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

Dave from GT

June 19th, 2010
8:20 am

So we don’t have enough smart young people here, with taxpayer parents already?

If Tucker is so convinced that this is the way, then why doesn’t she pony up all of her money to support these young foreign geniuses herself – at a private college, and get them a student visa to attend.?

The only way to shut down liberals like CT is to cut off their source of other peoples’ money. Or…. perhaps with her fearless leader Obama around, the money will be cut off all by itself!

November

June 19th, 2010
8:25 am

no matter what its proponents say — begs for racial profiling.

So Cynthia, now you’re a constitutional lawyer? among other things, such as being “Dumb”. I’ve asked you this question before and I’m gonna ask it again…..”Do you really believe all these words you write or are you just writing them to stir up a hornet’s nest and get paid so you can write some more of this tripe? You need to start looking beyond your color and start looking at the well being of the country that gives you the freedom to espouse this kind of rhetoric.

Mitchel

June 19th, 2010
8:28 am

What’s DUMB is the AJC keeps distributing mindless garbage from Tucker all these years.
Didn’t bother to read what was written.
Seriously, when was the last time this woman has written anything based on facts and the ability for complex thought?
I hope her children aren’t as DUMB as she is.
I don’t know a thing about her family life, but if I were to guess I wouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t have any family. I guess this because she never shows any understanding of the complexities of family life, general responsibility, accountability, etc. She constantly portrays a simple-minded entitlement mentality in all that she writes. It is no wonder that on so many metrics the AJC is the worst in the country.

david wayne osedach

June 19th, 2010
8:31 am

Excellent article. The 12 million illegal immigrants that are already in this country are here to stay. We have to deal with it the best way we can.

Joe

June 19th, 2010
8:40 am

To my good friend Cindy “Jimmy the Greek Tucker” we should keep the smart ones, the pretty ones, and the athletic ones- you know the ones with that extra calf muscle.

Pennsylvanian

June 19th, 2010
8:44 am

You will never see CT write anything about the link between illegal aliens and crime. The influx of illegal immigrants into Gwinnett county set up the perfect cover for Mexican drug smugglers. You think it is just coincidence that Lawrenceville is a distribution hub? Don’t take my word, ask a cop.
The best info I got from this blog was Granny G. disclosing she and Mr. G. still do the ‘69′. Congratulations Granny G. and Mr. G.!

milcon

June 19th, 2010
8:48 am

Just as Pres Obama and his liberal/progressives call terrorists acts man made disasters, Cynthia Tucker can’t call illegal immigrants ILLEGAL. Their policy recommendations on either issue don’t deserve serious consideration when they are based on deception.

Cedric

June 19th, 2010
8:53 am

Yeah, let’s have smart, educated people here illegally. Way to go! If they’re so smart, let them get legal first.

Betty

June 19th, 2010
8:53 am

The old adage there is two sides to every story. Why should children who were bought to the US illegally be punished? Students that are able to go to college should be allowed to go irrespective of their immigration status. The fact that some illegals commit crimes has nothing to do with students attending college. In most if not all cases once the student has complete college they will remain in the US and can provide a benefit to society.

AnneCole

June 19th, 2010
8:54 am

“committed serious crimes ” ARE YOU SERIOUS? Implying that ALL undocumented workers have commited serious crimes. That is not the case, that is like saying that all african americans are on WIC and on government assistance. Its a horrid stereotype and is NOT the case. Okay, so you suggest them “waiting their turn” to get permits and such. Do you SERIOUSLY think that people WANT TO RISK THEIR LIVES CROSSING THE DESERT just for fun?? Or no. Perhaps they just do it to piss you off. Don’t flatter yourself seriously. Im sure that they do not have the willing desire to taunt death like that girl taking her trip in her boat around the world. If they opportunity to wait in “line” was available don’t you think they’d wait? But its not there. The jobs that they do such as cleaning houses, cutting your neighbors lawn and such are all jobs that MOST WOULD NOT DO. And if you did, you would want a 2 hour break twice a day. People if they are already here might as well have SOME WAY of knowing WHOS HERE in the country instead of being in the dark. The way i see it they’re going to be here regardless, weather it’s by plane or by foot crossing the desert. It sickens me to think of all of the YOUNG kids in jail, naturally born citizens that are more than content working a $7.50 job and have no DESIRE to go to college not taking advantage of the opportunities that they are given. Here’s people that have a genuine aspiration to better themselves and are WILLING to pay out-of school tuition. Some with better grammar then some of our kids. Either way it goes SOMETHING has to be done.

Pablo

June 19th, 2010
9:01 am

Here’s a point of view to consider: “It’s Dumb Not To Deport All Illegal Aliens, Even If They’re Smart”.

HRPufnstuf

June 19th, 2010
9:02 am

Using Cynthia’s logic, it’s dumb not to allow child molesters to teach in schools.
It’s dumb not to allow thieves to run for Congress.
It’s dumb not to allow murderers to carry guns.
It’s dumb not to allow drug abusers to be pharmacists.
Good logic, Cynthia.

Terrie Johnson

June 19th, 2010
9:02 am

I was shocked to hear that illegal people were not only allowed to attend Georgia colleges and universities, but they were allowed to receive financial aid to do so! I personally believe when your mother or father break the law to enter this country, and birth a baby here, the baby should be considered illegal too! How many Americans want to go to college and cannot get financial aid? We have got to stop being dumbed down. Hooray to Arizona for taking a stand for its citizens. Georgia? Texas? Florida? Who else has the courage to stand for what is right. Come here legally or don’t come at all.

johnnybq

June 19th, 2010
9:04 am

That’s sort of like saying ‘he’s got a Porsche, should be OK for him to speed.” Illegal aliens should get no rights whatsoever. Let them get an education in their own country or figure out a way to get here legally. I’m amazed at all of this “common sense approach” from the left. It plain to see that all they see in the illegals is a potential block of votes to pander to.

JB

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

June 19th, 2010
9:04 am

ctucker
June 18th, 2010
3:35 pm

blutto, Many ar not workers but have committed serious crimes? You have documentation that supports that?

@ctucker, define illegal? That’s the issue period. What part do you not understand? So far in the last two days you want a country of gay marriage with illegals and everybody lives for free. Girl put down the crack-pipe!

Billy

June 19th, 2010
9:06 am

So the legislators get bent out of shape when they find one Hispanic student enrolled at Kennesaw. They should come to the colleges, walk through the halls, and look in the classrooms some day. They will find classes that with many foreign students. In many graduate science based classes, foreign students are in the majority.

Pennsylvanian

June 19th, 2010
9:07 am

AnneCole – Too much caffeine this morning? Please explain why the USA should tolerate illegal aliens, when Mexico has zero tolerance for illegal aliens? Can you explain why illegal aliens have so many children they can’t afford? They don’t know where they come from?

Tommy Maddox

June 19th, 2010
9:08 am

Well, there’s that ILLEGAL issue that would need to be addressed first.

Scout

June 19th, 2010
9:12 am

Bob @ 6:32am :

Because it’s not time for Cynthia’s child to try to get into UGA yet. Then her tune will change (unless she has special privileged strings to pull which she probably does).

westbrs

June 19th, 2010
9:14 am

What about now the illegal student who is attending Yale on a scholarship. He was brought to this county when he was 4 ILLEGALLY by his parents. His argument is that since he was “raised” in the US he should be allowed to stay and he did not enter illegally – his parents brought him, he had no choice!!!! Well my take is if he is smart enough to attend YALE he should have been smart enough to apply for citizenship and remain here legally! But once again liberals save another illegal…..the powers that be are allowing him a special circumstance visa to stay here and YALE is backing his attendance and full paid scholarship. Gee my children were born US citizens but they have not been offered a full scholarship to Yale or any other college and all 3 were/are in top 5% of their class…..THAT IS WHAT IS WRONG HERE!!!

Mitchel

June 19th, 2010
9:17 am

Scout -
Cynthia is Black. If she has kids, they are black. UGA has an embarassingly low number of Black students. Hence, if her kids can spell DUMB and want to get into UGA – they will be welcomed (along with the illegals of course).

ERIC

June 19th, 2010
9:24 am

It’s also dumb to keep smart murdering pedophiles out of college, even though they, like her, are felons.
I do agree that, after she completes her sentence here, is deported back to Mexico, after 20 years takes whatever legal means she can to regain entrance, comes here legally, that she should be able to go to any college she can get into (that takes convicted felons).

Rick

June 19th, 2010
9:25 am

The Arizon law offers no more basis for racial profiling then any other law. CT since now you must also be an attorney, you must know what PC, or proable cause. Law Enforcement must have this before they can stop or approach anybody. Something as smal a the license plate light being out gives PC. Once PC is established, then they can legally check driver’s license, vehicle license information as well as the RIGHT to be in this country. This applies to all law, but for some reason you and the rest of main stream media and your lord and master, Obama, fail to ever relate this tid bit of information. Hum, sounds pretty one sided to me.

Rick

June 19th, 2010
9:36 am

What do the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Peace Prize have in common? Since CT has a Pulitzer and Obama the Peace Prize, they are both given for doing NOTHING!!!!!!!!

nelsonhoward

June 19th, 2010
9:39 am

There is only one way to be in the U.S. and that is legally with a passport. Now, take HARVARD[YOU MENTIONED IT] has been here since 1756 before the Constitution. I am sure at the establishment of Harvard, it was intended for all, that was before the Contitution. Now, after the Constitutuion, students who are legally in this country should have priority, have we gone “nuts” letting anyone with a high IQ in? You know what happens, when this happens, they take what they have learned back to where ever they are from and the U.S. gets no benefit from it.
I was at the Cornelll campus last October, most of the students were Asian, now they were here legally. Harvard was playing Cornell that Saturday, would Georgia want to cme all the way up to Cornell to play football? I think not, they have an allegiance to the South East Conference, Ivy league is foreign to them, same with hispanics, they have an allegiance elsewhere. Either have a valid passport or student visa or Adios, South of the Border, I love that song.

TGT

June 19th, 2010
9:42 am

It’s dumb for smart kids to be here illegally.

Road Scholar

June 19th, 2010
9:43 am

What irks me is that the Kennesaw student along with many other illegals, not just Mexican, have made NO effort to become legal. Either get a visa or become citizens, but get er’ done. If not get out! They know they are lying! And most are christians, so isn’t this a sin, let alone breaking the law?

During the process of gaining their “papers” the thugs can be revealed . Deport any who do not a least attempt to become legal. This is from a family whose grandfather was an illegal alien, joined the army and became a citizen so that our family could participate in what this country has to offer…legally.

PS Everyone of my grandfather’s children, his grandchildren, and , to date and those of age, his great grandchildren have graduated from college! College was expected…your choice was deciding where to go!

Joe

June 19th, 2010
9:44 am

This article is not even worth my comment. The stupidity is blinding…

Rick

June 19th, 2010
9:48 am

Hopefully, the Georgia Board of Regents will come to their senses and stop pandering to illegal aliens and their advocacy groups and start listening to US citizens and legal residents.

If they don’t we need to find a way to get them removed from their positions!

marcus

June 19th, 2010
9:51 am

there is a legal process here, or has tucker completely lost her mind. if she thinks about everything that every “so called minority” has had to go through here in america then she would not write such lame commentaries. from indians, blacks, and asians, they have had to go through this insane process of validating themselves. now she says that any person who comes here, albeit illegally, should have the same rights and priviledges afforded citizens, i think her weave is too tight. why is she speaking out now? how come she never said anything about the ubjust treatment that the haitians endured all these years because of the racist attitudes of america? if they would have been allowed to enter the country without unfair requirements, then i am sure their would have been plenty who returned home and helped rebuild the hazardous intrastructure of that country. but no, let somebody who comes here and takes the seat of a prospective “citizen” and that is what she considers just. hispanics do not hire minorities, so why should they give up their seats in classrooms in georgia state supported schools to further force then down the economic and education ladder. why should they pay their taxes to educate a collective group who does not support their cause and right to employment and education. the georgia education lottery subsidizes the education of the middle class, but is funded (through their playing) by minorities. why won’t she start a campaign to make sure more “legal” minorities (hispanics, blacks, asians) are allowed admittance at the university of georgia and are given the assistance of the lottery funds to make their dreams come true. tucker has become a writer who know longer does her homework, she’s a joke which is not funny.

Scout

June 19th, 2010
10:00 am

Mitchel: Sorry, I forgot.

Hey …….. check this out. “Omam” Obama is NOT going to be happy !

Headline: “Religious Tension High at California University”

“Hostility between Jewish, Muslim students rises at U.C. Irvine after the school recommends a campus Islamic group be suspended ………….. “

Scout

June 19th, 2010
10:01 am

Excuse me ………. “Imam” Obama

Kamchak

June 19th, 2010
10:07 am

Joe

June 19th, 2010
9:44 am

This article is not even worth my comment. The stupidity is blinding…

Yet you have commented 3 times yesterday (4:20pm, 4:25pm, 4:37pm) and two times today (8:40am and 9:44 am).

Teh stoopid—it burns.

Oy.

midtownguy

June 19th, 2010
10:09 am

Personally, being a fellow former resident of Lower Alabama, I hope Cynthia’s little girl attends the University of Alabama! She could follow in Condi Rice’s footsteps.

That aside. I did work with refugees for many years. And I will dare to say, of any identifiable group, those who came here as refugees are the group most angry about our failure to enforce the immigration laws for this particular group of hispanic entrants (as it has been pointed out, those who walk in from south of the border are not immigrants).

Most of those who came as refugees had to flee their country for their lives, lived in camps, many times in tents with poor sanitation, while they filled out all the proper immigration papers, proved their case, then waited their turn for admission (Congress imposes an annual limit on legal refugee immigrants). Now, after all that, they sit and watch as the law is not enforced on those who “walked in”.

commonSensecat

June 19th, 2010
10:10 am

By your logic it would be dumb to keep a smart criminal in jail also. I guess smart people the committed a felony get federal financial aid also. Liberals make no sense. This woman committed a crime by lying about her status, more than once. I agree she should finish school and be deported however Tucker if there were not legal process or way to foreigners to enter the US college system I would agree with you. Illegals are breaking the law and using sympathy and ignorance to further their cause.

Thogwummpy

June 19th, 2010
10:57 am

If they want to go to college, make them pay full price…and pay it themselves. I find it offensive that people like Cynthia want American taxpayers to get stuck with the tab to send these kids (who are NOT our responsibility) to get a higher education for free. I am so sick of working my tail off and following the rules—to pay thru the nose so that those in life who DON’T work for it, DON’T follow the rules, get a free ride…and it infuriates me that the wheels are greased by advocates like Tucker who use our tax money to pretent that they are generous and high minded. No Cynthia, you aren’t. You have the reckless empathy of a kindergartener; and you are NOT charitable when it’s other people’s money being diverted for your causes. Thusly, all liberals are frauds.

Larry

June 19th, 2010
11:02 am

If they weren’t here, we wouldn’t have to have any laws/enforcement against hiring them. Stop them at the border and ship those here back. Come here legally and we will welcome you and you can partake of our country as allowed; come here illegally, we should hunt you down and send you back. It is not that hard if the Feds were serious about it.

NiceDawgDeux

June 19th, 2010
11:06 am

So following the the liberal logic of CT and others, I should rob a bank and give the proceeds to my children and they should be able to keep it. They are benefitting from my act, no problem. WHat is the difference from entering the country illegally and taking US aid be it ANY benefit paid for by legal taxpayers!

Atlantan

June 19th, 2010
11:06 am

I do not have a problem with racial profiling, would expect it when I am visiting another country.

jkim

June 19th, 2010
11:09 am

Road Scholar: have made NO effort to become legal. Either get a visa or become citizens, but get er’ done. If not get out! During the process of gaining their “papers” the thugs can be revealed . Deport any who do not a least attempt to become legal.

If that was an avenue available today with current immigration laws, this discussion would not be necessary. There is NO legal avenue to get right with the law while in the US today. This would be true even if they were married to a US citizen. Most people would be required to leave the country in which case a 10 year bar to re-entry kicks in. 10 years is a long time and even after 10 years it is difficult to gain legal entry since previous illegal presence is held against the applicant.

blutto

June 19th, 2010
11:09 am

jkim: “… any figures on illegal immigrants are based merely on estimates.”

Most of the people in question are not immigrants (”a person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence”). They are aliens. The estimates to which you refer are usually based upon known data such as the number of persons in an area confirmed to be there illegally who have been arrested for various crimes. As with most statistical analysis, the estimates reached are not perfect but that in itself does not invalidate them.

tar and feathers party

June 19th, 2010
11:17 am

I don’t consider “soft science” majors to be smart, just slackers by another name. History, Sociology, Political Science – all are worthless majors requiring graduate school to get a decent job. If the lying, cheating illegal had been a math, physics, or chemistry major, I might agree with Cynthia. But not a Political Science major, she reeks of future immigration lawyer.

blutto

June 19th, 2010
11:23 am

Betty: “Why should children who were brought to the US illegally be punished?”

Question # 1: At what age do college age persons cease to become “children”?

Question # 2: Why do liberals think that denying a place in college to someone here illegally is “punishment”?

Gator Joe

June 19th, 2010
11:24 am

Enter your comments here

Gator Joe

June 19th, 2010
11:34 am

Cynthia,
Nothing, short of a brain transplant, would stop the narrow-minded nativism of GA Republicans. Eliminating narrow-mindedness of any kind, requires a willful act of reasoning on the part of the individual, coupled with a desire to not be narrow minded. Of course making access to higher education easier, to anyone, undocumented or otherwise, makes sense, long term it benefits the society as whole, here in GA and elsewhere in the US.

Sethe

June 19th, 2010
11:34 am

Will an American please explain to me the reason why we should allow illegal immigrants to reside in the United States of America without penalty?

While, I do sympathize with their initial plight in their countries of origin (unsanitary living conditions, drug cartels run amok, no jobs, etc.), I do not agree with their tactics.

Why does the United States government continue to ignore its own citizens in favor of another group of people who are noncitizens? And furthermore, why are American citizens INSISTING that we pay for these “disadvantaged” people to live here and use our medical and educational resources for free?!!

This reminds me of Orwell’s “Animal Farm.”

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Take a guess at which “animal” is “more equal.”

-Frustrated Tax Payer

At The Switch

June 19th, 2010
11:35 am

All of you who seem to think that being in this country illegally is okay, please leave now and take that moron of a president with you.

Rick

June 19th, 2010
11:37 am

jkim June 19th, 2010 11:09 am

LKIM states: If that was an avenue available today with current immigration laws, this discussion would not be necessary. There is NO legal avenue to get right with the law while in the US today.
======================
There is a legal path to citizenship. They can return to their home countries and apply! Why should they be able to stay in the US while applying for citizenship? Others stay in their home countries!

Are you a racist? Do you believe that the predominantly Hispanic population of illegal aliens are superior to other persons wanting to enter the US legally? Why should Hispanics be treated differently? You are a racist, plain and simple.

US immigration should benefit the US and its citizens, not the foreign national applying for US citizenship!

Kamchak

June 19th, 2010
11:41 am

Will an American please explain to me the reason why we should allow illegal immigrants to reside in the United States of America without penalty?

Will you please tell me where this newly found poutrage has been hiding for the past twenty four years? St. Ronnie of the Ray-Gun’s amnesty program in 1986 exacerbated an already growing problem. Why is it only now that you are engaging in pearl clutching, hand wringing and couch fainting behavior?

A CONSERVATIVE

June 19th, 2010
11:45 am

Ms. Karl Marx…You are one major reason the Obama-Atlanta-Journal has decline to a small daily paper…..You are way……way tooooo radical for Georgia voters…& you still keep pedding your radical ideas to a smaller audience..LIBERALs do not learn..Liberals do not learn..