April 18, 2007

More outrage in Georgia: Limited college classroom seats going to illegal aliens while Americans pay more for tuition.

Posted by D.A. King at 11:32 am - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  

Limited college classroom seats going to illegal aliens while Americans pay more for tuition.

A Georgia college student writes about justice, instate tuition and that pesky law.

My name is Jan Gonzales. I am a full time student at Dalton State College, pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. I am neither a racist nor xenophobic. I am opposed to granting in-state tuition or any other benefit to illegal aliens.

I moved to Dalton in May 2006. I tried to register for the fall session, but because CA lost my GED records, I had to retake the GED test in Georgia. I had to wait until I received the official word from CA that no records
existed of my GED diploma in any agency in CA before Georgia would allow me to retake the GED. That took 4 months. I received my GED diploma from Georgia in January and began classes the following day.

Because I have not lived in Georgia for a full year, I paid out-of-state tuition in the amount of $3206 for this semester. In-state tuition is $794. I paid my tuition with a Pell Grant and Stafford Student Loans. They were
also going to charge me out-of-state tuition for the summer semester because classes would begin 6 days before I had lived in Georgia a full year.

On February 9, 2007 Dr. Burran President of Dalton State College was quoted in the Dalton newspaper saying that he had granted in-state tuition to approximately 40 illegal aliens.
United States Code Title 8, Chapter Chapter 14, Section 1623 states

“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.
(b) Effective date
This section shall apply to benefits provided on or after July 1,

Based on this law, I wrote to the college and asked for them to refund the difference between the proper charge of in-state tuition, and the overcharged out of state tuition. They denied my request, stating that they
had given the tuition waivers to others, and that they were compliant with the Board of Regents policy.

They totally disregarded the Federal law.

When I wrote to the Board of Regents, Student Affairs office appealing their decision, their response was that they would be holding public meetings to discuss the issue this spring. Never in my life have I ever heard of a state agency saying that they were going to hold public discussions to determine if they will comply with a federal law. In fact, the college quotes the federal laws quite often when they are explaining this policy or that policy.

I’m angry. I’m angry because I am not being afforded the equal protection under the law that the Constitution of the United States says I am entitled to. I’m angry because I, too, have a limited income, work hard, and am only trying to better my situation – yet those who break the law are given preferential treatment.

I’ve tried to see the other side of the coin. I have heard the stories of the children who were brought here illegally by their parents. In 1982, in the Plyer vs Doe case – ironically brought under the equal protection clause – the Supreme Court decided in a 5-4 decision that the children of illegal aliens were entitled to an elementary education. The court stated that education was not a “fundamental right”, but that the children had no control over their parent’s choices.

But as adults, those children of illegal aliens do have choices. Many of us have had to overcome poor choices that our parents made. If I robbed a bank, my children would not be able to keep the proceeds of that robbery
even if though they are bright, hard working people. The consequences of the crime are the deterring factor. If my children were able to reap the rewards of my crime, I would be more willing to commit it. Providing
in-state tuition to illegal aliens encourages illegal aliens to come to Georgia.

It is a crime to come into the United States without the proper documentation. It is a crime to hire a person who does not have authorization to be in the United States. It is a crime to aid and abet illegal aliens.

One argument in support of in-state tuition for illegal aliens is that if an illegal alien graduated from a Georgia High School, they should be encouraged to attend college. Generally the illegal aliens are low-income students who could not afford to attend college at the out of state tuition rates. They state that without a college education that they will be forever assigned to menial, low-paying jobs. But the cost of college is a
factor for most people, including United States citizens.

I could not afford to attend college without obtaining loans. I am a low-income student.

I graduated from high school in Georgia. Why can’t I be treated at the very least equally? Why do I have to compete with an adult who isn’t supposed to be in the country in the first place?

They claim that the illegal aliens sign a promise to obtain legal status as soon as possible. They don’t allow a person to sign a promise to obtain a high school diploma before enrolling. The documents must be in place priorto enrollment for everyone except illegal aliens.

They claim, “They say y’all and like the Braves”. But my experience both in town and on campus is that they don’t say y’all, they speak Spanish, like soccer, and fly the Mexican flag.

Georgia has seen a huge rise in the illegal immigrant population in the last several years. They come here for jobs. Some of Georgia’s employers have decided that they are willing to risk hiring illegal aliens. Any fines that
may have been assessed were considered a cost of doing business and they continue their illegal practices. But the citizens of our state and the nation are rising up and speaking out. To the citizens and legal
immigrants, the benefits do not outweigh the costs.

Illegal aliens have a large lobby. If an illegal alien were charged four times what an American was charged for the same thing, it would be on the 5 o’clock news, complete with legal representation. But just who is it that is speaking for the citizens of Georgia who are faced with that circumstance?

Where do we go for equal protection? Who defends the citizens and legal immigrants who are being deprived of their rights?

Educating Georgia is an important goal. It is the future of our state! But illegal aliens cannot legally work in Georgia, let alone the United States.

Our class sizes are limited; our budget is limited. The funds need to be targeted to where Georgia can legally benefit from it. Providing in-state tuition to illegal aliens is not a fiscally responsible policy.

Because the Board of Regents has allowed in-state tuition for illegal aliens, all United States citizens are also entitled to in-state tuition. That includes me. It’s the law. I want the $2,512 that I was overcharged

Theodore Roosevelt said “No man is above the law and no one is below it, nor do we ask any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it”.

That sums up my feelings quite well.

Jan Gonzales is a mother of 2 and grandmother of 5 who is enrolled full time at
Dalton State College. She is employed at a local retail store and lives in
Dalton, Ga.

She can be contacted through the Dustin Inman Society