Tuition Breaks For Illegals – Insults for 9/11 Families

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund is America's Great White Shark.

Like the Great White, the dead-eyed MALDEF moves relentlessly forward. Whatever gets in its way —9/11, the war on terrorism, the budget crisis—is swallowed up whole. MALDEF and its countless allies are always focused on their mission: Reconquista.

MALDEF is currently engaged in an all-out effort to spread the news about in-state college tuition fees for illegal aliens. In our beleaguered California, in-state fees are law.

California's legislation, A.B. 540, allows illegal alien students to pay the lower, resident tuition rates at community colleges and schools in the California State University and the University of California systems.

The savings to illegals are substantial. At community colleges, a non-resident student pays an average of $141 per unit, each semester. But a resident pays only $11 per unit.

Closing California's $35 billion budget deficit is pretty tough with laws like A.B. 540.

Via television and radio ads and with an 800-telephone number posted on its website, MALDEF hopes to reach as many as 12,000 prospective college students who may qualify for the legal discount established in 2002. California Assemblyman and Latino Caucus Chairman Mario Firebaugh, a MALDEF champion, was responsible for introducing A.B. 540.

The commercials will air, according to MALDEF, in counties with large alien populations - in other words, everywhere.

Maria Lucero Ortiz, MALDEF's director of outreach on higher education said,

"We're making sure that no one is left behind getting the educational opportunities they're legally entitled to. We know people know about the law but we want to iron out confusion about the exact requirements."

["State program promotes lower tuition for immigrants," By Jessie Mangaliman, Mercury News, Feb. 24, 2003]

The "exact requirements" are few, that's for sure. To qualify for the lower fee, just attend a California high school for three years. If you don't graduate, passing the G.E.D. or the high school proficiency test will suffice.

And students "without immigration status" must file an affidavit with the university stating "that he or she has applied to legalize his or her status or will do so as soon as he or she is eligible to do so."

Is that vague enough for you?

Last year, after MALDEF and the Latino Caucus muscled the constitutionally independent UC Regents into adopting A.B. 540, Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante in a CNN debate with Ward Connerly projected that only "about 200" students would benefit from the reduced fees.

Bustamante needs a math refresher course.

And, as with the Matricula Consular card, California is setting the national trend toward in-state tuition fees for illegal aliens.

Illinois, with a budget deficit of $5 billion, has asked state universities to cut 8% from its 2003 expenditures. At the University of Illinois, for example, that totals $58 million. Yet the legislature voted 112-4 to lower tuition for illegal aliens.

Illinois' Democratic Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, a notorious booster of illegals, must not have visited his own website lately. When I wrote this A WEEK OR SO AGO [VDARE.COM note: this is our fault for sitting on Joe's copy!], the first words posted were:

"We owe it to the people of Illinois to closely monitor every aspect, every expenditure of our government…"

And looking at the Governor's life story, one might wonder why Blagojevich doesn't take a page out of his own book when evaluating the merits of in-state tuition for illegal aliens. According to his bio,

"Rod's father was a prisoner of war during World War II, coming to this country penniless and unable to speak English. His father later got a job at a Chicago steel plant, worked hard, and together with Rod's mother, saved for 15 years in order to send Rod and his brother to college."

Oklahoma is on the tuition bandwagon, too. But its story has a particularly ugly chapter.

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education supported House Bill 1559 and Senate Bill 596 to provide in-state tuition and/or state financial aide to "qualified immigrants" who graduate from Oklahoma high schools after at least two years of attendance.

Oklahoma Representative Lance Cargill, who opposed the bill, asked Peter Gadiel of the Coalition of 9/11 Families for a Secure America to write a letter urging its defeat. In his letter, Gadiel wrote that the inducements for illegal immigrants are "an ocean in which terrorists hide." 

Instead of respecting the opinions of the 9/11 families by allowing the letter to speak for itself, the bill's author, Representative Kevin Calvey mocked the Coalition by waving to the gallery filled with illegal aliens and demanding that Cargill to point out which of them are terrorists.

No incident in the post-9/11 era is as shameless and insulting as Calvey's.

When Cargill informed Gadiel what happened when the letter was read, Gadiel sent this message to Calvey (calveyke@lsb.state.ok.us):

"We just wanted to let you know that every one of the signers of that letter lost a son, a daughter, a husband or a wife on 9/11.

We recognize dangers of illegal immigration and its relationship to the terrorist attacks that killed our loved ones, while you apparently either are incapable of recognizing the dangers or do not care.

This is to tell you that we who have lost so much intend to make sure that the constituents of every legislator who voted for this bill are made aware of how their Representative voted; how poorly they represent the 80% of the voters who want real immigration reform now. We will make it our business to defeat as many as possible of those who voted for your bill. And we will start with you, as the author of the bill and most especially as the person who, on the floor of the House, mocked us and in so doing mocked our lost loved ones.

The 9/11 attacks and the loss of our loved ones do not matter to you. They mean everything to us."

Very sincerely yours,

Peter Gadiel, father of James Gadiel, age 23, 103rd floor, North Tower, WTC

Bruce DeCell (NYPD ret'd)

Will Sekzer (NYPD Det.Sgt, ret'd) father of Jason Sekzer, North Tower, WTC

Alice Kelly, mother of Joseph Kelly, 105th floor, North Tower

Joan Molinaro, mother of Firefighter Carl Molinaro, age 32

Diana Stewart, only wife of Michael Stewart, North Tower, Carr Futures

Sally Regenhard, mother of Firefighter Christian Regenhard

For craven, callous bottom feeders like Calvey, Blagojevich and Bustamante, 9/11 is yesterday's news—a mere blip on the radar screen of their political careers.

And for subversive groups like MALDEF, 9/11 never happened.

Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.