illegal immigrants

Judicial Watch Inc. has filed a lawsuit against the University of California Board of Regents seeking to put an end to “in-state tuition and financial aid to undocumented students.”

The Daily Bruin reports:

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Earl De Vries who was a former Republican candidate in the California State Senate, claims that federal law prevents undocumented immigrants from receiving state or local benefits such as in-state tuition for the UC, according to a press release Thursday.

Under the U.S. code Title VIII. 1621, undocumented immigrants are ineligible for state benefits unless the state has enacted a law that provides eligibility for those benefits. The lawsuit alleges that California has not enacted such a law for the UC.

About 900 students at the UC are identified as undocumented as of 2013. The lawsuit estimates that about $30 million is given to undocumented students every year.

The suit appears to face an uphill battle as Assembly Bill 540, which was passed in 2001, “grants in-state tuition for undocumented students and applies to the California State University and California Community Colleges systems.”

AB 540 was previously challenged in 2006, and was upheld by the California Supreme Court in 2010. The current challenge claims that “that those voluntary (UC) adoptions of state laws do not equal to actual state laws that make undocumented students eligible for in-state tuition.”

Read the full article here.

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The Department of Education has sent a “fact sheet” to schools throughout the country which “highlights the children’s right to attend public school.”

The influx of illegal immigrant children has led some state officials to ponder the additional costs their schools will face. The Hill reports:

“There are many consequences of the federal government’s failure to secure the border and the fiscal impact of educating unaccompanied alien children is certainly one of them,” said Travis Considine, a spokesman for Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R).

Michael Zola, head of federal advocacy for the school board association, said many questions remain about the placement of the children and how long they will stay.

“A lot of folks at the local level want to know with a better sense of granularity what those actual numbers are for planning purposes,” he said.

The civil rights divisions of the departments of Justice and Education sent a letter in May warning districts to avoid enrollment practices that could “chill or discourage” children from signing up for school due to their perceived immigration status.

“These practices contravene Federal law,” the May 8 letter stated.

The letter pointed out that having children provide Social Security numbers or race and ethnicity data when enrolling must be only voluntary. It also said the age of the children could be proven using foreign records.

Read the full story here.

h/t to Instapundit.

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IMAGE: Donkey Hotey/Flickr

Citing “Gospel values of peace, love, reconciliation and justice,” a Catholic college president has offered to house and school the recent influx of illegal immigrants. 

“As a Catholic institution … we are proud to be the first higher educational institution in the nation to publicly commit to supporting young refugees from Central America,” Dr. David Fike, president of Detroit’s Marygrove College, stated at a recent news conference.

Fike said Marygrove will commit college resources to provide education, food, shelter and other assistance to the refugees, MLive reports.

Pike also called on President Obama to show “moral leadership.”

“He said the Catholic college is prepared to offer scholarships to ‘college-ready students’ as well as provide food and shelter for other children if the Obama administration agrees to recognize the thousands of children crossing the U.S. border from Central America as refugees,” Campus Reform reports.

Fike urged other college leaders to follow his lead, reports the Detroit News, noting education leaders should band together and combat widely publicized opposition against the immigrants.

“Our Christian values mean we cannot and will not be complicit,” Fike said.

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I recall a very striking – and very telling – incident from my time as a student senator for Loyola University Chicago.

It’s a tale that exposes the hypocrisy that plagues many Catholic institutions, and the troubling trend in which Catholic universities are all too often Catholic in name only.

Last spring, our Unified Student Government Association passed a resolution titled “The Undocumented Student Act” that called for administrators to “support the presence and integration of” and provide financial aid and scholarships to students in the country illegally.

The university already had a policy of accepting and enrolling students in the country illegally, but this was meant to underscore it.

“The university administration should create a formal admissions process for undocumented students, complete with legal counseling, psychological support, and career advising,” the resolution stated. “Most, if not all, undocumented students live in constant fear of deportation, denying them the opportunity to develop their talents through co-curricular participation.”

It cited the Jesuit tenet Cura Personalis, which calls for the care of the entire human being, to make its case. During the debate on the resolution the banner of social justice was unfurled and waved proudly around. The bill passed 23 to 3, with 4 abstentions.

Inspired by this vote, I decided to tackle this issue of social justice on campus as well. As a senator at my Jesuit university, I too was in a position to write, propose, and vote on legislation.

I collaborated with my fellow senators, made compromises, and wrote a bill that secured the endorsements of two important subcommittees.

The following week I proposed the bill, titled “The Social Justice Clarification Amendment: To Provide a Definition of Social Justice for the Purposes of the Unified Student Government Association.”

It attempted to define what social justice was, exactly, for the purposes of the student government and the identity of our Catholic institution. It asked that The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, as well as any relevant document issued by the Jesuits, be used as a guiding document for future resolutions regarding social justice.

Ultimately the bill defined the term as “providing the conditions that allow associations or individuals to obtain what is their due, according to their nature and their vocation. Social justice is linked to the common good and the exercise of authority.”

Many senators scoffed at my legislation during the debate.

“By presenting a church doctrine in our legislation, I think this is sending the wrong message to our student body,” one student senator had said.

“We need to remember that there are (students) on this campus whose values do not align with the Catholic social teachings,” chimed another.

In the end, it failed. The final vote was 19 to 9, with 2 abstentions.

Their objections about the Catholic identity of the bill were telling coming from students leaders at a Catholic university – especially when they claimed the term for themselves just two weeks prior. But failure is nonetheless bound to happen when Leftism and political correctness trump the historical underpinnings and spiritual authority of institutions like Loyola, the Jesuits, and the Catholic Church.

I brought this bill forward because if a word or term has no definition – if it is a phrase that, as some students suggested “everyone knows when they hear”- it can be crafted or manipulated to meet whatever end people want. And that is dangerous indeed.

College Fix contributor Dominic Lynch is a student at Loyola University Chicago.

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IMAGE: Jes/Flickr

Some students in the country illegally have complained that the millions of dollars the University of California system recently pledged to help them earn a college degree will come by way of student loans instead of grants.

As UC officials discuss specifics on how the $5 million UC President Janet Napolitano recently budgeted to support undocumented students will be allocated – much of which will go to student loan programs, it’s been decided – some student activists have bemoaned that it’s not fair to strap stressed out, disadvantaged students in the country illegally with college debt.

“We think that the 5 million dollars will have an impact if the money goes directly into the pockets of undocumented students,” By Any Means Necessary campus activist group leader David Douglass told The Daily Californian in an email.

The Californian goes on to report:

Sophomore Ivan Villasenor Madriz, an undocumented student, spoke with representatives from the UC Office of the President and other undocumented student representatives across the UC campuses in a conference call the evening of Dec. 18.

Madriz said the students raised concerns about the use of the funds for loans rather than other types of aid such as grants and work-study. He said loans should not be considered “aid” because they are only increasing student debt and putting more pressure on students.

“The loans that are given out are making one hole to fill another,” he said. “It defeats the purpose of so-called ‘financial aid.’ ”

IMAGE: Chris Gold/Flickr

Reuters reports that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has said he will sign a bill offering in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. who have attended at least three years of high school in the state.

“The most important thing is for these young men and women of our state, who we have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in their K-12 education, we’re now going to give them an opportunity in an affordable way to be able to continue their education,” Christie said.

The Democrat-controlled state legislature has already voted to approve the new law and it awaits the Republican governor’s signature. Christie vetoed a previous version of the bill that would have also allowed some illegal immigrants to qualify for government-funded financial aid.

“This will be once again an example of New Jersey showing how you can come to bipartisan agreement.”

Read more.