September 30, 2008

California Students Also Fighting For Inclusion

While the VSA recently announced support for a recommendation that Vassar admits undocumeted students, about 2,000 students met today in California to pressure Governor Schwarzenegger to sign the DREAM (California Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act.

The DREAM Act will make it easier for undocumented students to attend colleges and receive financial aid.

It looks like this is becoming a big movement across college campuses nationwide.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hate the fact that this policy makes me a little uneasy, but it kind of does.

Anonymous said...

why?

Anonymous said...

Can't they just apply as an international? Say a person is a Mexican citizen living in the U.S. illegally. Can't that person just get accepted as an international, and then get a student visa or something like that? Then, being college educated immigrants who have spent four years in the U.S, they can apply for greencards. Why don't they have programs like that?

Anonymous said...

How about they do things legally? Why do you encourage lawbreaking?

Anonymous said...

7:38 AM: It used to be illegal for women to vote. Slavery used to be legal. Can't you see that certain laws disadvantage certain groups?

THIS IS A COUNTRY OF IMMIGRANTS, PEOPLE!!! Get used to it.

Anonymous said...

1:21 - Financial aid for international students and US residents/citizens work differently. Vassar can't guarantee to meet all demonstrated need of int'l students. But a way for these students to get greencards would definitely be good.

Oh, and 7:38 - how much control did you have over your parents decisions when you were a little kid? Even if you think that illegal immigration is wrong, how can you want to punish minors who had no control over where they lived?

Anonymous said...

Actually, Vassar does meet demonstrated need of all students, citizens or not. I don't think we have need-blind admissions for internationals, though.

Anonymous said...

are you fucking kidding me? Now, people who are breaking the laws are asking for tax money, to go to private institutions. 11:20 yes it is a country of immigrants, but these people come here saying wahhhh im too tired, or lazy or its too darn hard to be legal, so im just gonna stay illegal and idemand you put my kids in your universities!!!! And then white liberals just eat this shit up and get mad that anyone dissagrees with them. Are we in the twilight zone?

Anonymous said...

its easy for you to say that these people are lazy and undeserving

but i would like to see you go through the process of nationalization

Anonymous said...

pardon me, naturalization

Anonymous said...

12:29 you are an ignorant, arrogant & elitist person and i hope to never encounter someone like you in person. im not sure if you understand how difficult it truly is to get a green card or to come into the united states legally. this is especially true of coming from central and latin american countries. furthermore, as many people have pointed out children have no say in what decisions their parents might make. immigrants are not lazy. in fact, i would venture to say that many of them work much harder that most americans. its assholes like you that make me ashamed to be a part of this nation.

Anonymous said...

12:29 - I'd like to add that there are lot of powerful interests dedicated to making sure it's hard to become naturalized. Agribusinesses like Monsanto, sweatshops, etc, benefit from having labor they can under-pay. As soon as their workers become legalized, they have to pay them more, and treat them like human beings. If you're angry about illegal immigrants, get angry at the powerful people who perpetuate a system where it's hard to immigrate legally. When looking at a political issue, remember - always look at where the power lies. Do you really think it's with undocumented workers?

Anonymous said...

12:29 - FYI, the UC system is a public institution. Don't worry, though--- because Vassar is a PRIVATE institution, undocumented students @ Vassar wouldn't qualify for federal aid. So your tax dollars are safe!!!! THANK GOD!!!!!!! Also, if undocumented students were to qualify for scholarships from Vassar, it's not zero-sum... you wouldn't be affected.

A FEW QUESTIONS:
What if the students grew up here?

What if they came here as babies and have effectively never lived in Mexico?

For them to get a passport and apply as an international, they'd have to go back to Mexico. What if they don't even speak Spanish, or if they don't even speak it well? What if they've never even been????

What if their parents work dangerous jobs and go without health insurance because even though federal labor law mandates that they get the same health and safety protections as documented workers, employers will exploit the undocumented workers by threatening to turn them over to the authorities?

What if kids THEMSELVES work dangerous jobs after school? What if they work full time AND go to school, just so that they can make money to go to college? I know a kid who was made to operate a machine--a big pizza cutter--that he was too young to use, and he chopped off the tip of his thumb. Go tell him you don't want him to go to college in this country, even though he cut your pizza for less than minimum wage.

Undocumented people pay LOTS in taxes for benefits that they'll never receive. Big corporations like them because they can pay lower wages without fear of reprisal.

Did you know that undocumented workers are rebuilding New Orleans? And that undocumented construction workers are WAY less protected than documented workers, and make much less as well?

What if NAFTA let people move across the border with the same fluidity that it gives to goods and services?

Citizenship isn't "natural". It isn't written into the earth. It is constructed and reinforced on a day to day basis in very very ugly ways. The US Mexico border isn't natural. So... citizenship is actually kind of arbitrary. You probably didn't earn your citizenship, and chances are your parents didn't either. Lucky you.

Do you know how hard it is to apply for a green card?? There's a professional visa under NAFTA that allows Canadians and Mexicans to work here temporarily, but I know that it's MUCH harder for Mexicans to get it.

Signed,
NOT a white liberal

Anonymous said...

Hey 2:40? Word. Fucking word.

Anonymous said...

I actually agree with 1229. You all are funny, turning red

2:40, you dont know anything about 12:29, for all you know he/she has a beef with illegals trying to get US benefits because he/she went through the process himself. so you really do not know

There hasnt been any reasoning past "IT's hard it's hard" Which is exactly what 1229 was trying to say by saying wah wah wah wah. Also 1229 never said anything about all immigrants being lazy, he or she brought it as one possibilityt for why people whine bitch and moan instead of going through the difficult process of becoming a naturalized citizen.

you all make it sound like no poor menial labor job mexicans come here legally because it's too hard. which is untrue. Instead of bitching about how hard it is and demanding stuff, they dont act entitled to anything and just do what the law says.

Ok, sit back and for more evidence that liberals eat this sob story shit up, stay tuned..

Anonymous said...

This is 2:40.

"2:40, you dont know anything about 12:29, for all you know he/she has a beef with illegals trying to get US benefits because he/she went through the process himself. so you really do not know"

Actually, I'm going through the process myself, thank you very much. (Oh, snap!) Also, *I* don't have a beef with "illegals" who are apparently trying to compete with me to get US benefits because I have an understanding of how global capitalism is structured for the benefit of corporate fatsos and politicians in this country THROUGH the exploitation of cheap labor and slack environmental regulations elsewhere. There's a lot more to this as well.

Also, can you please rephrase this paragraph?

"you all make it sound like no poor menial labor job mexicans come here legally because it's too hard. which is untrue. Instead of bitching about how hard it is and demanding stuff, they dont act entitled to anything and just do what the law says."

I keep re-reading it and I can't figure out what you're trying to say. I'm interested in hearing about where you come from, too.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

2:40-
I still have some questions about this issue, but I found your reasoning extremely compelling. I'm swaying towards supporting this measure, especially if the undocumented students replace people like 12:29 and 2:51

Anonymous said...

The naturalization process is long and expensive, and many illegal immigrants work too much and make too little too afford it.

Anonymous said...

I believe my great grandfather snuck his sons (Irish immigrants) threw the Canadian borders in the 1840's. I guess technically I am an illegal legacy...; I bet there are a lot of us here at Vassar.

Anonymous said...

You can't apply for a student visa (F-1, I'm pretty sure) unless you do it from your "home" country. No 1-20 could be approved by SEVIS unless a student was living outside of the US.

Also, to be honest, our tax dollars do support undocumented students. Any student who attends a public institution (including community colleges, which mainly have open admissions policies) pays tuition that is subsidized by their state (i.e. taxes). Most public colleges and universities give undocumented students state residency if they've been living in the state for 2+ years...which means their tuition is pretty low.

Anonymous said...

*I-20

Anonymous said...

in ref 3:40 I meant "through" the Candian border not "threw". as brain burp

Anonymous said...

How about before allowing undocumented students financial aid to college ALL U.S. citizens who need aid receive 100% of their tuition paid for, and then we can talk about including everyone else.

Anonymous said...

10:37-
Because Vassar is a private institution, and that would be a huge violation of it's rights as such, especially since Vassar is already a need-blind institution.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter if people are US citizens or not...we wouldn't have as many internationals if Vassar didn't give them aid

Anonymous said...

Other questions to consider:

Why shouldn't the immigration policies of the US be as stringent as they are? Why should it be easy to get a green card? Shouldn't we be able to have our choice from the best and brightest amongst us?

I come from an area that has a large population of undocumented workers. In one of the towns nearby me, a hospital has needed to shut down due to all the undocumented, uninsured workers whom they are OBLIGATED to treat. This is bad news for the people who pay their taxes, but don't have a hospital within 20 mi. of their house, now. It'd be a pretty grim situation if something happened, like they had a heart attack or something.

Several of the students in my high school class are undocumented as well. One of the express reasons their parents moved here was in order to secure for their children a decent (and inexpensive) secondary-level education. After graduation, some of them decided to go back to their home countries, mostly on the basis that the US is starting to decline (right they were). While yes, citizenship may be arbitrary, shouldn't these immigrants at least show some respect or love for the United States? I'm sorry to look at it in these terms, but for them to come here, use some of our resources, and leave - well, that's lost capital. That's not to say that all immigrants have those objectives, but it's not as though it doesn't happen.

But assume we should legalize them. Would that hospital still be open today? If legalized, would they be able to even afford health care, in a time when many Americans cannot? The American system is broken, to the point where many Americans are hurting badly. We can barely keep our own people above the poverty line; is it prudent or even possible to take on undocumented immigrants as well?

Just a few points of consideration.

Anonymous said...

"The American system is broken, to the point where many Americans are hurting badly."

PRECISELY. But I'm not sure if you can fault undocumented people for the fact that the hospital in the nearby town shut down. Is there an article or something online about the shut-down?

The US has the MOST expensive health care in the world, and it spends the most on R&D. And there are 47 million people without health insurance. Also, NEWSFLASH!! 78% of the uninsured in this country are CITIZENS, 71% are full time workers, and 45% are WHITE (33% are Latino). (source: Measure of America)

So the fact that the hospital shut down I think has more to do with a system in which all sorts of risk have been privatized and people JUST DON'T HAVE INSURANCE because they can't afford it, or their employers can't afford it. It's not the fault of undocumented workers.

10:00 AM, what area are you from?

Anonymous said...

Also, that the American health system is failing is NOT because of undocumented people. It's very simplistic to scapegoat them.

Anonymous said...

I don't think there's any need to lash out at 10.00 am. The points were made precisely and accurately with no attempt at generalization. (S)he takes no stand, just throws some thoughts up for consideration. There is no harm being prudent sometimes.

Anonymous said...

To 12:20 and 1:17 -

In my last point, I wasn't scapegoating undocumented workers (although I can see now how that, in light of the earlier points I made, might have been construed). My point was that I think America has some crucial problems to fix - healthcare being one of those - before it is really FIT to begin accepting illegal immigrants on a large scale. Even American citizens can't afford health care, which is a scenario with which I am all too familiar. It had occurred to me that the hospital closing may have had to do with a combination of both citizens and illegal immigrants. I heard the story through my father, and he told me about it over a year ago, so I'm sorry, I don't have an article for you. It seems that the county officials were placing the blame on illegal immigrants because there is apparently such a high concentration of them there, but yes, that logic can be obviously flawed.

And to 12:20, I'm from New Jersey. My area has a pretty large South Asian population, so I have encountered and gone to school with illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc. But the state as a whole is concerned with immigrants from Mexico. Mostly I disagree with the way they are treated. There was actually a radio show a few summers ago that decided to make a game out of giving up illegal aliens to immigration. If you suspected somebody, you would phone it in, and if they got deported you would win a prize. That's pretty disgusting to me. I don't think lives should be disrupted to that extent.

I feel like most of the people who WANT to become citizens (note the earlier bit about some people taking advantage of American economy & programs - I imagine they will probably choose to stay or go) should be given the means to stay legally. But I don't think this should happen until they are able to provide a good living for themselves in America. I find it hard to believe, and this is the point I was trying to make before, that legalized landscapers and factory workers will be able to afford health care when Americans themselves can't. (Do you know of any Americans who are immigrating illegally to Canada? I do.) And until the point that they are given the means, I'm not sure if it's a great idea for the US to keep offering them incentives to come illegally. I'm not really sure if they or we will be better off for that.

Of course, for the children of illegal immigrants who were born and/or grew up here, I guess that is an entirely different and more painful story.