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 Post subject: The hearing on SB207, newspaper coverage and LTE
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:03 pm 
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Brief description of our day, waiting to testify against SB207:

I got up at 3 am and arrived at the State House at 8am, ready to testify at 8:30. Greg Serbon, Tish, Ron, Judy and Helen were with me.

Sen. Leising spoke on the bill first, then Rep. Kubacki who went on and on and on with a very emotional plea to help the illegal kids. It was practically a filibuster! Kubacki's relatives (grandparents?) were illegal and while speaking about them she said, "We didn't cross the border, the border crossed us."

Then, the committee let Indpls. immigration attorney, Angela Adams, speak. She is the lawyer who joined in the ACLU suit against Sen. Delph's SB590. The committee had tons of legal questions and appeared to be relying on Adams for legal advice! She's totally biased in support of illegals!

All the usual paid "suits" from the Chamber of Commerce, Indiana University, Catholic Church, etc. got to speak. Then, the committee chairman announced they were going to stop the meeting in a few minutes to go into session. He called more people who are FOR the bill and seemed like he was going to totally ignore us! I interrupted to ask if the opposition was going to get a chance to speak. Right before they adjourned (around 10 am) he called on me to testify. He said the committee would reconvene after the session in a couple hours.

That "couple of hours" turned into "all day". We waited into the afternoon. He reconvened the committee around dinner time after the session ended and he knew we, the opposition, had left. Tish had gone home but turned on the webcast in case they reconvened. When they did, she rushed back to the State House so she could testify.


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 Post subject: Re: The hearing on SB207, newspaper coverage and LTE
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:05 pm 
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http://heraldbulletin.com/local/x134080 ... t-children

April 4, 2013
House committee debates ban on in-state tuition for immigrant children

By Maureen Hayden CNHI Statehouse Bureau

INDIANAPOLIS — Two years after banning the children of undocumented immigrants from paying in-state tuition rates at the state’s public universities, Indiana legislators are debating whether to roll back that prohibition.

The Republican-controlled Senate has already passed a bill that would partially roll back the ban, to cover students who started college when the 2011 law went into effect.

But now, some members of the House Committee on Education, including its influential Republican chairman, Rep. Bob Behning of Indianapolis, want to clear the path to college for more immigrant children.

Behning wants to expand Senate Bill 207 to allow the children of undocumented immigrants to pay the same tuition rate at the state’s public universities as other Indiana residents do.

Under an amendment he proposed Thursday in committee, those children would have to meet certain conditions to qualify. Among them: They’d have to start attending high school in Indiana as a freshman, graduate on time with at least a C average, and have no criminal record.

“We’d be holding them to a higher standard than we do other Hoosiers,” Behning said.

Behning’s committee heard testimony on the bill Thursday. The bill is scheduled for a committee vote next Tuesday.

Supporters of Behning’s proposal said children shouldn’t be priced out of college because their parents decided to immigrate illegally. They pointed out that under the new federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, a vast majority of undocumented children won’t be deported.

“Look into your hearts and ask, ‘What are we doing to these kids?’” said Rep. Rebecca Kubacki, the first Republican Hispanic in the Indiana General Assembly and a sponsor of Senate Bill 207. “These kids didn’t break the law, their parents did.”

But opponents argued the state shouldn’t be subsidizing a college education for the children of people who violated immigration laws.

Rep. Jim Lucas, a freshman Republican from Seymour, said the state’s ban on in-state tuition for undocumented students doesn’t bar them from attending college, it just charges them the much higher out-of-state rate.

Angela Hicks, one of the hundreds of students impacted by the 2011 ban, disagreed. Hicks was brought here by her parents illegally when she was 11, graduated with honors from high school and had a 4.0 grade point average when she dropped out of Indiana University in 2011 because she couldn’t afford to pay the out-of-state rate of $26,000.

“That $26,000? That’s more than my mom and I make combined,” Hicks said.

Senate Bill 207 and Behning’s amendment are politically volatile. Several members of the House education committee have told the bill backers that while they support the bill and the proposed changes, they fear the political repercussions when they run for re-election.

The bill has raised the ire — and the organizing power — of some Tea Party members and anti-immigration groups. Cheree Calabro, co-founder of IFIRE (Indiana Federation for Immigration Reform & Enforcement) voiced her anger about the bill during Thursday’s committee hearing.

She said illegals had invaded the state, were competing for scarce jobs, had broken the immigration laws and were now asking to be treated like other citizens. “Please explain to me why they get to lobby you?” she asked committee members.

As of Thursday, support for the bill and Behning’s amendment appeared split, and bill backers were concerned the legislation might not make it out committee.

Kubacki pleaded for support: “This is a huge decision. It affects the lives of children,” she said, before asking the committee to send the bill to the full House.

Thirteen states have already passed laws that allow the children of undocumented immigrants to pay in-state college tuition rates. The legislatures in Oregon and Colorado recently passed similar laws.

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com.


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 Post subject: Re: The hearing on SB207, newspaper coverage and LTE
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:30 pm
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Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to Maureen Hayden’s 4/4/13 article covering the House Education Committee hearing on SB207 (in-state tuition benefits for illegal immigrants).

I, or a member of my small group of citizens, was in the committee meeting room continuously for 7 hours waiting for an opportunity to testify. During that time, your reporter never interviewed me. I object to her unfair, untrue characterization of my testimony and wonder if she was even in the room when I spoke.

I do not represent, nor did I utter the words “Tea Party” at any time yesterday. I did not say that “illegals had invaded the state.” My group is not “anti-immigrant” at all. We welcome immigrants who follow the legal process established by law. We do not believe that the laws should be changed, after the fact, to accommodate those who broke them. We do not believe that citizens should be made to pay for the mistakes of foreigners who broke our laws so they could give their children an unfair advantage over ours.

I raised serious substantive issues about the costs of this bill and how our veterans others are being treated like second class citizens. The costs could well reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars, as I have documented, yet everyone seems determined to focus only on the emotional side of this issue. I am attaching a copy of my testimony and will forward copies of the other attachments so that you can be fully and accurately informed. I hope your newspaper will investigate and report on the concerns I raised.

Please print my letter in your newspaper at your earliest opportunity so the erroneous characterizations in Ms. Hayden’s article can stand corrected.

Sincerely,
Cheree Calabro, co-founder
Indiana Federation for Immigration Reform and Enforcement
Valparaiso, IN


Link to Ms. Hayden’s article: http://heraldbulletin.com/local/x134080 ... t-children


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