illegal immigrants

There are a lot of problems at Cal State University Long Beach. Parking is a nightmare. Many classes are overcrowded. Resources are spread thin as talk of hiking tuition rates looms.

Yet in the midst of these cash-strapped times, the campus recently launched a “Dream Success Center,” which aims to help undocumented students get a higher education with the help of taxpayer dollars.

One College Republican student leader at the school is taking a stand against that decision.

Cal State University Long Beach College Republican Chairman Nestor Moto, Jr., recently voiced objections to the new center. He says the public money used to fund the initiative should instead go to causes that help the campus as a whole, such as shrinking overcrowded classes or offering more counselors for all students.

While he lobbies to get the center closed, some have ridiculed Moto and pledged to fight back. Others have accused the young Republican student of being misguided in his efforts.

The Dream Success Center, which opened March 9 at the public university, gives undocumented students access to a vast amount of resources, ranging from academic advising to help with securing student loans and financial assistance referrals. ItsDSC mission is “to empower scholars who are undocumented in their pursuit of higher education and foster a supportive campus community dedicated to their educational and personal success.”

The cost to run the center, which is staffed with a full-time coordinator to help the school’s 650 undocumented students, is nearly $80,000 a year, The Daily 49er campus newspaper reports. The renovation to prepare the space also cost about $16,000, The 49er reported.

Moto told The College Fix in an email interview that money has been misspent.

“We have 10 advising centers and that is who the money should have been allocated to,” Moto said. “I emailed the university’s president and she stated that the advisors are able to assist all students. However, this center was specifically built for these individuals, while everyone else is stuck with the resources available to them.”

When Moto initially spoke out on the center, he voiced concern that the school did not have counselors for veterans, telling Fox and Friends: “We have 530 veterans on our campus and we have zero counselors available to them. The undocumented immigrants, they have one counselor available to them.”

“That’s the main issue, the fact that the faculty and this administration wanted to allocate the resources and the funds to illegal immigrants instead of our veterans, instead of our disabled students, instead of our actual students that paid taxpayer dollars for this.”

The school does in fact have a veteran’s resource center staffed with four workers to help the school’s 530 veterans, The Daily 49er campus newspaper reports. Moto stresses, however, that the money should be allocated to campuswide initiatives, not undocumented students.

But that position is not universally popular on campus. On a CSULB Facebook group, one peer called Moto’s comments “disgraceful,” adding “Mr. Moto should remove himself from this group for his dishonest attack on CSULB as it dishonors the discipline of political science … lying about the legal status of fellow student’s citizenship to falsely attack our university in order to build up his own notoriety shows a severe lack of integrity on Mr. Moto’s part.”

Another suggested Moto is just “spreading his agenda.” A third student put it more bluntly: “F*ck his racist, Republican, white supremacist ideology guiding his vision.” The same student also went on to argue that “migrant peoples pay taxes everyday through purchases, rent, etc.”

A comment on The 49er’s Facebook page by another CSULB student agreed that Moto’s efforts are misplaced.

“The least we can do for our fellow community members here at CSULB is to provide a resource that makes their lives just a tad bit less complicated until this country wakes up and realizes that its undocumented population is deeply ingrained into American society rather than try to wish them away,” the student posted.

It’s an argument that has resonated at other campuses as well. CSU Fullerton, CSU Los Angeles, and CSU Northridge reportedly have similar “dream centers.”

The California Dream Act, or AB 540, allows undocumented students to have in-state college tuition as well as benefit from resources such as this Dream Success Center. The act’s in-state college tuition affects public schools in the California State University system and the University of California system.

There are roughly 6,400 undocumented students at Cal State University’s 23 campuses, reports the Press Telegram.

“Many undocumented students have been brought to this country as children, and in many cases, are not aware that they are in the U.S. without a valid immigration status. These students have struggled historically to enroll in colleges and universities across the country. Since 2001, in California undocumented students who meet certain eligibility requirements have been able to enroll in public in-state tuition. In 2011, the California Dream Act was enacted into law permitting eligible undocumented students to benefit from state financial aid,” says the CSULB center’s website.

College Fix reporter Austin Yack is a student at UC Santa Barbara.

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IMAGES: Internet screenshots

Last week, UCLA hosted a workshop titled “Undocumented and Acting Up: Queering Sovereignty in the Immigrant Rights Movement” led by New York University’s Cristina Beltrán.

In it, Beltrán utilized “insights of queer theory to analyze the political practices of undocumented activists, particularly those who identify now or in the past as DREAM activists.”

In other words, illegal immigrants should reject the “politics of shame and stigma” and … come out.

More, from UCLA’s Department of Political Science:

While the practice of coming out has prompted various scholars to note the connections between immigration and LGBT politics, I argue that what is most powerfully queer about undocumented youth activism has to do with its dual critiques of sovereignty, state action, and preventable death. Turning to writings on AIDS by Gil Cuadros and Douglas Crimp, I explore the resonances between ACT UP’s critique of unnecessary fatalities due to government inaction and indifference to the AIDS crisis and the mass deaths occurring along the U.S.-Mexico border. At times characterized as less than human, both “homosexuals with HIV/AIDS” and “illegals” are populations whose death and suffering are disregarded since the communities in question “brought this on themselves.”

In the abstract of her full paper, Beltrán goes on to say that “Both AIDS activists and the movement for undocumented rights have an ambivalent relationship to the state that seeks to expose government failure while trying to enlist the state’s resources.”

Which appears to translate to “the government is to blame for our problems, so give us money.”

Some of Professor Beltrán’s areas of research and interest should not be surprising: feminist theory, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality.

According to her personal webpage, Beltrán has been a frequent guest on MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry Show.”

Read the full workshop abstract. (Includes a link to Beltrán’s full paper.)

h/t to The Daily Caller.

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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