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Arkansas considers in-state tuition for illegal immigrants

Posted: March 18, 2013 - 4:32pm

LITTLE ROCK — The author of a book about immigration reform called on Arkansas to pass legislation that would extend in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, saying they have done nothing wrong.

William A. Schwab spoke in Little Rock about the DREAM Act, a federal bill that would have offered citizenship to some young illegal immigrants. The legislation narrowly passed the U.S. House before being defeated in the Senate in 2010.

"Congress failed to pass the DREAM Act ... so states have taken over," said Schwab, a professor of sociology and the former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas. "Twelve states have passed their own DREAM Acts, which provide in-state tuition for undocumented youth. And in a few states, they actually provide state-supported financial aid."

In Arkansas, state Sen. Joyce Elliott, D-Little Rock, is proposing an extension of cheaper in-state tuition rates to some students who came to the U.S. illegally as children. Out-of-state tuition rates in Arkansas are about twice as much as in-state rates.

A Senate education panel could vote on the measure as early as this week. It would grant in-state tuition rates to anyone who has attended an Arkansas high school for at least three years and has an Arkansas high school diploma or general education diploma. Supporters say it would more fairly treat students who came to the U.S. illegally as children and who currently have to pay higher out-of-state rates despite having grown up and gone to school in Arkansas.

Elliott could face challenges to pass such a measure in the newly Republican-controlled Legislature. She has introduced other in-state tuition measures twice before but to no avail. A similar bill failed in 2005 even though it had bipartisan support, including the backing of then-Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Republican. Elliott pushed forward with a similar proposal again in 2009, but lacked the support of Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, who had said the measure could violate federal law.

Still, her measure comes as some attitudes appear to be shifting on immigration. A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Washington is crafting a sweeping immigration bill. And in Arkansas, Elliott has garnered support from some Republicans, including Sen. Johnny Key, who co-sponsored the bill.

"With the change in the political landscape because of the last election... I think this is the best opportunity we have as a society in a generation to come up with solutions," Schwab said. His book, "Right to DREAM: Immigration Reform and America's Future," advocates for the DREAM Act.

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tucky tucker
136
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tucky tucker 03/18/13 - 10:25 pm
4
7
nothing wrong?????

giv them free tuition in their own country,,,,,,idiots in govrnment are robbing us blind and giving it to criminals......no sympathy here....what part oif illegal do ya not understand??????

.

havok
222
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havok 03/19/13 - 08:55 am
4
3
If you are a US Citizen

Can someone tell me what being a US Citizen means anymore? Seems like the "Political Class" of America has given a big fat middle finger to the actual US Citizens (What's left of the Middle class), forcibly seizing their property and fruits of their labor, just to "Gift" to those who are here illegally to buy political favor.

And don't say, crossing the border or overstaying your Visa is just a Minor civil violation so no big deal. To work, someone has to be engaging in Fraud (A felony) by using false identity, give false information, or Employers not ensuring the requirements of their I-9 are valid before taking away a citizens job to hire an illegal.

BuzzBy
17777
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BuzzBy 03/19/13 - 09:02 am
7
0
If You Are Not
Unpublished

A US Citizen, a US taxpayer\filer and an Arkansas taxpayer\filer then you do not get in-state-tuition rates.
Unless you are in the military and any state you are station you get in-state rate because you don't have a choice where you serve.

sylviat
5638
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sylviat 03/19/13 - 09:36 am
7
3
Property taxes

If you go to high school in Arkansas, you're contributing to the general tax base AND the property tax base in Arkansas whether you are a citizen or not.

I think that translates to an in state tuition discount. I know I could only get in state tuition in the state that I lived, attended high school, and contributed to the property tax base.

If you disagree, are you also saying that undocumented immigrants should be exempt from contributing to sales, income, and property taxes, either by direct payment or by rent payment?

i_wonder
27122
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i_wonder 03/19/13 - 09:39 am
3
5
funny
Unpublished

You can make that connection, but not connect that federal funds are funding abortion, even if "indirectly".

Interesting bias there.

Carry on.

Scarlet Sims
1976
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Scarlet Sims 03/19/13 - 09:55 am
9
0
Subject change?

I don't get how abortion has anything to do with views on whether to give people without documentation in-state tuition.

i_wonder
27122
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i_wonder 03/19/13 - 10:01 am
5
6
I'll type slower
Unpublished

Sylvia was making the point that illegals pay taxes, albeit indirectly, by renting or other forms.

Which is the argument against Planned Parenthood receiving tax funding for non-abortion procedures.

You can't separate the two. If you pay my electric bill and my cable bill, I suddenly have money to go buy lottery tickets.
So, in a sense, you helped me buy lottery tickets.

Sylviat's point is valid, the illegals do pay taxes indirectly, just like abortion is tax-funded indirectly.

But you'll never hear Sylviat admit the latter.

Make sense now?

General Disarray
7473
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General Disarray 03/19/13 - 12:12 pm
4
2
"you helped me buy lottery

"you helped me buy lottery tickets."

Aww.. you shoulda got a falcon!

i_wonder
27122
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i_wonder 03/19/13 - 12:50 pm
3
3
Theresa29
9
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Theresa29 03/19/13 - 11:32 am
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4
Why do they keep getting

Why do they keep getting things handed to them? I work very long hours, my husband served this country, yet our kids dont receive any help like this. Im sick of supporting this crap for a bunch of illeagles, that come into our country breaking laws from the start getting freebies at our expense. They dont pay federal taxes,they dont register for state taxes. What part of ILLEAGLE dont people understand! So no, I do not support another stupid goverment supported bill giving away my hard earned money!

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