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April 21, 2005

Making illegal immigration easier

Supporters of immigrant tuition bill ask for end to attacks

There is a bill being floated in the NC Congress that would allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition to attend North Carolina's public universities.

I am currently pursuing my MBA at UNC-Greensboro and the program is at least 30% International. On average, an International or out-of-state student in the program pays literally almost twelve (update: it's actually about 7) times what I pay for a single semester. If I were an International or out-of-state student, I would rapidly reconsider the return on investment of an MBA degree at the school, but that's beside the point.

I would also find it incredibly offensive if I were an International student that had gone through legal channels to enter the U.S. to study only to find people here illegally paying seven times less for the same education. I can't even imagine how an out-of-state U.S. citizen might feel.

Personally I feel that if you're here illegally, you should be packed up and shipped out, not welcomed with free healthcare and cheap access to American universities. I don't have any problem with immigration per se, but I think it's ludicrous to have immigration laws if you're going to just ignore them. If you want to migrate to the U.S., fill out the paperwork and wait in line like the hundreds of thousands of other hopeful immigrants.

Posted by Kehaar at April 21, 2005 01:39 PM | TrackBack
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Well put. When I (stupidly) enrolled in the MLS program at UNC a few years ago as an out-of-state student*, I paid a hideous amount of money. The idea that people that are here illegally would get to pay so much less kind of irks me.

Though I do think you could make a good argument for relaxing immigration laws--in NC at least immigrant labor has been a great help in the construction boom.

*stupid that I did it as an out-of-state, not stupid in enrolling at UNC.**
**by UNC, I mean UNC-CH of course :)

Posted by: Doug at April 21, 2005 04:05 PM

Our state legislature (Ark.) tried to pass a similar bill. It didn't pass in part because of concerns it was illegal as written. Apparently there's case law that says schools can't offer in-state tuition rates to certain groups & not others without the same residency requirements in-state students must meet. And legal opinion was that the bill's requirement that illegals attend Arkansas schools for 4 yrs. didn't meet that requirement. Conceivably a student could meet the attendance requirement & still not be a state resident at the time he/she applied for college.

Not my area of practice, but as far as I could tell, that's correct. Depending on how your state's legislation is written, it could have the same problem.

Even if that wasn't an issue, I have a problem with rewarding people for illegal behavior.

Posted by: rita at April 22, 2005 07:31 AM


Presumably Internationals already decided it was a worthwhile investment at the offered price. Apparently they don't have the options you have. Not relevant here because fact someone is getting a better deal does not affect the degree's value for you unless it causes dilution or you think Hispanics sully the image.


Tuition subsidy is a handout, and handouts are ostensibly reserved for purposes of humanitarian support or to promote an outcome beneficial to the offeror. In my experience, Internationals attending US universities tend to be relatively wealthy and unlikely to require humanitarian support. When it promotes our interests, we provide fellowships and scholarships to Internationals (at least we did in my engineering department). Illegal latinos OTOH are headed to poverty unless pulled out via higher education - hence, humanitarianism justification. Also, they are here and will become a burden unless we make them more productive (bottom line: it's an investment). I'm not saying save the world (I'll leave than to Jeff Sachs and Bono), I'm saying deal with the situation in our backyard regardless of how it got here. Certainly there are US citizens in the same boat, but that's another issue and we aren't serving them (or us) well in any event. Out of staters can take advantage of their own state's subsidies (if any) or rue the bad luck that had them grow up out of NC. It's still much better luck than any illegal had.

"Illegal" is an easy term to throw around when you're born lucky, but broadly asserted implies a caste system - what differentiates our own poor other than their place of birth? In the same way we democratically decide what was an illegal taking is now a legal tax, we likewise make political and economic decisions as to who we regard as a legal or illegal citizen or guest.

One other point: we have a vested interest in immigrants we don't have in Internationals. Internationals are likely to return to their home country with their education. Illegal immigrants will stay here.


i feel the same way about the legions of US kids who drop out of school or otherwise pass up the opportunities we make great sacrifice to offer them, and them blame helpless poor for their dissatisfaction. I also feel that way about people in the middle class who make lifestyle choices that result in under funded savings and then bemoan the limited but world-class subsidized healthcare we offer. There is something fundamentally wrong with chastising people who never got a chance more than people who passed up a chance. Beyond that, most economists seem to disagree with you as to net effect of immigrants.


i have my own complaints about easy immigration, but they don't apply to the tuition issue unless you really believe it materially promotes immigration. That said, perhaps the immigration laws are intended as a valve that can be relatively enforced as needed - an indirect adjustment like the Fed with interest rates. It's a clever way to ensure a cheap labor pool, like keeping sharecroppers in debt.


well, you might say illegal entry is a good way to filter down to the most motivated and robust. But now for the existential part of our program. Rent any of the documentaries "Born into Brothels" (Calcutta), "Life and Debt" (Jamaica), "Lost Boys of Sudan", and "Balseros" (cuba) and tell me what makes you so special that they should be effectively damned to poverty while you were not? Now as Ayn Rand might say, them's just the breaks, but in the case of tuition, them's the ones who got a break and took it. Why hold it against them (kids!) that they worked harder to get to that campus than any of us ever will?

Here's a link to chew on, especially the ending


that sounds like you're only interested in exploiting poor folk, and is great fodder for the next che, mugabe, etc., who will, in fact, exploit poor folk…


if you're a lawyer, you've read enough case law to see just how arbitrary the law is on matters like these, and a lot of behavior (like not making an SEC filing) is illegal only because that facilitates the prevention of truly bad behavior (securities fraud). Punishing the accountant for the sins of Fastow is one thing, but punishing the son of an illegal immigrant for his mother's sneaking in (which itself may be admirable in the absolute sense) is adhering to the law for its own sake.

Posted by: dave at April 22, 2005 12:58 PM

natch, my post above was supposed to include pastes from earlier posts but they disappeared.

Posted by: dave at April 22, 2005 01:02 PM

I told you this would happen. Traitor Mexicans with American citizenship attack a Minuteman support rally. Read this and just wait another 5 decades when the western USA is Mexican run. Can you say the end of a 50 state union? It will happen if the US Government does not wake up. When will people listen?? YOU CANNOT CREATE A NATION WITHIN A NATION AND HAVE EVERYTHING WORK OUT JUST FINE!!!!!
May 26, 2005 : California
E-mail story   Print   Most E-Mailed
Violence Erupts at O.C. Protest
Crowd gets rough and police swarm in after a Minuteman event in Garden Grove.
By Monte Morin and David Reyes, Times Staff Writers
Three people were injured and at least eight arrested Wednesday in Garden Grove after a motorist drove into a crowd of 300 demonstrators protesting a speech by the founder of the Minuteman Project, authorities said.
The Minuteman Project is a citizens group that patrols the U.S.-Mexico border in an effort to stop illegal immigration.
The demonstrators had gathered at the Women's Civic Club of Garden Grove on Chapman Avenue about 7:30 p.m. to protest an appearance by James Gilchrist, charging that he and his group were racist.
Gilchrist has denied those claims and insists the group is stopping only illegal immigration. His talk was sponsored by Citizens for Action Now, an anti-illegal immigration group.
The motorist had attended Gilchrist's speech and was leaving when protesters began hitting his van with placards and other objects, said Garden Grove Police Lt. David Kivler. The driver, who was not identified but spoke to a KCAL-TV Channel 9 reporter, said he gunned his car engine to get away from the crowd. The man was arrested.
Authorities said the incident occurred when 100 listeners attempted to leave through the crowd of demonstrators. Kivler said protesters gathered around one of their cars.
"They surrounded it and started beating on it," Kivler said. Then, a second car tried to get through the crowd as well.
"As he was doing so he hit at least three people," Kivler said. All three were transported to a local hospital. None had major injuries, he said.
Kivler said the crowd grew increasingly boisterous after the injuries.
He said protesters began throwing filled soda cans at the assembled Garden Grove, Anaheim and CHP officers. At least eight people were arrested on suspicion of felony assault, while others were booked for disturbing the peace.
A witness, Eric Garcia, 22, of Anaheim said the evening turned ugly about 9 p.m. after the talk.
He said some protesters were in a driveway when someone in a car tried to leave and made contact with the group. "Then all hell broke loose," Garcia said. "People started throwing things, like rocks and bricks and stuff."
Within minutes, he said, there were about 30 police cars, and dozens of officers on horseback or wearing SWAT gear.
Protester Jose Gonzales, 27, a graduate student at UCLA, said he noticed dozens of additional police officers, some of them on horseback, arriving on the scene. He said they began making arrests and dispersing the crowd, which had been marching in front of the building where Gilchrist was speaking.
"When the meeting let out … police dragged people, men and women," Gonzales said. "There were men and women and children running away…. I ran. I lost my shoe."
By 10 p.m. police ordered the crowd to disperse, saying they were part of an unlawful assembly. If they refused, police said, they would be arrested. Within half an hour, the streets were nearly empty of protesters.

Posted by: Ames Tiedeman at May 26, 2005 04:34 PM
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