State can’t afford ‘Dream Act’ for illegal immigrants, key senator says

grape ape

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State can’t afford ‘Dream Act’ for illegal immigrants, key senator says

A Washington state lawmaker says funds are too scarce to extend need-based college aid to illegal immigrants, dimming the prospects for the measure supporters call the Washington Dream Act.

The Associated Press

Friday, March 29, 2013 at 8:34 PM

OLYMPIA — A key Washington state lawmaker wrote in a Friday editorial that state funds are too scarce to extend need-based college aid to illegal immigrants, dimming the prospects for the measure supporters call the Washington Dream Act.

Republican Sen. Barbara Bailey, chairwoman of the Senate Higher Education Committee, wrote on a pro-business website that the state makes too many promises it can’t afford to keep, and that the measure, if enacted, would likely amount to another.

“The state’s financial assistance program needs to be looked at more closely before eligibility is extended to a new group,” Bailey wrote on Washington Focus.

“In order to set good policy, we need to spend more time studying the issue and evaluating the future financial impact,” she continued.

Bailey also pointed out that 74,000 students received State Need Grant assistance in the 2011-2012 school year, but 32,000 otherwise qualified applicants were turned away because of funding shortages. Under the legislation, about 800 illegal immigrants would be added to the pool of eligible applicants.

To qualify for the program, a student’s family income must be below 70 percent of the state’s median family income, currently $57,500 for a family of four.

At a hearing on the measure held by Bailey’s committee Thursday, proponents said extending college aid to illegal immigrants was the decent thing to do and that it would make for a stronger and more prosperous state going forward. Opponents countered that people who came here illegally — whether as adults or as children — should not be rewarded for having done so.

The highest-profile member of Bailey’s committee, Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, of Medina, said he supports the measure.

Tom’s vote would give the measure a likely majority on the panel. But Tom, a Democrat who is caucusing with Republicans, said it is Bailey who will determine if it gets a committee vote.

The measure passed the state House earlier this month by a vote of 77-20, with Democrats united in support and Republicans split.

Supporters of the bill said they were disappointed to learn of Bailey’s position.

They point out that Bailey recently co-sponsored and voted in favor of a measure to expand access to the same pool of State Need Grant money to students at the online Western Governor’s University.

That measure passed the state Senate earlier this month and advanced from the House Higher Education Committee on Tuesday. Neither that bill nor the one Bailey opposes would address funding shortages in the program.

“It’s confusing that she would consider it an unfunded promise for one population and not for another,” said Toby Guevin, lobbyist for OneAmerica, a group advocating for the measure’s passage.

Bailey did not return phone messages seeking comment.


Registered Users (C)
If 32,000 legal residents were turned away because of funding shortages, I do not see the need to include even more applicants who are here illegally. Having lived in Washington and California for many years, I can see the difference in their fiscal policies. California spends to the left and to the right whilst Washington is much more careful in this regard. Despite California having much more potential than Washington, it ends up on the edge of the fiscal collapse.

grape ape

Registered Users (C)
expanding the amount of people allowed to come in to work jobs at the lower and of the pay scale americans won't take, will actually help that, with the all the fresh revenue generated by having them working on the books and paying to enter legally. why should the coyotes get it? plus we would save all that money from the incarceration rates and epic levels of undocumented folks in prison and in limbo. that only benefits the private prison industry, who pump tons of dollars into the anti-undocumented americans movement that suddenly cropped up, even as the rates for crimes undocumented folks were accused of increasing were dropping drastically. :)


Registered Users (C)
The lower end of the pay scale (as it is now) is due to the vast availability of undocumented workforce. If employers only hired legally-present workers, then they would have to pay fair salary. Unfortunately, there is no mechanism to use eVerify for the so-called independent contractors, so lots of undocumented folks use this loophole to get employment and many employers (especially in construction business) use it to get cheap labour.

However, this particular thread was about student grants ;)

grape ape

Registered Users (C)
1) that highly depends where in the nation you refer to you. the number of undocumented workers and their impact on the workforce varies considerably around the nation.

2) the whole reason they became such a large presence was because americans stopped taking the jobs they started to fill as their numbers increased. it started in agriculture, and moved on from there. the farmers that talk of initially hiring them hated the idea, were fiercely pro-american and despised other farmers that had done so, until they could not hire workers on sufficient numbers to meet their demands. if you do not know this, then you know very little about even the most basic truths of undocumented immigration in america.

3) that point is redundant, as we've talked about it and it makes it seem like you are losing track of what you are trying to say. it's like you just wanted to insert arguments that are mere radio talk show talking points.

4) and yes, how do your arguments relate to the topic? let me help. the majority of undocumented immigrants came here legally on tourist and student visas, then overstayed. go...