Illegal Immigrants to Receive In-State Tuition at NJ Universities

I think it’s time to come clean. For the past three-and-a-half years, I haven’t just been attending just any “law school in the Philadelphia area” — I’ve been attending school at Rutgers School of Law in tropical Camden, New Jersey. Whatever my reasoning was for keeping that tid-bit concealed from the general public, it doesn’t matter much anymore as barring any unforeseen circumstances I stand to graduate in May.

All in all, the legal education I have received in the night program at Rutgers has been very satisfactory, with a few exceptions, but the issue which has made me decide to come clean and disclose a little more about my personal life than originally planned has nothing to do with a problem with the school itself. Rutgers is just fine. It’s the state of New Jersey that I have a serious problem with.

As we speak, lawmakers in the Garden State are scrambling to send, to outgoing Gov. Jon Corzine’s office, a piece of legislation which would allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities like Rutgers.  Haste makes waste, of course, because the bill stands no chance of passage once now Governor-elect Chris Christie, a Republican, takes office on January 19 and has already insisted that any such legislation would die at his desk.

As of Tuesday, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the bill has passed both the Assembly Appropriations Committee and the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee by narrow margins, and will have to pass in both the full Assembly and Senate before Corzine has a chance to make one last effort at sinking the same state which elected him in 2006 on lofty promises of fiscal responsibility and a common sense approach to governance.

After four years of Jon Corzine in office, however, the only thing New Jersey has a surplus in is stupid.

Thanks to Corzine and his propensity for killing growth through raising already astronomical taxes, New Jersey will see a $10 billion budget deficit this year as Chris Christie takes office.  From a purely financial standpoint, allowing illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates at state institutions of higher learning just doesn’t make much sense.  Considering, however, that New Jersey residents already pay an estimated $1.85 billion each year for K-12 education for the children of illegal immigrants–who make up an estimated 11.7 percent of all public school students in the state–perhaps Garden State democrats feel that footing the bill for higher education tuition benefits is just a drop in the bucket.

The total cost of illegal immigration in the state of New Jersey for medical care, education and incarceration alone tops $2.1 billion, and even that number is nothing when compared with the overall cost to the entire nation of maintaining New Jersey as a magnet for illegal immigration as a whole.  Providing tuition benefits to the children of people who shouldn’t even be in the country in the first place is no different than the “sanctuary city” policies maintained by cities like San Francisco and New York City, or scholarship programs like the ones championed by former Gov. Mike Huckabee during his tenure in Arkansas; these people cross the desert and overstay visas for a reason, they know that in certain cities they can live their lives with a relative lack of worry about deportation, and in certain states they know they’ll be able to educate their children despite running afoul of federal law.  In 2004, the cost of illegal immigration for California alone was estimated at $10.5 billion per year — a whopping $1,200 per native-born family.

We cannot stem the tide of illegal immigration and the costs which come along with it here in the United States of America unless we erect physical fences along our borders, enforce immigration laws already in place, and shut down magnets like this inevitable legislation in New Jersey.  Until we do, tens of billions of dollars each year which could go to educating American children and the children of legal immigrants are instead being spent on those who have such little respect for American law that they bypassed legal routes for entry.

Furthermore, on a more personal level, it’s just not fair to students who choose to attend New Jersey state schools from out-of-state — myself included.  By the time I graduate in May and begin studying for the South Carolina bar exam in advance of the July test dates, I will have racked up roughly $150,000 in student loan debt.  With the difference in tuition for in-state versus out-of-state students being approximately $10,000 each year, I could have saved about $40,000 if I had only been the child of illegal immigrants residing in New Jersey.

It’s absolutely, mind-numbingly insane.  I live in the United States of America legally, while these people are breaking the law simply by being here.  I pay more than my fair share in taxes, while these people do nothing of the sort.  Yet those who break the law and pay nothing into the system reap all the reward.

The Inquirer tells the sappy, sentimental stories of children of illegal immigrants who feel as though their dreams and aspirations have been stunted, how reduced tuition rates will alone be the difference between finding potential and working minimum wage jobs.  It’s sad.  It really is.  But to advance those costs onto decent, law-abiding American families who reside and pay taxes in New Jersey–and boy, do they pay taxes in New Jersey–is fundamentally inequitable, as is the additional burden which will be placed on my own family.  We struggle each and every month to put food on the table.  That $40,000 benefit being extended to illegal immigrants would have made for a nice college fund for my daughter.

Frankly, I’m tired of it.  The entitlement society has gone too far.  Not only can Americans now expect to have health care provided to them for free at the expense of those who pay extra for decent health coverage, not only can they expect their mortgages to be modified and their credit card rates slashed at the expense of those who are fiscally responsible and pay bills on time, but now non-Americans, people who willingly bypassed legal channels for entry into the United States of America, can expect to attend American institutions of higher learning at a reduced rate not available to many hard-working, tax-paying, families who choose to abide by the law.

Yet the Democrats in New Jersey and across the nation still don’t seem to get it.  They still cannot discern the fundamental difference between right and wrong, between legal and illegal.  In the Inquirer piece, for example, we see Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle from Bergen County saying that “[t]his country is based on immigrants and the American dream,” and that New Jersey lawmakers aren’t “giving anything away” but rather are only “making it equal for students to be able to achieve education.”  She couldn’t be more out of touch.  Yes, this country was indeed based on immigrants seeking the American dream — but they were legal immigrants, people like my great-great-grandfather who came here from Lithuania, or my wife’s own grandmother who came here from Poland.  They went through the right channels, they didn’t skulk around in the shadows, trying to keep quiet so as not to alert Border Patrol agents on all-terrain vehicles.  There’s a difference, and it’s that fundamental difference between right and wrong that these people simply don’t seem to understand.

And it’s only going to get worse.  In the spring, we’re going to be debating legislation on a national scale designed to grant amnesty to the 15 to 20 million illegal immigrants currently living in the United States of America.  Come to America, but don’t tell anybody.  Break our laws, but be confident that nobody cares.  Take our jobs, fill our emergency rooms, pack our prisons, consume our resources and, by all means, allow for decent, law-abiding taxpayers to foot the bill for reduced tuition rates for your children.

In the meantime, I’m out $40,000.

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Comments

  1. Boston Blackie says:

    Hey Jeff,
    As W wanted you to believe, they are only here to go to the classes that Americans don’t want to go to. If there is such a thing as reincarnation, I want to come back in my next life as an illegal. Everything free in America.
    Seriously though, these lawmakers nationwide just don’t get it, no I take that back, they just don’t care. They have tried to ram the instate tuition for illegals through numerous times in mASSachusetts and shockingly the people of the state become up in arms. I think EVERYONE understands how wrong this is. Like you, when my daughter graduates from college, I will be 100K in debt for her tuition. During her freshman orientation, the college president(a nun at a catholic school), told them that they will be the first generation not to be better off than their parents. That ticked me off, then why am I paying through the nose for her education. Sadly, within months, she proved herself correct. Someone needs to file suit regarding these laws as discriminatory, maybe you can as your first case after passing the bar. (we can hope, can’t we)
    How many more times is this country going to push through another amnesty legislation.
    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

  2. Leah says:

    Here is the thing. Why extend instate tuition only to illegals? If they do that, then can’t YOU cry, “It’s not fair??? Why do THEY get to pay instate tuition and *I* don’t?”

    If their hopes and dreams are dashed, they have another option. Go back to their own country and get their education THERE.

  3. Scriv says:

    Whenever I bring up this topic among liberal aquiantence, they bring up the fact that the whites and blacks in this country are immigrants too. They fail to realize that our ancestors didn’t come over here and immediately enroll in entitlement programs, they came over for freedom and a chance to succeed on ther own merits. That is not the case with the flood of people today. That coupled with groups like La Raza is a dangerous combo.

  4. I for one will be glad when you have your degree and are fighting for the rights of decent law-abiding citizens who are always getting the short end of the stick these days. It’s stories like this that really chap my hide, and personally, I’m fed up. I’m tired of paying for illegals, tired of paying for corruption, and tired of paying for lazy dependents who live off the govt dole. Glenn Beck on his show yesterday said that this very issue could be the one the Dems use to smear the Republicans come fall. He may be right. Those who want a fence on our borders are NOT racist bigots!! We want the rule of law!!

  5. PP says:

    Come to America, but don’t tell anybody. Break our laws, but be confident that nobody cares. Take our jobs, fill our emergency rooms, pack our prisons, consume our resources and, by all means, allow for decent, law-abiding taxpayers to foot the bill for reduced tuition rates for your children.

    It’s the power trip, stupid!

  6. elspeth says:

    This is off topic, but I don’t see any good place to post it.

    I’ve learned a new word, and it’s rather disturbing: taiqiya. It is an Islamic word for deception to further the causes of Islam. My understanding is that in the Islamic religion, it is perfectly okay to lie or deceive an infidel to further the religion.

    My religion states as Commandment #9 “thou shall not lie”. We don’t really have a single word for that, do we? It would be the opposite of taiqiya.

    And, Islam has a single word for and teaches it’s okay to deceive?

    I will never trust a Muslim because I have learned of the existence of this word.

    I may be wrong, but I believe the Native Americans did not have a word for lying as it was a foreign concept to them.

    For those practicing jihad, I can understand their desire to lie and deceive to reach their goals, but to perpetuate deception as being faithful to a religion has me totally freaked out.

    Do you remember a commenter (was it last year?) explaining that during an online game, he lost to a cheater? Upon discussing it with another gamer, he was told that other cultures accept deception as a way of life. I believe now that the cheater must have been a Muslim.

    How can anyone negotiate with a leader who practices Islam when taiqiya exists?

    Can any of you help me make sense of this little revelation of mine?

    PS to Jeff: If you find this inappropriate, I understand.

    PS to Old Bob and Gail B: Can you please provide some wisdom on this?

    elspeth

  7. T.I.M. says:

    Jeff:
    Welcome to our world. Here in California, along with billions in medical costs, we’ve been giving in-state tuition to illegals for years — while denying the same to legal Americans.
    We recently learned of an associate professor in San Diego who has created the Transborder Immigration Tool — a GPS system to aid “undocumented” people in enjoying our country. This “educator” teaches visual arts and ethnic studies (among other things) and has publicly stated that borders are illegal, and people should be able to cross them to improve their lives.
    I wrote to him and asked if he would mind some friends of mine moving in with him, as their act of “civil disobedience” would allow them to have a nicer standard of living — on his dime. For some reason, he hasn’t responded, although letter writers to our local paper have suggested he be arrested for using state funds (he’s paid by the U of San Diego) to encourage and help others to break the law.

  8. TNelson says:

    Whatever happens, no matter how angry you become, do NOT raise your fists in protest! http://www.peaceoftheaction.com/ not to be confused with Mrs. Sheehans site: peaceoftheaction.ORG Just take a deep breath and make a cup of tea!
    Those guys are brilliant!

  9. fundamentally changing america says:

    NEXT UP, principal will be sending your child home with a note to wear burka to school?

    so they learned zip from CA?

  10. 2010, 2012 says:

    Leah says:
    January 7, 2010 at 2:41 pm
    Here is the thing. Why extend instate tuition only to illegals? If they do that, then can’t YOU cry, “It’s not fair??? Why do THEY get to pay instate tuition and *I* don’t?”
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    this really stinks.

  11. Donald says:

    Jeff,

    Great article and I agree with you 100%. The state of Texas is going down this same path. One thing you failed to mention however, is that in addition to the tuition inequity, admitting an illegal (excuse me – undocumented citizen) to the school means one less legal citizen gets admitted to the school and has one less seat available to them in already overcrowded classrooms. It is a downright outrage!

  12. Boston Blackie says:

    “Glenn Beck on his show yesterday said that this very issue could be the one the Dems use to smear the Republicans come fall.”

    I say bring it on!!!
    We are mad as hell and we are NOT going to take it anymore!!!!!!

    Congress tried to force through an illegals amnesty law before the last election. If I recall it was Kennedy and McCain pushing the “fight”. After endless uproar from the public, it died but is coming back to haunt us again.
    With everything else that has been forced upon us, amnesty may the last straw.

  13. Old Bob says:

    To “elspeth”:

    I have no greater wisdom on this concept practiced by Muslims than you have yourself expressed.

    It renders good faith negotiations with Muslims impossible, but Muslims are not the only ones who practice this form of “righteous deception”. There are large and powerful organizations, both religious and fraternal, in the U.S. who have ritualistic means of segregating those who are one of “them” from the rest of us for this very purpose.

    Never, never, trust any organization that has any form of codes or signs known only to “true believers”. The end goal is always the same; domination.

    Old Bob

  14. elspeth says:

    Old Bob,

    I suppose you’re right, but I was and remain blown away by this knowledge.

    Add to that FGM, and my wonder of why those who practice Islam are a bafflement begins to fade.

    I wanna be 6 again!

    elspeth

  15. Old Bob says:

    To “elspeth”.

    I understand wanting to be six again, but I fear that even our six year olds will never again be able to experience what we did when we were six. We have sexualized our children – even 6-8 year-olds – in order to intoxicate them with the effects of this sexualization so that they won’t notice the emptiness of meaning that our present culture offers them.

    Old Bob

  16. elspeth says:

    It breaks my heart, Bob, to know that what you say is true. I’ve not seen or heard it verbalized as you have, sexualized our children. I think I know what you mean. I have an 8yo girl and a 7yo boy, not to mention a 17yo who promises me he is not having sex (sigh).

    I finally understand my grandmothers exclaim of “vulgar” when she would see something inappropriate on TV like Cher’s belly button. I didn’t realize then I would see what I deem to be vulgar. My children know more than they should, but I’ve never seen anything like what the czar has been reported to have circulated. Who knew that a term like “teabagging” would become broadcast on national news?

    I often blame the “happily ever after” fairy tales commercialized in the children’s section of the video stores. These types of movies promote unreasonable expectations that I believe contribute to the divorce rate.

    But your words have given me a different perspective. It may prove to be timely, considering the age of my youngest children.

    If you feel like elaborating, I do ponder on “the emptiness of meaning”. Could you tell me more of what you mean?

    As always, thanks for your “two cents”!

    elspeth

  17. Old Bob says:

    To “elspeth”;

    Thanks for your response. I appreciate your reflections on what I consider to be the central issue of our day; the abandonment of the concept that there really is a “right” and a “wrong” based on a universal, immutable, standard of behavior. Hence, if there is no “right” or “wrong” there can be no consequences for one’s actions. With that mindset, who can blame the young for following their instincts for self-gratification, especially in the current environment where one would have to cloistered in a monestary to not be affected by the sexual messages bombarding them at every turn.

    It manifests itself in a lack of depth-of-thought in virtually every aspect of life, and it’s blindingly clear that our leaders – both in government and education – are depending on this lack of introspection to lead us in a direction that we should not be letting them take us. Unfortunately, I believe that this is no accident or simple progression of the post-modern mindset. Rather, I believe that it is a well-thought-out tactic to divert the serious attention of young minds while they “fundamentally transform” our nation. This is not a new phenomenom peculiar to the Obama administration; it has been ongoing for more than a century.

    We should be teaching our children to ask serious questions about their existence and the role that sprituallity (I am a deeply devoted Christian) plays in the purposefullness of life in an ordered world. The Founders had it right, but we have snuffed out that light and filled the darkness with physical gratification. We have used sexuality as an opiate to keep young minds off rational thinking about causes and effects and what constitutes a life that has meaning.

    Old Bob

  18. elspeth says:

    Jeff,

    My apologies if Old Bob and I have hi-jacked this thread on your post. Perhaps our discussion is meaningful as you evaluate and define your role as a parent, which I find ever changing as a mother.

    ——–

    Old Bob,

    You’ve answered another question that has pondered me ever since my 17yo told me he believes this life is all there is. I didn’t raise him that way, and in his younger days, he prayed often believing in God and the Gospel.

    I also raised him to meld into the society as it changes and develops around him. I believe this is integral to being a successful adult. Knowing outside influences would be an issue, I have encouraged open dialogue with each of my children. This is evident when my oldest keeps me up until midnight discussing anything he wants, and the topics vary greatly.

    We should be teaching our children to ask serious questions about their existence and the role that sprituallity plays in the purposefullness of life in an ordered world.

    These may be the most profound words ever given to me about raising my children. And, I thank you for them. Now to figure out how to accomplish that which you have made evident.

    I would like to suggest something else that has stretched our societal fabric a little too thin: thinking taboo the subjects of religion and politics. I’ve come to believe this “adage” was designed to disrupt unity. I believe ignoring it can only strengthen us as a society and culture — dissenting views encouraged.

    Thanks, Old Bob!

    elspeth

  19. J.B. says:

    Old Bob, It is so good to see your post again. I,ve missed your comments and have worried about what had happened to you. Welcome back.

    Elspeth, I enjoyed your discussion with Old Bob and agree with both. One question; Why would you teach your children to “meld in with society as it changes” in view of God’s command to be different?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Boycott NJ? Where else can we send our refuse?

  21. Old Bob says:

    Thanks, J.B.

    I’m fine, but I wonder where Gail is. One of these days we need to do a roll call. I miss some of the folks who used to show up regularly.

    Old Bob

  22. Gail B. says:

    I may be wrong, but if someone is in the country illegally, wouldn’t that equate as “out-of-state” status for him?

  23. Ruby Jones says:

    K12 education is the best. Everyone should look out for it.;`”

  24. the best education system is always the K12 education~’”

  25. kolaf says:

    WHAT?! WHAT THE?! Are you kidding me? Illegal immigrants are going to be granted in-state tuition in New Jersey, but if -I- move there, I’m going to be stuck with out-of-state tuition? I recently moved with my family and am being forced to wait to get in-state tuition because I simply can’t afford out of state tuition. This is freakin’ ridiculous. At the very least, offer it to ALL citizens, not just illegal ones. I got dreams too dammit!

  26. of course there is nothing better than K12 Education. it is simply the best..;

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