By Chad Groening and Jody Brown, OneNewsNow.com
September 27, 2007
An immigration reform organization says a bill that would give in-state college tuition benefits to illegal aliens anywhere in the U.S., without affording the same rights to legal immigrants and citizens, is completely unfair.
See editor’s note below
Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) has reintroduced the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, which is referred to as the "DREAM Act." The measure would provide illegal aliens who crossed the border, when they were 15 years or younger, a fast track to citizenship as well as the in-state tuition rates. In the past, Durbin and his bipartisan contingent of co-sponsors have referred to such individuals as "undocumented students" who cannot attend college without legal immigration status. Many of those people, they point out, "had no choice in the matter, coming to the United States with their parents at a young age."
Mark Cromer, a senior writing fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization, says lawmakers supporting Durbin’s bill apparently do not remember the strong voices of opposition that killed the amnesty bill during the summer.
"Apparently they heard it enough to get scared up on Capitol Hill, but not enough for it to sink in. So here we go — 90 days later; little less than a warranty period — [and] they’re back at it and they’re doing it very quietly," he says. "They’ve got a nice snappy little name: the DREAM Act. Who wants to vote against a child’s dream?"
But Cromer says the DREAM Act is blatantly unfair to those young people who play by the rules and also want the benefit of cheaper in-state tuition anywhere in the country.
"A legal immigrant or an American citizen, say in Nebraska coming into Los Angeles, California, today, has to pay out-of-state tuition," he explains. "Yet an illegal immigrant coming illegally into the United States from a foreign country gets in-state tuition. The American citizen is actually penalized for essentially being a citizen," states Cromer.
He says for hard-working American citizens and legal immigrants, the DREAM Act is nothing but a nightmare. Cromer says it is unfortunate that the DREAM Act is being tacked onto a must-pass defense bill, which means that it will not get debated on its own merits or receive an up-or-down vote. "And I think that’s pretty despicable, quite frankly," he adds.
09-28-2007 – This interview was conducted before the Senate dropped the DREAM Act as an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill.