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Another immigration plan: charge tuition for illegal students

Daniel was 6 years old when his mother sneaked him and his two sisters into the United States from Mexico.

He later graduated from the Arizona public school system and earned two degrees from Arizona State University – one in political science, the other in literature.

But the harsh reality of his status as an illegal immigrant broadsided his dream of becoming a lawyer. As an illegal immigrant, Daniel is barred from getting waivers, grants or any other financial assistance to finish law school, so he dropped out after the first year and is now working as an intern at a law office.

What frustrates Daniel is that nothing is being done to address the issue of students like him who were brought here at a very young age.

“Imagine waking up one day and your parents telling you that, ‘Hey, you’re actually from Iran and you’re not here documented, and you’re about to face a really harsh reality’,” said Daniel, whose last name was withheld by the Arizona Capitol Times.

But if Sen. Russell Pearce gets his way, people like Daniel would be derailed from the education system much earlier, and in a way that could have much more significant effects on individuals and society as a whole.

Pearce said he plans to draft legislation next year to require students who are here illegally to pay tuition or be removed from public schools.

“They shouldn’t be a burden.” Pearce said. “You don’t have a right to be a non-resident of this state and take advantage of the taxpayers of this state.”

There are no precise figures to calculate the number of undocumented students in Arizona’s schools. But according to the Pew Hispanic Center, at least 10 percent of students in Arizona’s K-12 system have parents who are illegal immigrants.

It costs $9,698 to educate each student for one year in the Arizona public school system, according to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. That figure, from January 2009, represents local, state and federal funding.

Carmen Cornejo of CADENA, a group that advocates for the passage of the federal DREAM Act, called the idea ridiculous and contrary to human rights. She said children have a right to a free public education, and the state should be trying to get more children into school rather than keep them out.

Cornejo said Arizona already has one of the lowest rates of high school completion in the nation and Pearce’s proposal would exacerbate the problem.

John Wright, president of the Arizona Education Association, opposes the idea of requiring students who are illegally here to pay tuition because it would potentially put school workers, such as teachers, in the middle of the immigration crossfire and take them away from the mission of educating children.

“It suddenly requires school personnel to play a role as an immigration official to check status and to require documentation,” he said.

It wouldn’t be the first attempt to pass legislation requiring public school tuition for illegal immigrant students. Sen. John Huppenthal, a Republican from Chandler, offered an amendment this year that would have required school boards to charge tuition to undocumented students or remove them from class. The amendment failed to pass.

“The basic idea though is to try to get a little bit of control over the tide of illegal immigration that is just overwhelming us,” Huppenthal said.

Indeed, the legislation was meant to test the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in a case out of Texas in the early 1980s.

In Plyler v. Doe, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states must offer free public education to all school-age children, whether they are here illegally or not.

The court ruled that while public education is not a right, it is also not just some governmental benefit. Education has a fundamental role in maintaining the fabric of society, the court said.

“By denying these children a basic education, we deny them the ability to live within the structure of our civic institutions, and foreclose any realistic possibility that they will contribute in even the smallest way to the progress of our nation,” the justices noted.

Not only that, but the court noted it would be fundamentally unfair to act against the children of illegal immigrants.

“Even if the state found it expedient to control the conduct of adults by acting against their children, legislation directing the onus of a parent’s misconduct against his children does not comport with fundamental conceptions of justice.”

The court noted, though, that there was no evidence suggesting illegal immigrants impose any significant burden on the state’s economy, and the record did not support the claim that excluding undocumented children was likely to improve the overall quality of education.

Michael Hethmon, a lawyer with the Immigration Reform Law Institute, said his group is recommending a two-phase approach to overturning ~Plyler~. The first is to gather information to show an adverse impact as a result of educating children who are here illegally, then revisit the case’s constitutional merits.

Hethmon said the situation is different now, and it would be hard to argue that illegal immigrants have no significant impact on the educational opportunities of U.S. citizens or legal residents. Arizona, which shares the border with Mexico, was estimated to have about 500,000 undocumented residents in 2008, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

46 comments

  1. Unfortunately this persons dilemna is NOT the fault of US citizens. He should blame his mother for putting him in this position – not society. It is called “accepting personal responsibility”. He was brought into this country illegally, and now he wants to practice law. What irony. He should practice some law at home and report his mother to the authorities for the crime of human trafficing.

  2. Since the Supreme Court said public eduaction is not a right, here is another benefit given to illegal immigrants. American citizens are paying to educate foreign citizens and have no choice. That’s what Foregin Aid is designed to do. We give Mexico foreign aid and then they send their citizens to the U.S> to be educated, given benefits. Cut off foreign aid. Citizens are alrday funding too much aid for foreign citizens. Countries like Mexcio are laughing at us! Also, they said”“Even if the state found it expedient to control the conduct of adults by acting against their children, legislation directing the onus of a parent’s misconduct against his children does not comport with fundamental conceptions of justice.”
    Well the reverse is happening. Parents are using their children, “so-called anchor babies”, to gain benefits they don’t deserve. This “does not comport with fundamental conceptions of justice” but they look the other way.
    Shame on them.

  3. I love this idea !! American taxpayers should not be held to pay for the education of illegals. These kids are costing an arm and a leg, increasing class sizes and bringing down the quality of education (for those who do not understand Englsih) for the other students. Let Mexico pay for their education.

    I’m loving AZ more everyday ! They are the only state who have the politicians ready to stand up and do what is right for their legal citizens. I’m definitely BUY-cotting AZ. Might even consider moving there once the illegals start fleeing justice. Too bad its so darn hot out there !!

    Keep up the good work AZ. Americans are firmly behind you and support all you are trying to do. I hope many other states follow your lead !!

  4. To Joe: Are you an idiot? Would you report your own mother for human trafficking? Don’t be so quick to judge when you have no idea what you’re suggesting. And if we want to talk about accepting responsibility, then all of US should be accepting responsibility for our country creating such a huge demand of drugs, which is the root of all Mexico’s problems right now. Don’t you find it strange that we are one of the most powerful countries in the world and our neighbor is one of the poorest and most dangerous? And what do we do? Just complain about their inability to take care of a problem we are helping create.

    And to the REAL AMERICAN. If you love Arizona so much, why don’t you come and live here?!! You don’t do you? I know why, because the economy is a mess here! What with all the raids by Sheriff Joe and these racists laws passing, all our hispanic community is leaving. Guess what that is doing to the economy? That’s right, its putting in a DEEPER hole! Whether you want to accept it or not, this exodus of Hispanics, legal AND illegal is costing the state more than benefitting. Look at the numbers and do the math!

  5. All parents are paying sales taxes and property taxes which support our schools. The kids have done no act that made them illegal. There is no way the student can become legalized (thus the need for the DREAM Act for some of the best). So the answer is to make it impossible for them to receive an education? ARE WE NUTS???

  6. Let’s address the real issue here. The immigration system in this country is broken and outdated, to the point where it is not beneficial for Americans, neither immigrants, it is becoming a problem that politicians have not been able to solve in its entirety. When I say it does not benefit either side, I mean it has only largely benefited one side (This country’s citizens) who have enjoyed cheap burgers, cheap houses, grass nicely cut, etc. at the expense of an oppressed and exploited group (undocumented immigrants). Let’s face it, this system does not work, for the citizens of the state, nor for immigrants. It is obvious that the work of immigrants is needed in the country, why don’t we just fix the system so that those who are not criminals can stay here legally and contribute to this great country?

    A very important point is that tax payers did pay for Daniel’s education, at least for his grade school. But Daniel’s mother is a taxpayer as well. What most people ignore and are uninformed about is that immigrants do in fact pay taxes. They do this by using an ITin number, and they’ve been contributing to the economy this way for decades. What’s unfair is that once they retire they are not able to claim social security or any type of benefits because they do not have a valid social security number. Where does this money go?

    Daniel, seems like a smart, driven, and competitive individual. Did he come here illegally? Yeah, but time only flows forward. What do we do with this educated and culturally rich individual? He obviously wants to contribute to this country and judicial/legislative part of the law since he wants to be a lawyer. It makes more sense to give him the opportunity to be the person he has worked so hard to be, and to use his potential in this country. To this country, this would mean obtaining the profit of an investment that has been put on this individual for years. Denying him this opportunity means losing the profit and the investment, plus the resources spent.

    What we need to do Is stop attempting to pass these laws that don’t solve anything, and instead add to the problem. After these laws have passed, the need of each other persists in both groups. We need to pass legislations like the DREAM Act and a Comprehensive Immigration Reform. These efforts would provide more opportunities for progress and peaceful cohabitation, just what we need to keep moving this country forward.

  7. To BAZ987:

    First of all, when did the Supreme Court say education is not a right? Prove it.

    Second, even if the Supreme Court did say that, there is an international agreement that states that every human being is entitled to an education.

    Also, if by foreign aid to Mexico you mean the massive amounts of weapons we sell them (mainly to drug cartels) then you are correct, and that makes US partly responsible for what’s happening in Mexico.

  8. I don’t know why it’s always the Caucasian “Americans” who are always complaining about how much money is spent on these undocumented students. I don’t understand why they’re always arguing that undocumented immigrants are invading and taking away their “American” soil when it’s not really theirs–it’s OUR land, it belongs to us the Native American, and we are never complaining about it. I would be more than happy to pay the deportation of millions of Irish, etc immigrants that came to this country centuries ago. I don’t care if you say “Our ancestors came here legally” because I don’t give a hell about it–it was extremely easy to come here legally back in the early 1900 and earlier. Arizona is nothing but a child’s tantrum when it comes to politics–it’s a redneck state, no matter how you want to see it. I completely support bills like the DREAM act, which would allow students to get residential status after they graduate and prove they are worthy of being here. So, for all those White Americans who say that “Illegal students are stealing our kids’ college seats” get your facts right. Undocumented students can’t go to college unless they pay for it with private scholarships (No FAFSA, merit scholarships, etc) or out of their pockets. Universities like ASU admit 95% of students, so it’s obvious they’re not stealing any jobs or seats.

  9. Go !!ARIZONA!!
    Its about time some state stands up to the fed’s, and the tax’s pays are fed up with this ****..time is running out..Where is all this money going that the bum in the white house is giving them is there any over site?? in the 80s one president was using funds for growing marijuana and it was all over the news. And now where is this money going.

    And its time for other states need to step up and start pushing there laws or there coming your way.

  10. Sure Joe, he should blame his mother for thinking that he had a better chance of surviving and achieving higher education here in the U.S., a land of opportunities, where people are actually rewarded based on their merits.

  11. In all the 3rd world regions I’ve visited, I have seen the desperate and hopeless situation that people live in, with no hope for a better job, education, or government assistance. I’d never been more grateful for the dammed good fortune of living in this country. If I was born is such 3rd world despair, I would do ANYTHING and BREAK ANY LAW to get into America, and so would you.

  12. I have been saying this for a very long time. I DON’T WANT MY TAX DOLLARS GOING TO PAY FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS, PERIOD! I DON’T CARE IF THEY ARE 6 OR 60, IT IS NOT RIGHT FOR LEGAL CITIZENS AND LEGAL IMMIGRANTS TO PAY FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS OR THERE KIDS.

    LET MEXICO PAY FOR THEM!

  13. TireofpayingforIllegals

    take away all of the freebie, arrest employers, their fine should be calculated on the length of time employees have worked for their business. For example: if they are paying employees $6 per hour the employer is fine $18 per hour for every hour this employee has worked. This should just about cover the expenses citizens have had to pay for the employers to have cheap labor that has cost American jobs and income.

  14. You know if we pass this law what illegal parents will do: NOT send their children to school. They are already afraid to send them to school right now anyway because of HB1070.

    If parents don’t send their kids to school, we all lose. We’re going to see a huge increase in: gang activity, drugs and drug-related crimes, theft, and other criminal activity. If the kids can’t go to school, and they have to amuse themselves otherwise, that’s what some of them will do.

    Some parents will move to other states or Mexico to get their children a good education – probably another state since education in Mexico is not a priority. But some parents will stay – and we will pay the price.

    The only solution? Firm up the border. If we bordered Iran, for instance, I am sure that the federal government would be making much more of an effort to keep out illegals.

    I support the Dream Act too. If you deport parents back to Mexico, you are going to have a lot of angry and unstable children who have to grow up without their parents. I don’t think punishing the children is the answer – they didn’t choose to move here.

  15. Undocumented immigrants DO PAY TAXES
    Undocumented workers pay sales taxes where applicable and property taxes—directly if they own and indirectly if they rent. Further still, the ITIN was created in 1996 to improve compliance with tax laws and is assigned to certain resident and nonresident aliens, their spouses, and their dependents who do not qualify for a SSN but must have a taxpayer identification number for tax purposes. By 2004 the IRS has issued more than 7.3 million ITINs.

  16. German Engineering, Swiss Innovation, American nothing.
    -Advertising slogan used on a billboard in South Africa by Daimler to promote its Smart “forfour” compact car. Hot Flat and crowded by Thomas Friedman.

    The USA graduated 62,000 engineers India, China and Japan graduated over 400,000. 2/3 of ASU School of Engineering are international students either from India or China. If we lose our highest standard of living is because we Americans are not getting educated. DREAM students are highly educated and we need them pass the DREAM ACT. STOP blaming America’s problems on undocumented immigration. It is very convenient to blame the voiceless and unprotected because they cannot defend themselves.

  17. Daniel and others like him are the real Americans, the ones that are not limited by they color of their skin, their immigration status but the content of their character, hard work and determination.
    I bet many of the anti immigrants that write against him does not have the qualifications and education due to their own failing to live the American dream of Higher Education.
    Since they are not educated, they want to punish the smart people for their own inadequacies.
    This is the case of Russell Pearce who academic life is a complete mystery (although he has a small diploma from an Ivy League).
    This battle against the some of the brightest minds in the country happens when academically challenged people take charge of the state.
    Is it a coincidence that this is the same Legislators that had slashed school and University budgets instead of finding creative ways to fund more education for more people?

  18. Krishon M keeps referring to “undocumented” students and “undocumented” immigrants. No one is referring to a student or immigrant who either lost their documents, misplaced their documents, or had their documents stolen. They are referring to ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. People who never had or tried to get documents who are here illegally. She would probably call a drug dealer an undocumented pharmacist !

  19. To dream 86 If my mother robbed a bank of 6 million dollars so I had “a better chance of surviving and achieving higher education here in the U.S., a land of opportunities, where people are actually rewarded based on their merits.” I seriously doubt that they would say oh that’s allright then you can keep the money. You shouldn’t profit from illegal criminal acts.

  20. para los que tenemos esperanza en ustedes que como guerreros luchanpor dejar en los que con esperanza tenemos una vision de una humanidad en que podamos vernos como verdaderos hermanos .para las madres que podemos decir ( que valio la pena vivir y luchar porque nos sentinmos santisfechos por ustedes.Y POR EL GRAN LEGADO QUE DEJAN EN LOSMAS PEQUENOS. PARA TODOS NOSOTROS ESTAN USTEDES QUE SABEN CUAL ES SU MISION EN ESTA VIDA. NOMAS PODEMOS DECIR;; GRACIAS Y QUE DIOS LOS VEN DIGA”.

  21. It’s one thing to punish criminals who are in the country illegally but it’s another thing to punish undocumented children who have no fault in coming into this county illegally. I’m a high school teacher at a public school in Arizona and every year I see talented undocumented students strive to do their best in school. They value education more than most students who are citizens. It’s a shame that now we want to charge them tuition, something we all know will keep thousands of students out of our schools because their parents cannot afford to pay for their education. We need to stop seeing education as a cost and see it as an investment.

  22. I originally came to this blog to post a comment against all laws targeting immigrant students. But others have done a superior job of stating my position more eloquently than I could. But I do want to respond to Krishon M. Your comment makes me very sad. I am a Caucasian American. As a matter of fact, I am also one of the founders of CADENA, the Dream Act support organization mentioned in the article. Painting any racial group with a broad brush is wrong and divisive. You would obviously be surprised how many “Caucasian Americans” are actually decent human beings who are on your side. I am sorry you don’t know this, but please don’t alienate those others, whatever their ethnicity, who like myself who are fighting for the rights of ALL human beings.

  23. Viva Arizona!! Finally a state and a Governor that has the courage to know that you can’t suck anymore blood out of a turnip. Spend time on the border, as I have and see the destruction of the desert lands, the fiflth and garbage from human and drug smuggling.
    As far as this person wanting a education? Fine, pay out of state tuition as do the many students who come to Az. Why should you get a pass? I, as a tax paying citizen of the Az, why should I subsidize your education, when many of our own citizens don’t receive a subsidized education.
    You think Mexico would allow me, a foreign national, to receive a reduced tutition? Think again, I would be asked to leave or maybe even FORCED to Leave.

  24. If the citizenry of Arizona believes that Mr. Pearce is actually helping us, think again. As a result of his legislation, we have lost more than $90 million in convention and visitor contracts, thousands of hard working laborers who are the fabric of our workforce are leaving the state which will increase prices and cause everyday businesses to loose revenue, and our brilliant children are now being denied education? Not to mention the businesses that have now cut Arizona as a potential place to locate which would have created jobs for all. Arizona, if we don’t find a way to pull together, we are all going to suffer – not just these students.

  25. Why take away the basic opportunity from children to grow in society when we can all eventually benefit from bright students….?? Makes no sense. Rather than denying students an education, we should work on getting back from from them. Give them the opportunity to contribute to their communities, like the community has contributed to them. I strongly believe exceptional students like Daniel, should be given the opportunity to give back society. After all, we have already spent money and energy in making students like Daniel among the brightest in the Nation. The DREAM ACT is one way to do this. Lets have these students pitch in, rather than just have them “take advantage of our taxpayers”.

  26. Jake, would you find it fair to pay out-state tuition if you have been paying taxes in a state for 10 plus years? Its not about subsidzing, its about doing what its just. DREAM students have exceled in the education system, all they wish to do is put use their education. If you want to talk about legality, then, theres is millions of illegals in America, and I am not talking about Mexicans. Thousands of acres were seized illegaly from the Native Americans. Jake, thats what makes America superior to all, its is a conscious state which believes in equality. Where a man is judged by the content of his character. DREAM students believe in America. America needs to believe in them.

  27. Dorelyn K, through many DREAM Act and Immigraion Reform events I have felt the compassion of many Caucasians as I felt the hate and anger. I greatly appreciate the support of all, but especially white and black America. Its not their direct struggle. It takes courage as well as strength to fight for justice. When there is a movement for justice it fights the establishment. Fighting when no one gives you a chance is difficult, it tries your character. DREAM students have gone through too much in order to get to where they are. They are determined, they will not give up because they know they are at right. That spirit my anti-immigrant ( aka settler) friends will bogged down. They are today’s founding Americans like Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, George Washigton, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Frankin and many more.

    FREE THE DREAM 2010

  28. Arizonians will gladly suck up the 90 million over the costs of supporting illegals.
    Arizona’s illegal immigrant population is costing the state’s taxpayers even more than once thought — a whopping $2.7 billion in 2009, according to researchers at the public interest group that helped write the state’s new immigration law.

    Also, the savings to the state will far overwhelm any fallout from boycotts (estimated at between $7 million and $52 million) being threatened in the wake of the law’s passage.

    The 2009 breakdown shows that illegal immigrants take $1.6 billion from Arizona’s education system, $694.8 million from health care services, $339.7 million in law enforcement and court costs, $85.5 million in welfare costs and $155.4 million in other general costs.

  29. These students aren’t doing anything to harm other individuals, if they are worthy to become citizens then why not give them a chance; we are all about getting great minds together. Those taxes that we all complain about have to be paid anyway, even for those American citizens that have a chance to work but will not.

  30. There is nothing noble about feeding your children (illegals) while mine (Americans) go hungry. For every dime given to an illegal, that is one dime not given to a needy American.

    This has nothing to do with whether a person is good or bad/lazy or a hard worker. It has everything to do with whether it is legal or illegal. When the child’s mother illegally brought them into this country her first act in America was to violate our laws. Every year she stayed and every year the taxpayers were forced to pay to educate her children, she and the children were committing additional violations, including stealing.

  31. I am surprised at the negative comments about the undocumented, who have made such contributions to our country. Perhaps they do not know the history of Mexican immigration, which is unique. Please study the history before making uninformed comments.
    Go back just to World War II. A few months after Pearl Harbor, we had no men left to do the work in the fields and on the railroads and in other areas necessary to a country at war. In 1942, the Braceros came by the thousands to help us. This was a contract between our government and that of Mexico. We are indebted to Mexico for helping us win that war.
    After the Braceros came during the war, the employers kept asking them to come back, and people went back and forth across the border without much
    problem until 9/11 created fear of brown faces — and NAFTA caused the small farmers of Mexico to lose their place in the economy.

  32. @ronk:
    “Krishon M keeps referring to “undocumented” students and “undocumented” immigrants. No one is referring to a student or immigrant who either lost their documents, misplaced their documents, or had their documents stolen. They are referring to ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. People who never had or tried to get documents who are here illegally. She would probably call a drug dealer an undocumented pharmacist !:”
    are you an idiot? I know what an undocumented and illegal student/immigrant is, do you? An immigrant who “misplaced/lost or had their documents stolen” is not illegal since they can go and get another copy–just like losing/misplacing or getting you Driver’s license stolen, you still have one but you need to get another. I don’t like using the word “illegal” when it comes to good behaving, law abiding immigrants who are here abiding the social rules. And I know what kind of illegal immigrants they are referring to, the type who “should have come in the right way, apply for citinzenship and become ‘one of us’” am i right? Do you know how long that takes? A person I know has been applying for 10 years and still no word–believe me, if these people could, they would come to this country legally and they would report all the abuse you guys do to them, and it’s not like they can’t get up one morning because they are so lazy to go down and get their ‘Papers’ fixed, just like going and getting your driver’s license.And again, don’t get started on how much “your ancestors came here legally” because it was way easier, WAY EASIER back in the early 1900s. I can only call a person “illegal” for something like…selling drugs, raping someone, etc.
    The only ones who should have a right of saying who stays and who doesn’t are us, Native Americans. And it would be amazing that we could charge EXTRA everything if you are not 1)Native American or 2) if we have serious suspicion that you are not Native American, so that means some Hispanics can still pay normal price, and won’t be affected. Oh and…complete coincidence with 1070 by the way on my last example.

  33. Do the math, usmrncrp. You state above: “Those taxes that we all complain about have to be paid anyway.” Only by half of the United States citizens. The rest pay no federal income tax at all. So half of the country is funding the education, welfare, and crime costs of millions of illegal people in our country. There is a breaking point. Look at Greece, France, Germany, California . . . they are out of money. People get used to handouts, their character becomes that of a looter and a taker, and then they riot when their freebies get taken away. It is a disgusting way to live. Historically, Americans always WORKED to get where they wanted. Advocating lawlessness is the way of anarchists. All the LEGAL immigrants I have talked to resent ILLEGAL people mooching off the system and sneaking in, while they had to do it legally. The breaking point is NOW. Go to U.S.DebtClock website and see how much money is being spent on entitlements and welfare. Watch the debt clock go up every second. We are borrowing over 3 billion dollars a day from a Communist country to feed illegal immigrants, among other things. It must STOP. We the people are done.

  34. Jake: If you don’t want undocumented students to pay in-state tuition fine…BUT allow undocumented students to use their degrees here in the U.S. after they’ve graduated from college. Ask any undocumented student, for them it’s not about paying in-state or out-of-state tuition. It’s about having the OPPORTUNITY to use their minds and talents once they graduate from a college or university.

  35. ML: Welfare is ONLY given to U.S. citizens NOT undocumente immigrants. When you apply for welfare, you must be able to prove you are a U.S. citizen.

    Also, when have you seen a homeless U.S. citizen (who’s not disabled or has mental problems) stand on freeway exits holding a sign that reads “will WORK for food”? Now, when have you seen undocumented immigrants stand on the streets desperate to WORK for food? Undocumented immigrants to not come asking for hand me downs or freebies…they come here to work to feed their families.

  36. Kathleen:”It has everything to do with whether it is legal or illegal” So are you saying that you would first ask a hungry child whether he/she is in the country illegally or legally before you feed him/her? Since when does a child’s immigration status determine whether he/she is worthy of being fed???

  37. Let me start out by saying I live in AZ, born and raised and I am excited to see that this state is finally doing something about the boarder issue. I’ve read comments about how we are indebt to Mexico for helping us in WWII. I ask you, how long must we pay back this debt? How long is long enough? I’ve also seen comments about how these illegals pay sales tax and property tax and there for they are entitled to attend out schools but what about income tax and federal taxes. Why should I lose $400 a pay check while these illegals don’t lose anything. I would say I pay way more in income tax then all other taxes combined. I participated in band when I was in high school and one day our teacher came in and informed us that this year will be the last year for bad due to budget cuts. Why should I, AN AMERICAN, be paying for these illegal aliens while here I am having things taken away from me? Yes, i know, there are budget cuts going on everywhere in this country but Arizona spends MILLIONS on illegal aliens to attend school. They also can receive free lunches; they apply for welfare and medical insurance which is millions more. These extra funds could go to our American children. We recently raised sales tax by a penny in order for our schools to not have to close down and for teachers to keep there jobs. This all comes down to one question… Should the quality of life for AMERICANS have to decrease in order to accommodate all these ILLIGAL IMMIGRANTS?!!

  38. Kathleen,
    So you are saying that it does not matter if a person is lazy or a hard worker? It’s all about being here “illegally” or “legally.” What a shame! People who work hard and want to contribute to society should be punish, and people who just apply for “unemployment” and seat around like a potato couch should be rewarded? (Do not get me wrong, I know things happen, but not everyone who is unemployed is because they cannot find a job, but there are many people who are spoil and do not want to work hard and just quite.)That is such an awful comment. I cannot believe how you could dare to compare the two. As a teacher let me tell you that children are humans that should not take responsibility of their parents actions. I support the DREAM ACT because I know that students like Daniel are willing to help my community and my country. I then know that I chose the right profession because education is such an amazing tool that unfortunately not everyone values it, and many take it for granted. As a citizen, I would rather help someone that is dedicated and has a vision and works hard than help someone who is going to be sitting down hoping to get help because of their “legal status” instead of their own merits.
    SUPPORT EDUCATION. SUPPORT THE DREAM ACT NOW!
    P.S. To all my fellow citizens that think that undocumented immigrants do not pay taxes, please educate yourself first and then make comments. As many have stated before, they DO PAY TAXES. I bet people who made this comments did not know about the ITINs.

  39. Elizabeth,
    You are speaking out what I was thinking for a long time.
    All these “uneducated” idiots answering & commenting on the most crucial attempts to remove a essential human civil right – Education for everyone – from children that do not know nothing about the fake Adults have created in their vein and pain and idiotic thinking over many , too many years.
    And these people have now idea about history and why people came to this country and who they are…at least it seems alike!
    Why are Russel Pearce and his followers not erecting high, electrical loaded fence around their properties and give peace a mind?
    Why does he need Attorney Kris Kobach from Kansas for his gritty ugly Law attempts – because it helps him to make publicity – and that is what it is all about.
    Greed for publicity because the Law’s were in place before not written as an exposure of a racist hate and ultra conservative ill-will but as Federal Law to be enforced by the word of the Law, not to be enforced as Sheriff Joe and his gang proceed on them.
    Their are no balances in Russel Pearce and Followers systematic approach to cheat the balanced U.S. Society and it will harm all within short time.

  40. I am a US citizen. I will be vacationing in another country shortly. So, I looked at this immigration debate from a different viewpoint. What would happen if I attempted to enroll my children in a foreign school, and applied for all the country’s benefits? My kids could probably go to school anywhere, but only if I pay a tuition in advance. Forget any benefits, we wouldn’t be entitled to them. Healthcare? No problem, they just hand me the bill. Planting our US flag on their soil, that could be a bit touchy.

    My example suggests that most countries welcome travelers, and extend respect, but not rights when they are not entitled. So, why can’t we be expected to enforce the same? Everyone is wecome, but we need to know who you are. You may visit, enjoy our hospitality, freedom, and spend money. You may enjoy anything that we have to offer, as long as you pay. However, you must leave when your time is up.

  41. [...] an article at the Arizona Capitol Times, Luige del Puerto argues that Pearce’s law would cause an increase in social problems because many children in Arizona [...]

  42. Why the blog is so little fact about the crisis, you do not care about this issue?

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