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California Statute Allowing In-State College Tuition for Illegal Aliens Is Preempted by Federal Law:

So the California Court of Appeal held yesterday in Martinez v. Regents:

[T]he most significant issue [in this case] is whether California's authorization of in-state tuition to illegal aliens violates a federal law, title 8 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) section 1623, which provides as pertinent:

"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the basis of residence within a State (or a political subdivision) for any postsecondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of the United States is eligible for such a benefit (in no less an amount, duration, and scope) without regard to whether the citizen or national is such a resident."

The respondents argue the federal statute is not violated for two reasons:

1. Respondents say in-state tuition is not a "benefit" within the meaning of the federal law. For reasons we shall explain, we conclude in-state tuition, which is some $17,000 per year cheaper than out-of-state tuition at UC, is a "benefit" conferred on illegal aliens within the meaning of the federal law.

2. Respondents argue in-state tuition is not granted "on the basis of residence within a state" as required by federal law. Respondents point to the fact that in-state tuition for illegal aliens is based on a student's having attended a California high school for three or more years and on the student's having graduated from a California high school or having attained "the equivalent thereof." As we shall explain, the three-year attendance requirement at a California high school is a surrogate residence requirement. The vast majority of students who attend a California high school for three years are residents of the state of California. Section 68130.5 thwarts the will of Congress manifest in title 8 U.S.C. section 1623.

The court's bottom line conclusion is simply that the case may "proceed in the trial court," but its legal analysis suggests that the state statute is indeed preempted by the federal statute, as a matter of law with no further factfinding required.

Thanks to Greg Broderick for the pointer.

Jake LaRow (mail):
I don't understand how the respondents can claim it is not a benefit, when "benefit" follows immediately after postsecondary education.
9.16.2008 3:49pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
I think the decision is obviously right as a matter of statutory interpretation, but I don't see how the federal government's power to regulate immigration and naturalization somehow gives it the power to tell states whether they can give educational benefits to aliens.
9.16.2008 4:11pm
darelf:
Very likely they ( the schools ) receive federal funding.
9.16.2008 4:20pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Darelf, even if that were sufficient -- and I'm not a big fan of that line of caselaw -- the statute doesn't tie its restrictions to that criterion.
9.16.2008 4:29pm
David Schwartz (mail):
I think the decision is obviously right as a matter of statutory interpretation, but I don't see how the federal government's power to regulate immigration and naturalization somehow gives it the power to tell states whether they can give educational benefits to aliens.
I'm curious if you think the Federal government should be prohibited from providing other rewards that are conditioned on violating Federal law? Should Arkansas be permitted to pay for the assassination of the President?

The key point is that the States are providing a benefit to those who violate Federal law. Essentially, the Federal government is saying that illegal aliens cannot establish citizenship in a State.

Why is the Federal government not the arbiter or State citizenship? And if not, how can it regulate immigration?
9.16.2008 4:34pm
David Schwartz (mail):
"I'm curious if you think the Federal government should be prohibited from providing other rewards that are conditioned on violating Federal law?"
Sorry, that should be "should be allowed to prohibit States from providing".
9.16.2008 4:36pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
What David Nieperont said.

I suspect that the Supreme Court would probably uphold this result-- the spending power cases are very broad, and the power to regulate the admission of aliens is plenary.

But there is great mischief in this, because it is local communities who have to deal with illegal immigrants, and whose hands are tied (as we all know) on the issue of deportation. Telling them "you can't kick these people out of your communities, you can't kick their kids out of school, but you also can't grant them benefits and try to integrate them into your communities" is the worst of all possible worlds.
9.16.2008 4:49pm
Le Messurier (mail):

... you also can't grant them benefits and try to integrate them into your communities"

It promotes self-deportation... a good thing.
9.16.2008 5:00pm
sbron:
About 70 to 80% of illegal aliens are from Latin America. Latin American countries, primarily Mexico have insisted on interfering in U.S. internal affairs regarding immigration. This is an opportunity for those nations to interfere constructively. They are free to give scholarships to their citizens studying in the U.S., and those who are here illegally can then obtain student visas. Why not "Estudiantes extranjeros con visas?"
9.16.2008 5:11pm
MJ Samuelson (mail) (www):
I find this fascinating. This is why advocates for illegal aliens have been pushing for a federal law enforcing in-state tuition benefits - so that what California (and Texas, I might add) are doing couldn't be challenged like this.
9.16.2008 5:14pm
Soronel Haetir (mail):
Plenty of communities don't seem all that interested in shrinking the problem, instead preferring that it fester like an open wound.
9.16.2008 5:22pm
D.A.:
I think it's interesting that the court redefined "attended a California high school for three or more years" as "on the basis of residence within a state" because quite a few of the former were also the latter.
It seems a little like being arrested for speeding, going 60 in a 65 zone, because "the vast majority" of the motorists around you were only going 55.
9.16.2008 5:30pm
Fred the Fourth (mail):
D.A. of course under the California vehicle code Basic Speed Law, you could be, if the officer decided you were driving at an unsafe speed.
9.16.2008 5:39pm
Fred the Fourth (mail):
...not that that was on topic, or anything. I just happen to have a 17 year old son.
9.16.2008 5:40pm
J. Aldridge:
To be preempted by federal law that states would have to be prohibited from making laws dealing with immigration within their jurisdictions.


Section 10 - Powers prohibited of States

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.


Just another usurpation.
9.16.2008 5:43pm
Opher Banarie (mail) (www):
Jake LaRow:I don't understand how the respondents can claim it is not a benefit, when "benefit" follows immediately after postsecondary education.

It's the same Democrats who argue that charging taxpayers more for running the state is a "fee" and not a "tax", thereby maneuvering around the 2/3 vote needed to raise a tax.
9.16.2008 5:43pm
J. Aldridge:
"To be preempted by federal law states would have to be prohibited from making laws dealing with immigration within their jurisdictions." Fixed.
9.16.2008 5:44pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"... but you also can't grant them benefits and try to integrate them into your communities" is the worst of all possible worlds."

The worst? Are you telling us that someone who does not receive in-state tuition to a California college or university can't be integrated into the community?
9.16.2008 7:07pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
The worst? Are you telling us that someone who does not receive in-state tuition to a California college or university can't be integrated into the community?

I'm telling you:

(1) that this sort of reasoning could be taken far beyond this particular case, and could be used to prevent local communities from doing anything to integrate illegal immigrants into their communities, while at the same time they are prevented from deporting them;

and

(2) yes, on its own merits, if you have people living in your community, and you can't deport them, and they are eligible to go to college, you want them to go. That's a lot better than the alternatives of having a less-educated populace and potentially increasing the attractiveness of crime and gangs for youths.
9.16.2008 7:16pm
ginsocal (mail):
No, Dilan, you don't want to "integrate" them into the community. You want them to leave the community. If you make it uncomfortable enough, they will leave. Just look at what's happening in Arizona and Oklahoma.
9.16.2008 7:31pm
Crunchy Frog:
Dilan Esper:


(2) yes, on its own merits, if you have people living in your community, and you can't deport them, and they are eligible to go to college, you want them to go.


No, I don't. I want them to go back to their home countries on their own. Then, if they are eligible to re-enter legally, they can do so after following the procedures set forth by law.

David Schwartz:


The key point is that the States are providing a benefit to those who violate Federal law. Essentially, the Federal government is saying that illegal aliens cannot establish citizenship in a State.


There are several municipalities in CA that have tried/are trying to find a way to let illegals vote in local elections (city council, school board, etc). Seems to me voting is (or should be considered) a "benefit". Would not this decision effectively make such efforts invalid?
9.16.2008 7:35pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
When you say you want "them" to leave, you are ignoring something in those statistics-- some are leaving, but plenty are staying.

So at the end of the day, after your "attrition", you still have a ton of illegal immigrants. Now, I suppose, one could decide to implement policies that were so cruel and sadistic-- say, legalizing the rape of illegal immigrant women-- that one could get many more to leave. If that's a road you want to go down, it's not one that I want to go down.

So, if we assume that we still have plenty of illegal immigrants post-"attrition", towns are in the same bind they are in before. They can't deport them, but they can't integrate them into society. So, as a result, thanks to the federal government and the preemption doctrine, they are stuck with a bunch of people in their town who form a permanent outsider class, who can't access higher education, who are denied opportunities, some of whom will join gangs and turn to crime.

That's the problem. Simplistic slogans about getting people to leave doesn't change the problem. At most, it reduces it.
9.16.2008 8:12pm
RKV (mail):
Seems to me that Article IV Section 4 applies here.
"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion"
9.16.2008 9:17pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
I think that the argument that the federal government does not have this power fails based on the reality that it has had control over immigration for well over a century. Put it under foreign commerce or protection against invasion, but controlling who can immigrate here has long been an exclusive federal right.

And, indeed, part of the pressure to give in-state tuition and other benefits to illegal aliens can arguably be seen as an attempt by states to infringe on this exclusive federal right.
9.16.2008 9:28pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Bruce, I think the Supreme Court will see it that way if the case ever made its way there.

The problem here is actually one that is common in preemption cases (and maybe it is useful to defuse emotions about illegal immigration by talking about it more generally). The problem is that the premise of preemption is that the federal government puts in place some comprehensive regulatory scheme that addresses the problem, and then the state governments do things that get in the way. In that situation, the case for preemption is obvious.

But the case for preemption is much weaker when the federal government is simply talking a pass on regulation (bear in mind, they aren't deregulating either; they are just creating completely ineffective regulations) but then preempting the states' abilities to impose any sort of rational regulation.

This is a big problem. It is bad from a regulatory efficiency standpoint, it is bad for consumers and workers, and it is bad for federalism. And it is terrible for states and localities, because it ties their hands while the federal government shirks its own responsibilities.
9.16.2008 9:37pm
Redlands (mail):

So at the end of the day, after your "attrition", you still have a ton of illegal immigrants. Now, I suppose, one could decide to implement policies that were so cruel and sadistic-- say, legalizing the rape of illegal immigrant women-- that one could get many more to leave. If that's a road you want to go down, it's not one that I want to go down.


C'mon. That adds nothing to the debate.
9.16.2008 11:14pm
David Schwartz (mail):
There are several municipalities in CA that have tried/are trying to find a way to let illegals vote in local elections (city council, school board, etc). Seems to me voting is (or should be considered) a "benefit". Would not this decision effectively make such efforts invalid?
No, because this case was specifically about a law that covered education benefits. However, if you're asking if Congress has the power to pass such a law, I think they most certainly do. Voting is at least as much a privilege of residency as in-State tuition is. (I don't know if there is such a law already.)
9.17.2008 12:07am
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
C'mon. That adds nothing to the debate.

Redlands, that IS the debate. The "attrition" strategy is all about making illegal immigrants' lives so miserable that they will want to leave. And once you commit yourself to that strategy, the question is how miserable are you willing to make their lives? And the problem is, making their lives only somewhat miserable doesn't have the desired effect-- you get some attrition, but there are still plenty of illegal immigrants, only with even fewer legal rights and less incentives to become productive members of society. And that's counterproductive because you may have somewhat fewer illegal immigrants, but the ones you still have will cause many more problems.

So, the question for "attrition" folks really is "how far are you willing to go?" "How miserable are you willing to make illegal immigrants' lives to get them to leave?" And once the issue is understood that way, attrition is not only a counterproductive strategy; it's a grossly immoral one if it were to be carried out to any significant level of effectiveness.
9.17.2008 1:16am
SocratesAbroad (mail):
The "attrition" strategy is all about making illegal immigrants' lives so miserable that they will want to leave.

What you endeavor to call "attrition" is more aptly known as "denial of access/services." Equally important, whether illegal aliens want to leave or not is irrelevant - they are by definition breaking US border&customs/employment law and should not be present in the US to begin with.
"How miserable are you willing to make illegal immigrants' lives to get them to leave?" And once the issue is understood that way, attrition is not only a counterproductive strategy; it's a grossly immoral one if it were to be carried out to any significant level of effectiveness.

No, rigidly enforced "denial of access/services" is neither ineffective nor immoral. I've seen its superb effectiveness firsthand in my 11 years here in China and Japan. Like the US, both countries allow in immigrants but only under the most rigorous of checks. Neither brook visa overstaying or illegal employment under a different visa category, much less illegal entry into the country. And both allow foreign nationals to take citizenship but only under the severest of restrictions. Needless to say, illegal immigration is a blip in both, so their "denial of access/service" policies have been spectacularly effective.

As for the morality of "denial of access/services," limiting US government granted rights and benefits to US citizens is hardly immoral - if anything, it indicates that the government is operating at 100% effectiveness. And there's also the moral belief in the rule of law: illegal immigrants, as I mentioned earlier, are by definition breaking US border&customs/employment law and should not be present in the US to begin with. Last is the issue of fairness: the US allows huge numbers of legal immigrants in every year; why should those who circumvent the process benefit over those followed the rules?
9.17.2008 2:07am
Momo Davy (mail):
"Now, I suppose, one could decide to implement policies that were so cruel and sadistic— say, legalizing the rape of illegal immigrant women— that one could get many more to leave. If that's a road you want to go down, it's not one that I want to go down."

I believe that was referred to as the "Old Number Six" in Blazing Saddles. (And ultimately proved ineffective.)
9.17.2008 2:38am
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
The national bill MJ Samuelson refers to is the DreamAct. There are groups that support it, and many newspapers have printed boilerplate "news articles" advocating for it. In fact, I have a whole category devoted just to that type of article.

While a legal discussion is certainly interesting, there's an extremely easy way to solve this issue: publicly embarrass those politicians who support these type of bills. Go to their campaign events and ask them questions like this on video, then upload their response to Youtube.

Make a few politicians look very bad over this issue, and the only ones who'll continue to push it are people like GilCedillo, i.e., those whose actions are indistinguishable from the actions that paid agents of the Mexican government would perform.
9.17.2008 3:04am
Jamesaust (mail):
I note that the original trial court rejected claims that the plaintiffs had no standing to bring suit and the defendant did not appeal this and so this state appellate court does not rule on this prerequisite matter.

That said, plaintiffs, in fact, do NOT have standing for 2 reasons: First, section 1623 does not create any private right of action. Second, there is no benefit for plantiffs since they fail to meet standard for the benefit, namely, the 3 year / graduation from California school rule. Thus, there is no private right even if there is harm to plantiffs and plantiffs cannot qualify for the benefit regardless of the immigrants' qualification (similarly for any equal protection claim).

[Indeed, as noted above, Sec. 10 of the U.S. Constitution in no way restricts the ability of States to grant benefits to non-U.S. citizens if they choose; States have a duty to citizens of other States only in so far as the U.S. Constitution so provides. I note that an interesting case could be made for the plaintiffs to demand recognition as California citizens (see Saenz v. Roe, 1999) although courts have managed already to reason their way out of this obvious route (cf. Rehnquist's dissent).]

The United States Constitution vests the power to regulate immigration solely with the United States government. The only valid court case therefore will (must!) be entitled: United States v. Regents.
9.17.2008 3:11am
jgshapiro (mail):

Redlands, that IS the debate. The "attrition" strategy is all about making illegal immigrants' lives so miserable that they will want to leave. And once you commit yourself to that strategy, the question is how miserable are you willing to make their lives?

No, the strategy is about not providing incentives for illegals to come, or for those who are already here, to stay. The more incentives you provide, the more will come or stay. The fewer incentives you provide, the fewer will come or stay. They are not coming for the weather. They are coming for the benefits, be it jobs, schools, health care, etc. If they cannot get any of these things while they are illegal, than there is no reason to come or stay.

Furthermore, this particular law is about telling states that they cannot treat illegals who live there better than legals or citizens who live elsewhere. So it does not make illegals from California any more miserable than California wishes to make legals and citizens from the other 49 states. Obviously, California is not trying to make students from say, Nevada, miserable by charging them out-of-state tuition. It is just allocating the costs of attendance in a way that favors those who have supported the schools in the past through their tax dollars and who are likely to continue doing so in the future after they complete their studies.

California can fix this problem either by (1) making sure that illegals pay out-of-state tuition; or (ii) eliminating the concept of out-of-state tuition and having all students pay the same tuition. What they cannot do is charge illegals in-state tuition while charging legals and citizens from Nevada out-of-state tuition. Put differently, if there is going to be such a thing as in-state tuition, it would have to be reserved for citizens and legal immigrants.

It's hard to see how this is comparable to (or would logically lead to) authorizing the rape of illegals, unless of course, you are just looking for a straw man.
9.17.2008 4:42am
Floridan:
I don't see how denying kids who may have attended local schools K through 12 and have no memory of living any other place than in the United States a financially-feasible way to attend college helps anyone.
9.17.2008 9:11am
RKV (mail):
"I don't see how denying kids who may have attended local schools K through 12 and have no memory of living any other place than in the United States a financially-feasible way to attend college helps anyone."

You're not looking very hard at the issue. State educational institutions SUBSIDIZE the cost of higher education. Your approach makes American taxpayers pay for foreigners college educations. Capeesh? Where the hell did you get the idea that it's OK to take other people's money on freeloaders? Spend your own if you want to, but Americans have other priorities.
9.17.2008 9:34am
Ken Arromdee:
I don't see how denying kids who may have attended local schools K through 12 and have no memory of living any other place than in the United States a financially-feasible way to attend college helps anyone.

If they are that dependent on a country that they have no right to live in, it's their parents' fault for making them so. We have no particular obligation to give someone benefits just because someone else has victimized them, and it's beyond me why Mexico hasn't arrested such parents for child abuse already.
9.17.2008 11:14am
Martha:

"If they are that dependent on a country that they have no right to live in, it's their parents' fault for making them so. We have no particular obligation to give someone benefits just because someone else has victimized them, and it's beyond me why Mexico hasn't arrested such parents for child abuse already."

Ladies and Gentlemen, behold: compassionate conservativism.
9.17.2008 11:28am
Hans Bader (mail):
The plaintiffs are right that the state law is invalid, although the remedy may not be the one they prefer.

The out-of-state U.S. students have standing to challenge the benefits to illegal aliens, even if it leads to the benefits being cut off to the illegal aliens rather than being extended to the U.S. citizens, since the Supreme Court ruled in Heckler v. Mathews, 465 U.S. 728 (1984), that people have standing to challenge a benefit denied them even if it leads to the abolition of the benefit -- in that case, men could challenge a benefit given only to women, even if the result would be that neither gender would receive it.

Moreover, that case was a federal standing case, and standing rules are more relaxed, and easier to meet, in California state court, especially in the context of challenges to state statutes. See Connerly v. State Personnel Board (2001) 92 Cal.App.4th 16 (minority man challenged in state court, and had courts strike down, California state affirmative action statutes, even though those statutes would likely benefit him, rather than harm him, and thus he could not have alleged the injury-in-fact needed to challenge those statutes in federal court).

It's worth noting that some other liberal states' laws don't just discriminate against U.S. citizens: they also discriminate against LEGAL aliens and in favor of ILLEGAL aliens. That is truly perverse, directly punishing people for complying with the law.
9.17.2008 12:27pm
Enlightenment (mail) (www):
This is an interesting situation. It seems that many of the communities involved talk a good game, but are not really taking much action to eliminate the problem.
I think it would certainly be interesting if Arkansas were to try and fund a presidential assassination, and fear that Fox would sign up to broadcast it as a reality show following American Idol.

Obviously I do not agree with that concept, nor that of the attrition of illegal aliens based on rape or assault of any kind.
9.17.2008 12:49pm
Ken Arromdee:
Ladies and Gentlemen, behold: compassionate conservativism.

The idea that we have a limited amount of aid to give and we can't help every person in the world who's in trouble isn't conservatism of any type, compassionate or otherwise, it's just common sense.

It would be different if the people were placed in their situation by us, but they weren't. They were made dependent on us against our will and in violation of laws that try to stop that from happening. We are no more obligated to help them than a bank is obligated to help someone who's parents rob the bank in order to pay for their necessities. But I'm sure you'd sarcastically claim the bank isn't being compassionate enough.
9.17.2008 2:23pm
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
In addition to the limited resources argument, others include: not braindraining foreign countries, forcing corrupt countries to take care of their own people, and not rewarding illegal activity and thereby encouraging more of it. Also, thanks to both people who clicked the link in my previous comment. It's extremely easy to resolve this issue, but no one is apparently interested in getting tens of thousands to millions of Youtube views (depending on the politician and how bad they're made to look).
9.17.2008 2:34pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
What you endeavor to call "attrition"

Just to be clear, I got the term "attrition" from Mark Krikorian, who is one of the foremost advocates of restrictionist immigration policies in the US. So it isn't what I "endeavor" to call it-- it's what advocates of the strategy call it.
9.17.2008 3:12pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
No, rigidly enforced "denial of access/services" is neither ineffective nor immoral. I've seen its superb effectiveness firsthand in my 11 years here in China and Japan. Like the US, both countries allow in immigrants but only under the most rigorous of checks. Neither brook visa overstaying or illegal employment under a different visa category, much less illegal entry into the country. And both allow foreign nationals to take citizenship but only under the severest of restrictions. Needless to say, illegal immigration is a blip in both, so their "denial of access/service" policies have been spectacularly effective.

China's a totalitarian dictatorship that oppresses more people than any government in history and which we should not emulate.

As for Japan, you might want to visit some Korean brothels and massage places in major cities, or find out the nationality of domestic workers, and then come back and tell me that illegal immigration is a "blip". (Also, Japan is surrounded by oceans, not land borders, so their border control issues are different.)
9.17.2008 3:15pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Furthermore, this particular law is about telling states that they cannot treat illegals who live there better than legals or citizens who live elsewhere.

jg:

I am not claiming that this law at issue is particularly cruel. I don't think it is, on balance, good policy, but I don't think it is cruel.

What I am saying is that for attrition to really work, you WOULD need to go much further than this and enact truly cruel policies that make illegal immigrants' lives miserable. Otherwise, you won't get very much attrition, and you will have created an incentive for some of the millions who stay to turn to crime and detach themselves from societal obligations.
9.17.2008 3:18pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Your approach makes American taxpayers pay for foreigners college educations. Capeesh? Where the hell did you get the idea that it's OK to take other people's money on freeloaders?

I would suggest to all those on the anti-illegal immigration side of the debate that if you want to be taken seriously, you need to root this type of rhetoric out your movement.

We subsidize the educations of all sorts of "foreigners", and often for very good reasons. And illegal immigrants-- who work for lower wages and pay social security and sales taxes without receiving governmental benefits-- are the opposite of freeloaders.
9.17.2008 3:20pm
David Muellenhoff (mail):
In the case of both the tuition-to-illegals issue and the California medical marijuana initiative, California chose to enact policies that, regardless of the legal arguments, clearly violated the intent of Federal law on the subject. There's a political dimension to this -- states thumbing their noses at Federal law -- that I find fascinating.
9.17.2008 3:41pm
RKV (mail):
Well Dilan, given your stated positions, no one who believes in America's sovereignty over it's own territory and institutions is going to give your assertion a second thought. The only things wrong with my argument, from your standpoint, is that its a) true and b) meaningful to a large majority of Americans. Most Americans can do the math, and subsidizing non-citizens strikes them as unfair to the taxpayers. You are way too free with other people's money.
9.17.2008 4:05pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Well Dilan, given your stated positions, no one who believes in America's sovereignty over it's own territory and institutions is going to give your assertion a second thought.

Don't flatter yourself. Plenty of people believe in American sovereignty and also reject calls to drastically restrict immigration.

Most Americans can do the math, and subsidizing non-citizens strikes them as unfair to the taxpayers.

We subsidize non-citizens all the time, and in all sorts of ways. And I have seen not a single national politician run for office on a platform of eliminating all subsidies to non-citizens, so I suspect that people aren't as outraged about this particular principle as you are.
9.17.2008 4:09pm
RKV (mail):
Dilan, Poll after poll after poll says that a large majority of Americans disagree with your position, and there is no flattery involved in those numbers. In re: subsidizing non-citizens - because we have made some mistakes, doesn't mean we should continue to make the same mistakes.
9.17.2008 4:46pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
RKV:

You were flattering yourself by claiming that only your side of the debate supports the concept of sovereignty.

As for public opinion, this is actually an issue where intensity of preference is different from public opinion as a whole. No doubt that there is a minority that really gets pissed off about illegal immigration. But they haven't been able to leverage that into any sort of a legislative majority or to affect national elections. That suggests that a lot of folks just don't care about this issue as much as you do.

Finally, I don't think you even understand the point I am making about subsidizing non-citizens. Nobody is calling for the abolishment of government grants for noncitizen researchers, or government contracts given to businesses owned by noncitizens, or tax deductions and credits on noncitizen tax forms, or all sorts of other government money that falls in the hands of noncitizens. It isn't a "mistake"-- it is part and parcel of running of government.

You are trying to make what is actually a narrow issue-- the LEVEL of subsidy given by state governments to illegal immigrant college students-- and claiming it falls into some broader principle, that the government must never subsidize noncitizens. But there is no such broader principle-- the government subsidizes noncitizens all the time, and nobody complains about it.
9.17.2008 5:02pm
RKV (mail):
You are mis-stating my argument (conveniently for you of course), while I understand your argument quite well (and your technique of confusing issues is transparent). We're just not going to agree Dilan, and I am getting nothing useful from your attempted arguments. I suspect you aren't either from mine, except perhaps as a reminder that your policy opinions are held by a minority of Americans. As to a majority of politicians being elected on this issue, those who feel as I do have in fact got a majority of American citizens on our side, and the politicians are beginning to listen. You do happen to notice the large scale immigration raids which have taken place lately? At this point they are more than "boob-bait for bubba" and the number of illegal immigrants in the US is dropping according to the census. http://www.cis.org/trends_and_enforcement Would that we could repeat President Eisenhower's 1954 Operation Wetback, but we'll get where we need to be soon enough with or without you. And yes, I wouldn't mind at all repeating what Eisenhower did, just to send a message to the folks in Cuidad Mexico who do happen to patrol their own southern border with their military. Political correctness will slow things a bit, but between the border fence and E-Verify I hope we can send millions of illegals back to their country of origin.

Why pray tell do you think this issue matters to me? I grew up in California and knew illegal aliens from the time I started school so it's not personal. And yes, they were illegal aliens. I speak Spanish and used to help them with their homework in elementary school. They're people, and if I was in their place I'd like cheaper college tuition myself. Having traveled in Mexico (and plenty of other places) I can understand why they (and their parents) want to be here. That doesn't mean it's right for them to get something American citizens don't. Non-citizens haven't earned that consideration.

As a taxpayer I've paid and paid and paid. My kids paid too, as thin school budgets got stretched pay for more students than otherwise - students who are here illegaly and also happen to require more expensive bi-lingual education. Yes it is more expensive, since they pay bonuses for Spanish speakers Dilan. And medical/dental attention for the illegals. And free lunches. And, and and.

I personally believe that the same thing that happened to my wife's mother on her first day of public school should happen to anyone who shows up without a command of English - they should be sent home and not allowed to enroll until they got it.

So now maybe you'll get a clue as to why the idea that giving a non-citizen a taxpayer funded tuition break is anathema to me. I'm tired of carrying these guys. I'm not holding my breath waiting for you to buy a clue, though.
9.17.2008 6:04pm
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
Dilan Esper writes: What I am saying is that for attrition to really work, you WOULD need to go much further than this and enact truly cruel policies that make illegal immigrants' lives miserable.

Imagine that there was a way to harm the career of every politician, business leader, MSM reporter, etc. every time they said or did something that encouraged illegal activity. They speak out in favor of sanctuary policies or condemn a raid, and their careers suffer. Only those who were really serious would continue their support for illegal activity. Without their support, it would soon be greatly reduced. Hopefully no one disagrees with that.

So, how do you do that? Go to their appearances and challenge them on this issue. Get their response on video, and upload it to Youtube and then promote it

Yes, it really is that simple.
9.17.2008 8:35pm
Floridan:
RVK,you need to put your head down on your desk and relax.

The truth is that the concept of illegal alien is somewhat whimsical anyway. Cubans sports stars who defect to the United States to make more money are welcomed with open arms. Haitians who come to escape grinding poverty and pervasive violence are thrown in jail and deported back to Haiti.

Illegal aliens from Canada and Ireland are ignored; those from Mexico hunted down.

Youths who have lived in the United States from their second day of life are deemed to be parasites and denied any chance to take a chance at living the American dream.

You can dress it up with "some of my best friends are illegal aliens" bs, and try to impress us with tough guy rhetoric about upholding the sanctity of the law, but in the end it's about 75% racism.
9.18.2008 12:37am
RKV (mail):
Floridian, in the end it's about 75% finance. You seem clueless of the Mexican chauvinism coming from the illegals. Victor Hansen grew up about 60 miles from me and he documents it well in Mexifornia. They don't have to obey our laws, learn our language or pay our taxes. That's what chaps my hide, Florida, not their race. The fact that you would play the race card only shows how weak your argument is. I take the time to spell things out, because there are real world consequences to issues like giving tuition breaks to illegal aliens. I've lived them, and you apparently have not. Or just don't give a damn. Pick one.
9.18.2008 11:16am
Floridan:
RVK: "They don't have to obey our laws, learn our language or pay our taxes."

I believe this is what was said of the Italians and Slavs a century ago.

I'm not so lucky as to live within 60 miles of the judicious farmer Hansen, but I do live in a notorious Florida county where over 50% of the population is foreign-born. I suspect a goodly portion of that percentage is here illegally.

I hope that the State of Florida makes it possible for every kid graduating from a Florida high school to attend one of the state universities or community colleges.

It's an good investment in our future.
9.18.2008 2:09pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
As to a majority of politicians being elected on this issue, those who feel as I do have in fact got a majority of American citizens on our side, and the politicians are beginning to listen. You do happen to notice the large scale immigration raids which have taken place lately?

As Mickey Kaus, who is on your side on these arguments, observes, you guys are really cheap dates. That stuff is for show, RKV. You are never going to get the sort of serious measures that you might favor to crack down on illegal immigration, because the number of people who actually CARE deeply about this issue is quite low. A larger number say they favor restrictions, but they don't really care enough to vote a politician out of office over it.

Imagine that there was a way to harm the career of every politician, business leader, MSM reporter, etc. every time they said or did something that encouraged illegal activity. They speak out in favor of sanctuary policies or condemn a raid, and their careers suffer. Only those who were really serious would continue their support for illegal activity. Without their support, it would soon be greatly reduced. Hopefully no one disagrees with that.

Like RKV, you need to stop assuming that everyone feels as intensely about this issue as you do. Sure, a lot of people are concerned about illegal immigration, but only a few are obsessed by it. And the reason why politicians aren't being voted out of office for advocating legal protections or humane treatment for illegal immigrants is because the number of people who actually feel really strongly about this issue isn't high enough to affect an election.
9.18.2008 3:41pm
RKV (mail):
Excuses, excuses, excuses. Americans can see right through the BS. No benefits for illegal immigrants. It's not in America's best interests to encourage freeloaders. It's not about race, it's about a commitment to American values and American laws. Not about who can get something for nothing.
9.18.2008 11:35pm