

scott said...

It is really hard to touch a topic like this I deffinatley feel like everbody should be given a chance. you shouldnt be penalized because of where you are born, but you also shouldnt be rewarded for breaking the law.

JLynn said...

I don't really think that illegals should get financial aid because it doesn't really seem fair for people that are here legally. But I understand it's not always their fault that they are here illegally.. I don't know.. It's confusing.

Juan CF said...

The dream act is a very interesting topic which i've decided to actaully wirte about. however, im the only one in class who is writting about the dream act.