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

It's Not Racist To Apply the Rules

June 19th, 2010
3:55 pm

You know what else is stupid, Cynthia? Requiring my friend Steffen from Germany to sit on a 12 year waiting list for a visa to live and work in America, when he speaks English better than most Americans, has an advanced degree in accounting, and wants nothing more than to share and contribute to the American Dream.

You lobby to let in the illegals if they’re “smart”. Why not lobby to expedite the entry of other QUALIFIED nationals to our country? This faux compassion for hispanics is disgusting and frankly racist to me.


June 19th, 2010
4:03 pm

” Incredibly, a majority supports Arizona’s ugly new law, which — no matter what its proponents say — begs for racial profiling.”

This is where I stopped reading. Cynthia. If you want to try to get your point across you should try not insulting the intelligence of the people you’re trying to convince.

“Incredibly”? If this surprises you, Cynthia, you are WAY out of step with mainstream America. No surprise there.

“no matter what its proponents say”. The Almighty Tucker hath spoken. There is no need for us mainstream Americans to think for ourselves; why, our carefully considered ideas and positions could ONLY be divisive racial hatred in the minds of your exalted elitist leftists, right?

Stop for a moment Cynthia. You position supports lawless criminality, over the wishes and security NEEDS of the American people. I know clearly where I stand, “no matter what my opponents think”.

Al Burns

June 19th, 2010
4:04 pm

An illegal kid in collage take a spot away from an American Citizen at that collage. Illegals broke the law to get in this country. What happened to the rule of law? Or would you rather have Majority rules?


June 19th, 2010
4:23 pm

Maybe we should troll the world looking for smart kids…we could bring them to the US illegally and educate them at public expense. Now that would be smart. Right?

Tommy Maddox

June 19th, 2010
4:25 pm

Was it Pres. Bush or Reagan who was at fault regarding Apollo 13? I just can’t remember.

Hey Obama – enforce the law and quit hiding behind “past administrations”.

It's Not Racist To Apply the Rules

June 19th, 2010
4:27 pm

My mother is a German national, has lived in the United States since 1957, married a Korean veteran, raised two American children, learned the language, worked gainfully and paid taxes for over 50 years. In 2007, her father in Germany fell ill and passed away. My mother was the executor of his estate. She overstayed her visa allowance by 2 months. Upon re-entry to the U.S., she was placed on the next plane back to Germany. 2 and a half years and several thousand dollars later, she was given a new resident alien card. Too bad my father passed away after weeks in the hospital in the meantime.

EQUAL PROTECTION UNDER THE LAWS. Let in illegals, glamorize and sympathize for them, fine. But at least admit that it is a disparate and inequitable treatment of foreigners in America. What makes the Hispanic more acceptable as an American via illegals means as opposed to, say, an Italian national? The fact that we share a border and illegal access is that much easier? Pretty lame, Cynthia.


June 19th, 2010
4:30 pm

Cynthia: Just because someone does not go to college does not mean that they cannot be a vauled part of the workforce. What about tech. schools, vocational, community colleges? Did you not see the blog on for profit colleges the other day. Are you so wholly fooled into thinking only a 4 year degree from a prestigious university is the only thing that can provide a person with a good income? Not everyone can nor wants to go to college you know. I know i’m veering off the subject here but its something that needs to be said in response to some things in your article.

Bob SInger

June 19th, 2010
4:58 pm

Based on your arguments, I should rob a bank, use the money to start a business that helps thousands of people, and then be forgiven for the bank robbery because of my contributions to society.


June 19th, 2010
5:16 pm

The only US education an illegal should be guaranteed is picking up trash 101 at the US/Mexico border before they are shown the exit only door back to their country of origin.

Bob LeBlah

June 19th, 2010
5:45 pm

The question then is, how are you going to seperate dumb kids from smart ones.. The gain we get from the smart ones doesn’t exceed the cost of the non-doers. By the way, they’re not paying taxes either, so the only thing we get is the possible chance they may become productive parts of society.


June 19th, 2010
5:50 pm

I’m so sick of hearing about profiling. If the police received a tip that the kidnapper left in a red car, would it be profiling to stop red cars? Or should the police spend their time pulling over blue and yellow cars too? I am sick and tired of being taxed to death to support people who are scofflaws.


June 19th, 2010
6:19 pm

I DO think we have a chance at comprehensive reform, just not in the way you are thinking, Ms. Tucker. We could reform our current policy, which generally is “anything goes, if you can get away with it.”

Now, I work with many, many children of illegal aliens. 90% of the ELLs at my school were born here, so they are citizens (that could be addressed by clarifying the interpretation of the amendment to read that the mother must be here legally). Most of the children’s parents are NOT here legally. (And, I might add, the teachers at my school LIKE to have these kids in their classrooms. They work hard and their parents want them to do well. They are disproportionately represented on honor roll, behavior honors, and perfect attendance.

Surely, other than life itself, American citizenship is one of the most valuable commodities on Earth! Right now, we are allowing the thieves to keep the money they have stolen from the bank!

What could we do? Seal the borders. Fine and imprison employers. Develop something better than Everify, which just matches names and SS numbers (not names to actual people’s faces). Provide a “pathway” if the following conditions can be proved: The person arrived in the US before 2000 (pick a year) and can prove the following 1)they have never been in trouble with the law, 2) their children have been in school and out of trouble, 3)they have never taken welfare, medicaid, etc (and if they have it must be paid back completely upon filing for immigration consideration), 4) they must demonstrate competency in English (written, spoken, reading, listening) (the ACCESS test comes to mind, but we estimate it would show non-proficiency for about 30% of our “local” kids!) in order to apply for consideration, 5) they pay a fine for illegal entry and each year of living here, paid upon application for consideration, 6) they keep ICE informed of their whereabouts (not doing so means losing any hope of being considered), and 7) they have a skill needed (even picking onions is a skill). Exceptions would be made, and consideration immediately given for those who can show they have satisfactorily served in the US armed forces, or that they have attained a post-secondary degree from an accredited institution.

The time limit should be very finite (like 3 months), and we should strive to do our end of it and get an answer back that quickly, but it is up to the individual to prove they are worthy of citizenship. We might say if you meet these conditions, it’s first come, first served to encourage people to get signed up.

We should seek every opportunity to identify those here illegally and deport them if they have not registered for consideration. And we should withhold the cost of their deportation, etc, from the aid we give their home country. What about their American-born children? The parents can decide that, as they are the ones who put the child in that position.

THAT’s what I would like to see in comprehensive immigration reform!


June 19th, 2010
6:29 pm

My gosh – con-artist con-servatives sure know how to jump to conclusions. I noticed none of them mentioned any “illegal immigrant” coming from more than one part of the world. It’s as if an estimated 50,000 Irish nationals don’t exist in this country.

Of course, I also wonder how many of those conservatives could produce “papers” which can show their own ancestors came here legally.

Frankly, I think the problem of illegal immigration will take care of itself fairly soon. If the Right ever takes over the entire country, the problem with securing the borders will more likely be to keep people from getting out, rather than worry about them coming in any longer. Besides, it runs against conservative philosophy to encourage a good education for all – America only needs a few thousand elite conservatives to dictate policy and morality to the “small people,” institute their dominionist “religion”, create wealth by instituting more “convenience fees” and hyping television evangelists, and remind Americans that our patriotic duty is to take lower wages and pay higher duties to insurance companies and banks.


June 19th, 2010
6:32 pm

Moreover, I often wonder how conservatives are going to cope with the conflict between their “life begins at conception” views and babies born in America to immigrant parents? If we change current laws regarding citizenship of a fetus, why won’t the illegals claim that they became impregnated in the United States and therefore that child is an automatic citizen?


June 19th, 2010
6:35 pm

catlady – “they must demonstrate competency in English (written, spoken, reading, listening) (the ACCESS test comes to mind, but we estimate it would show non-proficiency for about 30% of our “local” kids!”

All I have to do is read a lot of the Tea Party signs at demonstrations and see that a lot of so-called “American” citizens don’t have any proficiency in use of the English language.


June 19th, 2010
6:39 pm

The liberal progressives and Obama want to make working, taxpaying American citizens to pay for EVERYBODY! They’re INSANE. America is almost bankrupt and can’t afford to continue to pay for the illegal immigrants. The illegals are breaking the law (overlooked by Miss Cynthia) and should all return to their legal countries. Then legal Americans can start paying off our debt before it’s too late.

Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

June 19th, 2010
7:07 pm

Cynthia, you deleted my last post. What could I have possibly said to make you so mad?


June 19th, 2010
7:38 pm

If an illegal worker leaves Georgia to go to a place he can legally work, why pay for his college?
We will only force them into underground or forge documents and Id or a life of crime.
Makes no sense.
If you are latino you should vote for Republicans as they have been good to imported labor for their profit. Dems will just enslave your children in mind and taxation. Not much of a choice.

What's Important

June 19th, 2010
7:42 pm

Every college has a finite number of openings. For every illegal who takes one of those openings, a United States citizen is being denied the ability to go to that college. Tell me how that benefits this country Cynthia.


June 19th, 2010
7:49 pm

Orange10 :

Have you seen those photos of the trash left along our border? Where is the outcry?

I would have illegal male adults on a chain gang picking all of that up before they were deported.

mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack the LIAR Obama - BEND OVER, Here comes the CHANGE!

June 19th, 2010
7:49 pm

Off the subject, but do you really expect the BP chief to not have a life outside the oil spill? Where was the outrage when NObama spent the eveing with Paul McCartney?


June 19th, 2010
7:57 pm

Headline : Officials: Harvard Student Will Not Be Deported. Undocumented Harvard student detained at airport won’t be deported to Mexico”

Special treatment ………. shouldn’t happen. He is no better than someone moving a lawn for a living. Whatever happened to “equal treatment” under illegal immigration laws ?


June 19th, 2010
8:18 pm


Don’t sports teams in the Atlanta area lose players and or games won when someone proves a student athlete was attending a certain school but actully living falsely with grandparents or under a false address, when they should have been going to a school in their proper district?

We do that to them but allow these illegal immigrants to run wild? The University of Mexico is a FINE institution and has plenty of openings …………… and they speak Spanish down there.

Red November

June 19th, 2010
8:19 pm

Once again Cindy never fails to let down the mindlessness of liberalism. Arizona is doing nothing but attempting to enforce THE FEDERAL LAW of immigration. Have you ever noticed the bedwetters on the left never mention that? And the fact that her hero, the Incompetent In Chief, is looking into suing Arizona is icing on the cake.

Let’s just sit back and watch liberalism and its mentality implode into the vault of history come November.

How many of you people knew that “Ream” Emanuel was fined this year for not paying his property taxes- three months in arrears? Typical liberal: rob from others to pay their constituents through income redistribution and then fail to pay their own taxes. Got Rangel?


June 19th, 2010
8:19 pm

kevinbgoode :

Not if you word the law properly. Many countries around the world have just the same thing.


June 19th, 2010
8:25 pm


You sure are ignoring our questions this weekend …………… check in once in awhile. We help ensure you salary.

Art B.

June 19th, 2010
8:30 pm

Cynthia conveniently forgets (or is she just dumb?) that the US is a country just like Mexico. We have immigration laws for a reason. Taxpayers finance public education and the military. Regardless of what the illegal immigrants do, their allegiance is to their native country. Just go to the money wiring businesses on Friday afternoon to see where the money flows. Giving aliens a government-sponsored education or a job in the military is a double Whammy for US citizens who are rightfully entitled to such benefits by fvirtue of their citizenship.

Red November

June 19th, 2010
8:30 pm

Kevinbbad takes the cake:

“My gosh – con-artist con-servatives sure know how to jump to conclusions. I noticed none of them mentioned any “illegal immigrant” coming from more than one part of the world. It’s as if an estimated 50,000 Irish nationals don’t exist in this country.”

Last time I checked, it wasn’t the Irish on the southern border of Arizona crossing illegally and doing such things as shooting at border patrol officers and smuggling drugs (it is yet to be known if terrorists have crossed in the same fashion – don’t look to liberals securing America).

“Of course, I also wonder how many of those conservatives could produce “papers” which can show their own ancestors came here legally.”

That’s so last century. We are living in the present, liberal. By the by, did you know Native Americans weren’t “native” to America? They came across the Alaskan pass from Asia during the last ice age. Ever wonder why they have Asian characteristics?

“Frankly, I think the problem of illegal immigration will take care of itself fairly soon. If the Right ever takes over the entire country”…
The left has taken over the entire country. America doesn’t like that “change” so much.

…”the problem with securing the borders will more likely be to keep people from getting out, rather than worry about them coming in any longer.”

Most idiotic and mindless post I think I’ve ever read. So “neocons” (or whatever you liberals call the Right) are going to be the modern East Germans.

“Besides, it runs against conservative philosophy to encourage a good education for all –”

^^That, from a liberal who probably whines about the right to private education where kids are not indoctrinated into liberalism and forced to sing songs praising Obama.

“America only needs a few thousand elite conservatives to dictate policy and morality to the “small people,”..”

Funny. The liberals in Washington have always been for the “little guy” and nobody ever said a word.

“…institute their dominionist “religion”, create wealth by instituting more “convenience fees” and hyping television evangelists, and remind Americans that our patriotic duty is to take lower wages and pay higher duties to insurance companies and banks.”

Work = pay. Simple concept that’s been around for thousands of years. The more you work and harder you yearn to succeed, the more you are rewarded. Of course, the mentality of liberalism doesn’t see it that way. Liberals see those who earn more than others must have somehow stolen from the poor and working class.

Liberalism is just too mindlessly easy.


June 19th, 2010
8:32 pm

Amen, Kevinbgood @6:35! The louder they are, the stupider their mistakes look.

BTW, we have a number of teachers at our school, some with master’s degrees, who say, “I have not went to the store” and “He had did it,” including our speech/language pathologist! She also said, “There’s no sense working with those people (Latinos) because they don’t speak their own language correctly.” I am not kidding!

Red November

June 19th, 2010
8:35 pm

The Regular Guys had a priceless moment interviewing idiot liberal BP protesters in Altanta this week. My favorite moment”

Interviewer: “So you hate Big Oil – what are you doing to rid yourself of it?”

Protester: “Riding my bike.”

Interviewer: “Your bicycle tires are made of petroleum – did you know that?”

Protester: “I’ll buy used tires next time.”

Kid you not.


June 19th, 2010
8:45 pm

I have a better one for you. A resident of California took an ad out in a California newspaper criticizing hunters residing in the state for killing beautiful animals telling them to “quit the killing and start getting their meat at the grocery stores where they make it fresh daily.” Go figure.

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 19th, 2010
8:49 pm

Remember back when this would have been a big news story and all the Democrats would have been up in arms?


WASHINGTON — Fighting homegrown terrorism by monitoring Internet communications is a civil liberties trade-off the U.S. government must make to beef up national security, the nation’s homeland security chief said Friday.


June 19th, 2010
9:49 pm

Many smart kids do not have common sense. Some grow up and write for the AJC.


June 19th, 2010
10:12 pm


Are you stuck on stupid flapjack??? I only commented on this article once just to say how stupid it was…


June 19th, 2010
10:21 pm

CT: So all “smart” illegals who want to improve themselves and their countries should just come on over and we’ll pay for them and stop “not so smart” citizens from going to college so the illegals can make Cynthia happy…


June 19th, 2010
10:27 pm

All peoples who are in this country via a legal document, green card, visa, etc are REQUIRED to carry these papers with them at all times. If a citizen cannot show some proof when stopped because of committing some violation then they also must show proof or go to jail. When someone close to you is robbed, killed, etc. by an illegal then I’m sure you’ll change your tune…Stop giving automatic citizenship to the babies of illegals and 50% of our problem will cease to exist…That amendmen was passed for blacks and Indians…not illegals..


June 19th, 2010
10:28 pm

So, why aren’t we shooting them as they run across the border? Makes sense to me.

It’s a silent invasion.


June 19th, 2010
11:33 pm

I only commented on this article once just to say how stupid it was…

Must be another Joe. Maybe you could use Josephine so as to avoid confusion.


June 20th, 2010
12:01 am

Cynthia, please go to hell.


June 20th, 2010
1:55 am

Blutto and Peadawg .. Im sorry but you guys are incredibly ignorant .. im telling you this cuz i personally know from experience.. i have many many many illegal immigrants who have studied with me here in high school and have had to spend nights in jail because they are driving withut a license to drive.. my best friend was brought here since the age of 4 and had no idea watsoever he was being brought here.. he grew up and went to school and hung out and played sports like any of us would.. juss think of any of your normal friends.. it just so happened wen he went to his drivers ed to get his license like any of us would they asked him for his SSN and he didnt have any he was devastated.. and he has been restrained from flying with the rest of us to vacations and such.. cant get into clubs.. NOTHING!! he has no right to do anything and it sucks so much for him cuz we all grew up with him and he juss cant do the same things as us and it sucks.. he has also never commited any crimes of any sort.. i juss hope sumday they pass something and he can fix his situation because he is juss like da rest of us!!!!


June 20th, 2010
7:46 am

Javier why hasn’t your friend tried to become a citizen on his own? Your friend has been here long enough to know the LAWS. Why would he drive unlicensed and uninsured? He could hit or kill an innocent person. His life will not get easier by avoiding becoming a Legal Citizen. He may not have asked to come here, but he is here now and needs to follow the laws and try to become legal. It that too hard for you Government School Indoctrinated Brain to Understang? How happy would you be if he wrecked and killed your family when he knows he is not legal to drive? Boy I guess that wouldn’t suck cuz he is your friend.


June 20th, 2010
7:53 am

Javier please tell me you didn’t or haven’t graduated High School! Your post is a joke if you passed English class. I missed typed Understand. I will also AZ Profile that with a name like Javier you are Latino! Are you here legal? Are you really the friend in your story?


June 20th, 2010
7:57 am

Cynthia, how about putting your money where your mouth is. Contact your college of choice and authorize them to draw on your personal checking account when they need money to educate one of the smart illegal kids attending their school. Then let your readers know when you’ve accomplished this.


June 20th, 2010
8:35 am

CT – where to start??? What say we try three novel concepts. First, “illegal is illegal” — what part of those three words do you not understand? Second, “Arizona’s ugly new law” — try writing an oped piece on why the federal government has failed to protect and secure our borders? and third – “racial profiling” — watch the daily local Atlanta news thug report and tell me racial profiling doesn’t or would not have a significant impact on crime?


June 20th, 2010
8:53 am

Check out the NY Times on Freddie and Fannie. Maybe little Kamchak can start using “freddie..fannie.. all the gold in the world”. Love the quote “we all work for the government now”


June 20th, 2010
8:54 am


At the age of 18, I became a citizen of the United States through the formal process that was offered. Within 30 days, I raised my right hand to support and defend the Constitution of the United State of America and enlisted in the armed forces. Later the military also sent me to college. There is a legal way to be a citizen and a non-legal way to remain. I see nothing wrong with the Arizona bill as it is written. The problem as many have stated on this blog is that many have commented on the unfairness of the law without reading it. If Georgia was experiencing the same challenges as law enforcement and law abiding citizens of AZ are experiencing, you’d feel different. You can think you wouldn’t, but you would. Foreigners as I once was, came to the US for the liberties and freedoms it offers, not for hand outs. Illegals may choose to enter the borders of the US, but they choose not be assimilate nor to be citizens of this great country. If this country doesn’t need immigration laws, why have any? Every law inconveniences some person. They are there for the common good. I would love to see armed forces enlistment lead to citizenship rather than attending college illegally. Serve first and enjoy later.


June 20th, 2010
8:58 am

Kamchak: “… yet letting the others skate for 24 years.”

Frankly, you have no idea what I or most others posting here did or did not do for the past 24 years. But it seems to interest you more than what the current president is or is not doing. You choose to overlook the current administration’s ineptitude in order to constantly rehash events that took place years or even decades ago.

I will give you credit, however for not merely repeating “Bush’s fault.” You blame all presidents since 1981–with the exception of Mr. Obama. Funny how the one who could do something now gets a free pass. I guess you’re just too preoccupied in trying to remember to repeat your one time funny–two times boring little things such as “You betcha!,” “sport,” “level the playing field” etc., “Teh stoopid,” “St. Ronnie of the Ray-Gun” and “poutrage.”

Billy Peeler

June 20th, 2010
9:28 am

I don’t think anybody really wants to block this young woman at Kennesaw from going to college…but I do think it is reasonable to expect her to apply and get accepted legally in accordance with University System policy.
And this may be a silly question, under the circumstances, but…since she is technically a citizen of Mexico…shouldn’t she have to apply as a foreign student, and required to pay the appropriate tuition and fees for that status?


June 20th, 2010
9:29 am


She is a Mexican resident. She should apply as a FOREIGN student.


June 20th, 2010
9:30 am

Folks …………. let’s have good debate here and not call the “threadmaster” names. Nothing accomplished in that.

Why? She is “Dumb” and she is a “Radical Left Winger”…..if it’s the truth, there’s nothing wrong with saying it. Cynthia has an agenda……it has been reported that later on this century, “Whites” will be in the minority in this country…..CT is only doing her part to help that along because she is a “Racist, Racist, Racist”.