Robert Zeigler, Raymund Paredes support illegal aliens getting better deal than citizens
Posted Tue, Sep 6, 2005 at 10:35 am
The article "Migrant tuition break blasted" discusses the Texas law that gives illegal aliens who (illegally) reside in Texas a discount on college tuition. Meanwhile, U.S. citizens who live in another state but who want to attend college in TX are forced to pay the higher rate:
...A complaint filed with the Department of Homeland Security charges Texas is violating a 1996 federal law that says if public colleges offer discounted rates to undocumented students, they must do the same for U.S. citizens from out of state. Students who live out of state typically pay significantly higher tuition than in-state students at public schools.But, wait, it gets worse:
Lamar Smith, the Republican congressman from San Antonio who wrote and sponsored that federal law, said he supports the foundation's effort.
"States shouldn't treat illegal immigrants better than American citizens," Smith said.
Educators don't see it that way.
"These are members of our community," [San Antonio College] President Robert Zeigler said. "We want to encourage them to get an education and better their lives. We do not want to make it more difficult for them."
SAC, part of the Alamo Community College District, enrolls the second highest number of undocumented immigrants in the state, after the Houston Community College System...
"It's absurd to claim these students are taking money away from legal residents," said Raymund Paredes, the state's higher education commissioner.Obviously, there's only so much money to go around. Any money spent giving a discount to someone who's here illegally could be spent giving a discount - or a greater discount - to citizens.
The foundation's complaint comes at a time when Texas is struggling to enroll more Hispanic college students, and as Paredes said, "We count all students who go to college," whether they're documented or not.
Paredes said the law is intended to assist undocumented immigrants who unknowingly broke the law when their families brought them to Texas as youngsters. Those who take advantage of the law's benefits typically are high-achieving students and must prove they are taking steps to become legal citizens, he said...