It’s dumb to block smart kids from going to college, even if they’re here illegally

WASHINGTON — With Americans furious over illegal immigration — Democrats, independents, Republicans and tea partiers — there is little hope for comprehensive immigration reform this year. Incredibly, a majority supports Arizona’s ugly new law, which — no matter what its proponents say — begs for racial profiling.

The harsh political climate may begin to look a bit sunnier as the recession recedes and hiring picks up. In fact, there is room even now for leadership on the issue of illegal immigration.

While 58 percent of Americans support Arizona’s approach, 57 percent of the nation favors allowing undocumented workers a path to citizenship. Voters could probably be persuaded to support comprehensive immigration reform if Democratic leaders made a sustained push for it.

Until that happens, Congress ought to concentrate on a few small bills that would represent a modest improvement over the current reality for millions of those without papers — a life of living in the shadows, without legal protections, with continual fear of deportation and little chance for improved circumstances.

One of the best opportunities lies in the DREAM Act, which would allow promising undocumented students to start a path toward citizenship if they meet certain standards. The proposal — pushed for years by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) — is intended to boost illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, have finished high school and want to attend college or join the U.S. Armed Forces. The bill is a win not only for those students, but also for the country as a whole.

Much of the fury directed at illegal immigrants feeds off the notion that many of them are unfairly taking advantage of benefits that should be restricted to American citizens. However, that’s not the case with college; undocumented students are not displacing bona fide citizens who have been denied a seat in Calculus II.

In fact, the United States doesn’t have nearly enough students attending college. President Obama has talked again and again about the country’s decline in educational attainment: the U.S. used to the lead the world in the number of people with college degrees, but we’ve fallen behind.

Our declining educational attainment comes as a structural change in the labor force has made post-secondary education more necessary for middle-class wages. According to Georgetown University researchers, there will be more positions demanding a two-year degree than qualified applicants to fill them by the year 2018.

In that climate, we can hardly afford to obstruct ambitious, hardworking young people who want to attend college and join the great American mainstream. According to some estimates, 65,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high schools each year. Why not let them attend college or join the military and then attain permanent legal status?

The DREAM Act doesn’t attempt to determine whether students here illegally should be charged in-state tuition. State legislatures would still be free to charge them the higher out-of-state rate, if they chose.

Nor would the DREAM Act attract a steady stream of illegal border-crossers. It is narrowly tailored for students who entered the country before the age of 15 and have lived here continuously for at least five years.

The act, would, however stop cold the kind of narrow-minded natavism that has gripped Georgia Republicans. According to Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Jim Galloway, 14 GOP state senators have demanded that Georgia colleges and universities refuse to accept students without papers.

Georgia has prospered because it has imported college graduates from other states, and it still needs a better eductated workforce. It’s shameful that so many of its elected officials believe it’s critical to deprive students of the opportunity to get a degree just because they entered the country illegally years ago.

It is a sensible proposal that deals with a small part of the problem of illegal immigration. Neverthless, Sen. Durbin seems willing to allow the bill to languish until the Senate takes up comprehensive immigration reform, which seems unlikely this year.

That leaves undocumented achievers such as Jessica Colotl, a student at metro Atlanta’s Kennesaw State University, and Eric Balderas, who attends Harvard, to live with fear and uncertainty. It’s in their best interests to pass the DREAM Act soon — and in the country’s best interests, as well.

416 comments Add your comment

Cindy

June 18th, 2010
9:51 pm

30% of the citizens in Arizona are Latino joan. How do you tell they are not illegal. If a Latino and a White person are both jogging with no ID do both of them get their citizenship checked?

LegalEagle

June 18th, 2010
9:55 pm

Not forcing ALL Arizonans to prove citizenship when without ID is exactly why this law will die in federal court. It is impossible to enforce without profiling and discriminating by race. I bet the 1st US citizen Arizonan that is detained for verification will be a very rich person shortly thereafter.

Cindy

June 18th, 2010
10:05 pm

joan

June 18th, 2010
9:46 pm
Cindy, common sense better start kicking in in this country or we will be doomed by people like you.

No joan, it’s people like you that are dooming this country. It’s unAmerican people like you that have no regard for the constitution. People like you would destroy all of the constitutional protections that make us free because you just don’t like certain people.

While you’re at it joan, what common sense? The kind of common sense that dictates brown people need to have their papers checked? Those brown folks are much better people than you. Those brown citizens are just as American as you and have the same constitutional protections as you joan whether you like it or not. And what does an illegal look like joan. Who would your warped idea of common sense dictate that you check. You are the kind of American that is not needed joan. You are so unamerican.

Cindy

June 18th, 2010
10:10 pm

Cynthia Tucker PLEASE do a column on what does an illegal look like. Your detractors ran like rabbits when they got pushed on that one. PLEASE Cynthia. It would be hilarious. Their silence on that question speaks volumns doesn’t it?

Mid-South Philosopher

June 18th, 2010
10:14 pm

Isn’t it a shame that neither Georgie nor Barry are MEN enough to have lived up to their respective oaths of office?

What pitiable excuses they are.

The sad part…given that which is out there…there is nothing any better.

Soames

June 18th, 2010
10:23 pm

Cindy,

An illegal comes in shapes, sizes and colors. You are missing the point that when you are approached by a policeman, what is the first thing they ask you for? Your identification. IF you don’t have identification they will ask you your name and DOB so they can try and verify “who” you are. Try reading the bill and pay attention to Article 8b…

Josh

June 18th, 2010
10:23 pm

CT said, “Arizona’s ugly new law.”

CT, you have joined Obama, Hillary, and Holder in not reading the law. You all are making yourself look like fools. All the Arizona law says and is is the federal law! Anyways, Freedom comes with Character and RESPONISBILITY. Both of which the names I have listed lack much of.

justsomefacts

June 18th, 2010
10:30 pm

CT – may I post some text from SB 1070 so Cindy can know what she is talking about?

Thanks

justsomefacts

June 18th, 2010
10:31 pm

As far as Blutto’s comments regarding illegal immigrants who are criminals, there are nearly 500,000 illegal immigrants living in Arizona. Over 241,000 illegal immigrants were apprehended in the Tucson sector ALONE and 1.3 million pounds of marijuana was confiscated…in the Tucson sector ALONE. It’s easy sit in Washington and criticize State’s for trying to protect their people because of the lack of action by the federal government – Republicans & Democrats are BOTH guilty. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, while illegal immigrants make up 9 percent of Arizona’s population, they account for 22 percent of the felonies, constitute 11 percent of the state prison population, while 16.5 percent are sentenced for violent crimes.

morefacts

June 18th, 2010
10:42 pm

Are you ever going to approve my comment with some text directly from the “racist bill” in question CT? Is Big Sista restricting the flow of logic into the blog space or is that a computer glitch every time some facts that make you look silly get posted? Also, are you insisting that the children of illegal immigrants be allowed access to HOPE and some of the other freebies…I mean they are pretty much bleeding us dry. The Democrats are trying to get us ALL on the plantation..workin fo massa!

Keep spinning….

morefacts

June 18th, 2010
10:45 pm

SB 1070 is pretty cut and dry..not a lot of fluff. Easy to understand w/o a college degree…even Peadawg can read it and clearly understand it. Keep insisting that the bill promotes racial profiling…another media sock puppet…blah blah blah

Rodney S.

June 18th, 2010
10:56 pm

How ’bout we work on saving our own state (that seems to be running on empty) before worrying about improving the lives of our illegal residents?

neo-Carlinist

June 18th, 2010
11:07 pm

this is just another example of how illegal immigration is a political issue, and not a “national security” issue. where do the universities play into this? do they not perform “background checks”? do they not confirm “residency” or INS status? this is no different than the employers/corporations that hire undocumented workers. I can’t buy beer at Kroger without a valid ID. do you mean to tell me some state college or university cannot confirm an applicant’s eligibility?

Scout

June 18th, 2010
11:12 pm

“Wee doan neeeed no stinking documenta-cion”

niggress

June 18th, 2010
11:12 pm

throw this bitch in the trash…………….

ken

June 18th, 2010
11:17 pm

How about taking the money that costs to take care of illegals and start a scolarship fund for people that can,t afford to go to college.
Cindy, if you thought illegals and their off spring would vote Republican, you would want a bullet train built to send them back.
Your an easy read.

neo-Carlinist

June 18th, 2010
11:28 pm

I would imagine that most of these state universities have what is called an “Admissions Office”. And in these offices are employees whose job it is (unglamorous as I may appear) to sift through APPLICATIONS FOR ADMISSIONS. once the check clears (what is the application fee these days? back in the 70’s it was like $25 for a state school and $50 for a private school), the next “filter” should be social security number. Not GPA or state of residence, but SSN (to confirm citizenship). if the applicant is not a citizen, does he/she have the necessary (student) visa to attend a school in the United States? if not, I’m sure somebody can draft a polite, “thanks, but your application has been denied” letter. I am sure lots of Americans who apply for construction jobs, or food service jobs, which are filled by undocumented workers, get similar letters. And CT, you have to do better than, “we can’t afford to turn away smart people”. WHY? Intelligence and motivation are subjective and dumb people who are unmotivated enjoy the same rights as highly motivated, smart people. Like it, or not, there are only so many jobs in the workplace and so many spaces in the 2010 Freshman class at State U.

jkim

June 18th, 2010
11:57 pm

Blutto:

On your GAO citing, you fail to mention that the population figure of 55,000 in this study were from people already arrested and not an actual sampling of the immigrant population. In the same report illegal alien population is estimated to be 10 million and the focus is on 55K arrestees so let’s keep these numbers in context. I will not debate each figure you have listed but you are absolutely right in that these criminals have no business being here.

My point is, it is easy to start throwing numbers around and manipulate presentation of data to fit anyone’s view, especially due to the fact that any figures on illegal immigrants are based merely on estimates. Let’s get beyond the notion that ALL illegal immigrants are violent criminals. Let’s have a fair debate without lumping everyone into this group. I think everyone can agree that violent criminals have no business in this country and should be deported.

Paul

June 18th, 2010
11:58 pm

I love how all the amnesty supporters keep pointing out how smart this young man is — because, in reality, they are not willing to deport anyone. The fact that he attends Harvard would only be relevant if you believe that those who are not so intelligent ought to be deported, and of course you don’t not believe that. The Dream Act would be a nightmare, and it will never become law as long as it is so poorly drafted and would allow parents to benefit from their illegal conduct.

MikeB

June 19th, 2010
12:48 am

**”Liberals adore laws that are not on the books but wish to ignore those that are. To liberals the rule of law means never having to obey ones with which you disagree.”**

Blutto re: your post from 3:28pm Friday…………… This is a SPOT ON description of Ms. Tucker, not to mention the the present occupant 1600 PA,Ave. Speaker Pelosi, Sen. Reid ect. ect. Kudo’s for shining a light on Ms. Tucker and folks who trivialize the laws that are presently on the books in our United States via the 2nd post in this blog.

Don’t like the law? Understand…… Go through the process, put in the WORK, and get it changed…. Turning a blind eye, and massaging words till they appear to mean something other than the most accurate/appropriate description of a situation is not an honorable way to effect change in the minds of people. It is subversive and very damaging, but unfortunately something liberals and conservatives engage in. Liberals just have many more platforms/venues to pontificate from…….. Time, Newsweek, NYC Times, NBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, AJC, Boston Globe, LA Times………. I could go on for days….. Conservatives……. Manchester Union Leader, Fox News, a couple less circulated D.C. papers, WSJ, and talk radio……. I would say the playing field is not level, and thats the way libs like it. I encourage everyone to sort through the “noise” of posts, reports, and discussions like what Ms. Tucker has printed here, and really examine the verbage before forming opinions. Right and wrong unfortunately exist in America people. So do legal and Illegal, no matter how much “Opinion” writers like Ms. Tucker try to marginalize the concept.

Good job Blutto!

Raymond Huffman

June 19th, 2010
12:53 am

No, the facts are that he got admitted to Harvard, and his parents brought him here illegally. The fact he goes to Harvard is relevant because it shows you will deport anybody, even our Ivy leaguers. And all because their parents duped our porous border and bogus immigration laws 20 years ago. Why do you hate children and high achievers?

The line to get into the US is only short when you’re already here. Mexican parents of “anchor babies” have to wait 20 years, and their children can’t petition for them until the children turn 21. But if those parents had their children here illegally, they can never enter the US legally. We are enforcing these laws as best as we can, except against the corporations who hire them. But there are too many people who are not going to wait 20 years for their citizenship papers. So you go secure the border! Maybe you can join the AZ Minutemen or help them build that fence they never finished when Bush was Prez.

NiceDawgDeux

June 19th, 2010
1:03 am

Cindy, it would help if you actually read the law, but then you wouldn’t have anything to say, as it CLEARLY states that they have to be pulled over for a legitimate reason, not just random “who looks like an hispanic, lets check him”. What does a legal look like Cindy?

NiceDawgDeux

June 19th, 2010
1:05 am

Blutto, frustrating dealing with libs who hate facts? It messes with their narrow minds, and pushes the button to yell racisim.

crystal

June 19th, 2010
1:12 am

What is the point of sending these students to college when after they complete college, without a social security number, and legal status, they will not be able to find work in their field.The best thing they can do is to go back to their country of origin and make a life there.

Ayn Rand was right

June 19th, 2010
2:01 am

Cindy…you are an ignorant idiot…if YOU get caught jay-walking, guess what the cops are going to ask you for…if you can’t produce it, you go “downtown” until you can sort out your identity. AZ is matching Federal Laws, which are not being enforced, and the masses are freaking out. The masses should be freaking out that AZ has to enact a law to enforce what the Feds are not.

jj

June 19th, 2010
2:30 am

i would rather give a dumb american a hope scolarship than have 1 illegal student paying double tuition.

bob

June 19th, 2010
2:31 am

cindy – how may illegal students are taking the place of minority students in our universities (dumb or otherwise)

Steve

June 19th, 2010
2:46 am

This has got to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read from this Cynthia Tucker . . .

Rick

June 19th, 2010
5:39 am

“the DREAM Act wouldn’t prompt “an influx of illegal immigrants.”
================
Wrong! Their is a legal path to citizenship and they have not chosen that path. We would be rewarding their parents illegal actions and creating another law that would draw additional illegal aliens into the US.

It appears now that Obama has decided to file a lawsuit against the AZ immigration law. This is going to be a mistake as it will galvanize the American public against illegal aliens. It will highlight the complete and utter failure of the Obama administration to secure our borders and reduce illegal immigration. Obama will actually be fighting for the right to continue slapping Americans around on this issue of illegal immigration.

I can not wait to see the public respond to actions that our contrary to the will of the people. It will be the last straw that turns up the heat on illegal immigration and the Obama administration. Just in time to defeat additional Democrats in the upcoming elections!

Cynthiaisanidiot

June 19th, 2010
5:59 am

Let us follow Cynthia’s logic, allow ANYONE and EVERYONE who wants to be in the USA ILLEGALLY, let me repeat that word, ILLEGALLY, access to whatever we have that we have earned or produced through our own efforts to provide for our family. So we are to allow complete and total strangers into our homes to rape our wives, murder our children, steal our food and we are not to defend our RIGHT to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. There is a word for that, COMMUNIST. Actually, there’s another word for it: IDIOT. Cynthia, like her father before her, is a dyed-in-the-wool communist and this “newspaper” should be ashamed to have her filth spread.

ILLEGAL, not immigrant. The leftists want us to confuse the two words and ignore our rights. Otherwise, there is no point to this country’s existence, and that is exactly what Cynthia wants to have happen. Shame on her for being such a worthless citizen with her faux compassion.

Vince

June 19th, 2010
6:01 am

The only one that’s “Dumb” is you, Cynthia. Do you even have a freaking clue on civilized life? You people want to live in a lawless society and make the rules up just to serve you and your kind. Please leave……..You are a festering sore that needs cleansing.

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 19th, 2010
6:16 am

Roberto: What does an “illegal” look like Lil Barry?
———————–

The vast majority of them look Mexican or Central American. Why do you ask such obvious questions? Do you think everyone is so bullied by politically correct funktards that they won’t acknowledge simple facts?

Poppy

June 19th, 2010
6:20 am

The liberal mind. What a waste.

Rick

June 19th, 2010
6:22 am

The Obama administration is not only failing at securing our borders, it is attempting to stop Arizona from securing it own border with Mexico. It even announces a lawsuit against AZ to citizens of a foreign nation before it informs the governor of Arizona!

Obama and the Democrats continue to put the interests of foreign governments and illegal aliens before the interests of US citizens and legal residents!

Clinton discloses the adminstrations intent to sue on a visit to Ecuador two weeks ago.
———————
Mrs. Clinton’s disclosure — which came to light after her interview was posted by a political blog, therightscoop.com — quickly became fodder for political campaigns in Arizona. Republicans, led by Ms. Brewer, seized on the notion of a domestic policy decision’s being disclosed on foreign soil.

“This is no way to treat the people of Arizona,” the governor said in a statement. “To learn of this lawsuit through an Ecuadorean interview with the secretary of state is just outrageous. If our own government intends to sue our state to prevent illegal immigration enforcement, the least it can do is inform us before it informs the citizens of another nation.”

Bob

June 19th, 2010
6:32 am

Cynthia, we have people, legal residents, waiting in line to get into UGA, why ley illegals step to the front of the line ?

Kristian

June 19th, 2010
6:36 am

No way do illegals deserve education. That means true blooded AMERICANS will not get that seat. I am tired of all the illegals and the billions eat up. They get health care, government assistance. I have to pay for that. I complain and I am a racist. This country has gotten too comfortable and too afraid to really say what they mean because of a backlash. I want a vote by true Americans only and I bet the illegals will really see they are not wanted here.

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 19th, 2010
6:36 am

Bob, before Cynthia can answer that question, she’ll need to know if the law abiding folks waiting to get into UGA vote Democrat or Republican.

Rick

June 19th, 2010
6:36 am

The Georgia board of Regents want to allow illegal aliens to attend Georgia colleges and universites as long as they pay out of state tuition.

Well, some will say that allowing one student like Jessica Colotl will not deny US citizens a seat at a Georgia school. How about 10, or 100, or 1000 illegal aliens students. Where will the Georgia Board of Regents draw the line? Out of state tuition DOES NOT COVER THE COST OF EDUCATING A STUDENT! At best, it can be CALCULATED to cover the proportional immediate yearly costs of running an institution, but not the long term costs of developing a college or university. It also denies US citizens access to that school.

Allowing attendance by illegal aliens would be fair only if ALL students were admitted without regard to GPA’s or abilities would US citizens and Georgians in particular!

Educating illegal aliens at an institution in Georgia only increases the competition for skilled jobs here. Why would legal residents of Georgia want to put their children at any further disadvantage in the JOB MARKET!

Forget the “facts” about the availability of PLENTY OF JOBS FOR SKILLED WORKERS! That is a fallacy that has fallen by the wayside in the global labor market. There is an excess of “educated” labor here in the US. Those jobs have moved to countries with lower wages and standards of living….like Mexico and other Central and South American countries. The same countries who are sending immigrants to the US where they feast on the US welfare state.

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 19th, 2010
6:49 am

World Sees Obama as Incompetent and Amateur
By Mortimer B. Zuckerman
Posted June 18, 2010

President Obama came into office as the heir to a great foreign policy legacy enjoyed by every recent U.S. president.

Yet, the Iraq war lingers; Afghanistan continues to be immersed in an endless cycle of tribalism, corruption, and Islamist resurgence; Guantánamo remains open; Iran sees how North Korea toys with Obama and continues its programs to develop nuclear weapons and missiles; Cuba spurns America’s offers of a greater opening; and the Palestinians and Israelis find that it is U.S. policy positions that defer serious negotiations, the direct opposite of what the Obama administration hoped for.

The reviews of Obama’s performance have been disappointing. He has seemed uncomfortable in the role of leading other nations, and often seems to suggest there is nothing special about America’s role in the world. The global community was puzzled over the pictures of Obama bowing to some of the world’s leaders and surprised by his gratuitous criticisms of and apologies for America’s foreign policy under the previous administration of George W. Bush. One Middle East authority, Fouad Ajami, pointed out that Obama seems unaware that it is bad form and even a great moral lapse to speak ill of one’s own tribe while in the lands of others.

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 19th, 2010
6:58 am

Cindy: If a Latino and a White person are both jogging with no ID do both of them get their citizenship checked?
—————–

No, idiot, neither of them get their ID checked. Unless one of them is suspected of some criminal offense.

Are you intentionally ignorant of the Arizona law, or just plain ignorant?

Jeff

June 19th, 2010
7:02 am

It seems CT’s phrase of “pay their fair share” doesn’t really apply to everyone. Typical liberal hypocite.

Gordon

June 19th, 2010
7:14 am

Cynthia,

What other laws should we ignore, or only follow when it is convenient? Who gets to decide that?

What they give is what they take away.

June 19th, 2010
7:50 am

GM if things does not change, there will not be any electios. We will have a dictator and a bunch of goons running this country. There will be only two races of people in this country, the few haves, and the slaves. Do not get your hopes up to much, because it is going to happen to you too.

What they give is what they take away.

June 19th, 2010
7:54 am

A mind in a liberal is a big waste of gray matter.

Decatur Taliban

June 19th, 2010
8:11 am

The US government is not serious about this problem and it’s the same with the oil spill in the Gulf. It will take another attack like 9-11 to close the border and control who comes and goes. To do that will require militarizing it and planting mines and barbed wire in the same way as is the case in Korea. The current president and his minions are weak and accommodating; they are perpetuating this outrage and they have the nerve to be crafting a lawsuit against Arizona which is doing the job that the federal government should be doing?! I hope the Supreme Court does the right thing and shows that Arizona’s law is the model to follow.

Rick

June 19th, 2010
8:11 am

If you are in the US illegally, you do not and should not be afforded any rights that are reserved for US citizens. It does not matter if you are a child, young person or adult. illegal is illegal. If you do not want to learn english, do not want to follow the estabilished path to being a citizen, that millions have followed in the past, then go home to your “homeland”. Do not come to my country, protesting and wave a “foreign” flag around. If you are wanting to be here, become a legal citizen and act like an American. All illegals should be deported ASAP, period.

AlG

June 19th, 2010
8:12 am

Hey Cynthia, why stop at letting illegals attend our colleges here? Let’s just go ahead and pay tuition for every kid in every country in the world to go to school anywhere in the world. I’m sure China will lend us the money, and then your Lord Obama can be declared world Regent by all the grateful moochers.

Rick

June 19th, 2010
8:16 am

There should be a state created for the weak minded, bleeding hearts and Cynthia should be made the “Czar” of this state. If she feels so strongly about this, why doesn’t she open her own home up to some of these poor, misunderstood, illegals?

StraitRoad

June 19th, 2010
8:19 am

Ms. Tucker,

Might I suggest a compromise on the subject of illegal immigration and the legality of the Arizona law? If we concede that the law allows for racial profiling and that racial profiling is wrong, will liberals concede that Affirmative Action allows for racial profiling thereby meeting the same standard? I mean no disrespect but this is where liberals lose credibility. If you claim to oppose race-based law, the application of your opposition needs to be consistent.

kayaker 71

June 19th, 2010
8:20 am

Over 60% of Americans overall and over 70% of Arizonans support the Arizona law. The vast majority of Americans are in favor of better border security and stopping the influx of these criminals. So what’s the problem? Bozo, Holder and Tucker are living in some sort of dream land. You liberals keep harping on the fact that Bozo won 52% of the vote….. that, to you is a majority. See above.