ILNews

Laws on immigrant tuition vary

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Indiana Lawyer Focus

Republican presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry recently made statements at a town hall meeting in support of in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants – a courtesy the Lone Star State has offered for the past decade.

In a speech at the 2001 U.S.-Mexico Border Summit, Perry said “We must say to every Texas child learning in a Texas classroom, ‘We don’t care where you come from, but where you are going, and we are going to do everything we can to help you get there.’” He went on to say that children of undocumented workers in Texas were deserving of a resident tuition rate. “Those young minds are a part of a new generation of leaders, the doors of higher education must be open to them.”

But other state governments – including Indiana’s – disagree with Perry’s point of view.

A patchwork of laws

Since the 1996 creation of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, state governments have debated the wording of IIRIRA Section 505, which addresses college tuition rates for undocumented immigrants.

Without any accompanying congressional report language to provide guidance, states developed their own approaches for handling this touchy subject. California, New Mexico and Texas – along with nine other states – enacted laws that extended in-state tuition rates to undocumented immigrants. Oklahoma has since amended its law, leaving the decision on in-state tuition to the state’s Board of Regents, which so far has continued to allow it for undocumented immigrants.

This year, Indiana became the fourth, and northernmost, state to pass a law that prohibits in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants, joining Arizona, Colorado and Georgia. Two additional states – South Carolina and Alabama – have been sued for their laws prohibiting undocumented immigrants from enrolling in their state-funded colleges.

In Indiana, undocumented immigrant students are immediately feeling the impact of Public Law 209 as they struggle to find funding for college or find they have no choice but to drop out. Angela Adams, an immigration attorney at Lewis & Kappes, thinks Indiana could benefit from studying how other states have been able to enforce immigration policies, yet provide opportunities for immigrants who want to become educated, civically engaged members of society. Texas, she said, is a good model to study.

immigration“They’ve got many generations of Latino leaders. We don’t have that yet. We don’t have immigrants that are integrated into our leadership positions. I think that’s part of it,” she said. “But I also think Texas is a border state, and while you have issues like border enforcement, you also have the other side of the coin – you see the potential, you see the need. If we don’t educate these kids, what are they going to do?”

Research and findings

In April 2011, the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island released its report, “The Effects of In-State Tuition for Non-Citizens: A Systematic Review of the Evidence.”

The report found flaws in arguments both for and against in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants. The institute’s review found little support for the claim that providing in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants is a financial burden for states. The two studies that support that claim were produced by the Federation for Immigration Reform and the Center for Immigration Studies – both known for advocating stricter immigration laws. Neither report included information about statistical significance or standard error.

The Latino Policy Institute found that further research must be conducted to adequately assess the fiscal impact on states of tuition policies for undocumented immigrants. It also found that increasing enrollment rates for Latino non-citizens could lead to decreased high-school dropout rates, as many Latino non-citizens – knowing they may never attain a college education – may lose hope and drop out of high school.

In its June 2011 issue brief, the Alliance for Excellent Education reported that 7,000 students drop out of high school every day, adding up to just more than 1 million annually. The brief said that government spending for people who lack a high school diploma is typically greater than it is for those with higher levels of education because dropouts are more likely to be incarcerated and/or receive welfare or public health care.

Nationwide in 2009, the high school dropout rate for Hispanic youth was 17.6 percent – more than twice the national average of 8.1 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

The DREAM Act

Young, undocumented immigrants have been pinning their hopes on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, which creates a path to citizenship for immigrants who complete at least two years of college or military service. The federal legislation has been repeatedly introduced for the past 10 years, and it has failed every time.

Once a proponent of the DREAM Act, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., withdrew his support of the legislation in May. Lugar said his decision was motivated by a speech by President Barack Obama, in which the president framed immigration as a “divisive election issue instead of attempting a legitimate debate on comprehensive reform.”

Adams and others who hope for a brighter future for young undocumented immigrants wonder if the DREAM Act may be gaining the momentum it needs to pass. While she knows Lugar has withdrawn his support of the DREAM Act, she is optimistic that he may take up the cause again.

“It almost passed last time, so we hope champions like Sen. Lugar hopefully will continue to push the DREAM Act, and maybe it will happen in the future,” she said.

But even if the DREAM Act does pass, undocumented immigrants who live in states where they can’t qualify for in-state tuition may still be unable to go to college.•

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

ADVERTISEMENT