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  • Morning Bell: Illegal Aliens, In-State Tuition and the Law

    Consider it an illegal fringe benefit for illegal immigrants. Today, 12 states allow individuals who are in the United States illegally to pay the same in-state tuition rates as legal residents of the state without providing the same rates to others in the country who are here legally. And those states are doing it in direct contravention of federal law.

    In a new paper, Heritage’s Hans von Spakovsky and Charles Stimson explain that in 1996, Congress passed–and President Bill Clinton signed into law–the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. Under Section 1623 of the law, state colleges and universities are prohibited from providing in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens “on the basis of residence within the State” unless the same in-state rates are offered to all citizens of the United States.

    “By circumventing the requirements of § 1623 these states are violating federal law, and the legal arguments offered to justify such actions are untenable, no matter what other policy arguments are offered in their defense,” von Spakovsky and Stimson write. Which states are on the list? The offenders include California, Texas, New York, Utah, Washington, Oklahoma, Illinois, Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, Maryland, and Connecticut.

    Despite these violations, the federal government is doing nothing about it, all while the Justice Department has brought action against Arizona and Alabama for assisting in the enforcement of federal immigration law. Meanwhile, President Obama’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement department announced over the summer relaxed standards for pursuing and dismissing immigration cases.

    Apart from being illegal, granting in-state tuition to illegal aliens isn’t at all popular with the American people, either. A poll conducted in August shows that 81 percent of voters oppose providing in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens–and with good reason. For starters, the cost of doing so is breaking an already strained bank. In 2005, the cost of providing in-state tuition in California was between $222.6 million and $289.3 million; in Texas, it was estimated between $80.2 million and $104.4 million. Von Spakovsky and Stimson note that the policy has other serious flaws, as well:

    Granting financial preference to illegal aliens also discriminates against otherwise qualified citizen students from outside the state. Furthermore, states that offer in-state tuition to illegal aliens act as a magnet for more illegal aliens to come to the state. Arguments to the contrary are unpersuasive, and not supported by the facts.

    The core issue, though, is the Constitution and the rule of law. And while the United States welcomes immigrants, it is also a country of laws, and there are limits imposed on those who seek citizenship. States cannot cast aside those laws where they see fit, as von Spakovsky and Stimson explain:

    Americans take pride in their heritage and this country’s generous policies regarding legal immigration. Yet, as citizens of a sovereign nation, Americans retain the right to decide who can and cannot enter this country—and what terms immigrants and visitors must accept as a condition of residing in the United States. As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, Congress sets America’s immigration policy. State officials have considerable influence in Congress over the crafting of immigration laws, and they may take steps to help enforce federal law. However, state officials cannot act contrary to a congressional statute.

    The Supreme Court has held that “The states have no power, by taxation or otherwise, to retard, impede, burden, or in any manner control, the operations of the constitutional laws enacted by Congress to carry into execution the powers vested in the general government.” Unfortunately, in offering illegal aliens in-state tuition in violation of federal law, that is exactly what these states are doing. Now it is up to the President and the Attorney General to enforce that law and take action against these 12 states.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    115 Responses to Morning Bell: Illegal Aliens, In-State Tuition and the Law

    1. Whicket Williams says:

      This is just another convincing argument to elect RON PAUL. He is America'd salvation If newt gets in we are DOOMED!!

    2. AD-RtR/OS! says:

      So, if preferential tuition for illegals is a violation of Federal Law, why hasn't Heritage file a suit in Federal Court seeking to stop it?

      • gorio says:

        They would have to have "standing" and that is the tool that courts use to frustrate the average citizen who apparently has no "standing" unless one is damaged by a bash in the head as a result of an illegal law. Then again the court may still say one doesn't have "standing" because that person is horizontal in a hospital bed, all they need is an excuse….

    3. Alan says:

      This administration has no appetite for enforcing immigration laws. To the contrary, the democrate party wants to legalize these people in order to make them democrat votes, labor union members, etc.

    4. Jon says:

      Until the Federal Govt. take seriously border security this is a mute point. They have failed for decades to address the issues, and the states are left alone to deal with the problem. I know this is a tricky question, but do states have to honor Federal law when the Federal Government refuses to enforce the law in order to protect the state? How do you deal with the kids that grew up in our nation that have no ties back in their home nation? Are we really prepared to deport close to 11 million people? It is great to talk about illegal immigration, but very few people put forth real workable solutions.

      • Sophia says:

        Jon, these kids do have ties back in their home countries. These ties include grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and possibly even a parent or sibling.

        • Ginneth says:

          He meant that they don't have the cultural ties because they've been brought up and attached to a a completely different society. How can one rip away the home of the other, for they know no other home. Even throughout the hardship of descrimintation and deprived privelages they fight to stay in this nation. What more patriotism can there be?

        • well sophia.. i am engaged to an illegal immigrant that was brought into this country illegaly when he was only 2 months old. He has since then graduated and held low wage paying jobs because he strives to triumph in a country that to him is his country. The US is all he knows and he shouldnt be forced to travel to a country where he has no backround on.. he doesnt even know the native language of his native land. It is impossible to force someone to go somewhere where he does not want to. We have a 2 year old daughter and i dont believe that my daughter should be brought up without out a father just to make it politically correct. To top it off my husband pays the same amount of taxes as US citizens do.. So why should the us freely take his money and not give him the same rights as others that are charged the same. Next time u decide to speak on this matter you should really do some backround check on the information and who is really affected. and if u arent really affected its better off to stay quiet.

          • Nate says:

            While I support immigration reform acts like the Dream Act, I agree with the outrage about illegal immigrants paying in-state tuition. While many pay the social security tax which is deducted from their pay check, they do not pay the property taxes which go to paying public education and in-state tuition. Furthermore, in California, they get cal grants. This is simply not fair to the many legal Americans who are denied from that funding as well as have to pay out of state tuition

      • ThomNJ says:

        If we actually tried to seal our border and tried to enforce the EXISTING laws and used e-verify, etc. and stopped providing them with the same rights guaranteed to and benefits earmarked for American citizens, most of the illegals would self-deport leaving only a relative few for us to actually round up and ship out. But we have nearly the opposite. We educate their kids. We give them welfare. We allow them to use fraudulent social security numbers – and please, for those of you who don't believe this, them me assure you that you would be incorrect – and a simple database search could virtually instantly pinpoint the fraudulent users. We treat them, at taxpayer expense, at hospitals. We hire them. The average citizen is forced to look the other way, even when one encounters them, because the citizen will be made out to be the bad guy in the process. It is upside down.

    5. Herb Lerman says:

      This should be really publicized more to show America just how corrupt the DOJ and this administration
      is.——–another reason to get rid of Eric Holder. This is Democratic politics to massage the Latino vote.
      Obama and his whole administration have no true understanding of and do not care about the Rule of Law, except when it is to their purpose!

    6. Victor Barney says:

      It is over, isn't it? Just like at the begining of man's age, women again DEMAND DESTRUCTION AND DEATH! NO? WATCH! As composer and singer Don Mc'Clain sung "bye, bye, American Pie…" Watch! p.s. When John Wayne was about to die, he passed on the Republic's Torch to James Arness of "Gunsmoke" fame, who passed on the Republic's torch to NO ONE but the DEVIL, and STILL THE ANGEL OVER THIS WORLD, unless YOU are called-out ot it! Again, watch!


      In state tuition means in state. Based on the fact that if you are a qualified in state resident you are contributing to the tax base that supports the state schools. The Federal law tramples upon States Rights, and anyway Obama has demonstrated that Federal laws are meaningless and shouldn't be enforced. So what's the big deal?

    8. Texas Tom says:

      Excellent! Thanks Heritage and keep it up.

    9. This kinda crap from the liberal democrats just irks me! C'mon folks…show a little common sense and VOTE!

      • Bill says:

        It pisses me off too! We are, in my opinion, as a nation of a bunch of morons who'd rather sweep these problems under the rug and pretend they are not affected by what goes on outside of their own little worlds. In my opinion, with attitudes like we now have from the "hope and change" idiots, we are, as a nation, lost.

    10. RogCol says:

      When it comes to illegals, the laws are not applicable any more. In fact, when you consider tha law signed into law by Clinton has been ignored by Rs and D's alike. we are becoming a nation of laws when the legislation meets our needs, otherwise they are shelved for further use.

    11. ThomNJ says:

      "Now it is up to the President and the Attorney General to enforce that law and take action against these 12 states."

      Umm, yeah, right – you are asking this of the two men who love to sue the states that TRY to enforce the laws on illegal immigration.

      More likely, they will arrange for more of our tax dollars to go to those 12 states in supoprt of more left-wing causes.

    12. So why isn't this benefit extended to legal residents in those states?

      • Peggy Ping says:

        In state tuition is given to students in their respective states, however if heritage thinks this is so illegal why dont they go after the federal government for not doing anything about it, where does state rights come into this, what are the states to do if the federal government puts all these mandates up there and the financial burden is on the states, if uneducated they go on welfare and we have to pay all their medical costs, so why not make them productive and let them get a job an pay their own way, but make them apply for citizenship, this is never going to get solved and will tear the country apart if common sense does not prevail and we don't need heritage coming out and using this as a political tool during a election.

        • Doug Nicholson says:

          "…so why not make them productive and let them get a job an pay their own way…" How about because they broke the LAW by coming here. Does that not matter any more? Well, it does to me! Let's all get behind the E-Verify law currently making its way through Congress. It requires employers to confirm, via a federal database, whether an applicant is eligible to work in this country and provides severe penalties for employers who violate it. If this law passes, I guarantee you that 95% of illegal immigrants in this country will self-deport and it won't cost the taxpayers a penny.

      • Nancy says:

        It is. It's not provided to legal residents from outside that particular state. Makes me angry particularly in the state of California. We lived and paid taxes in CA our whole lives until 1995 when we moved out of state. We now have a college age daughter. Can she go to a CA university for instate tuition? Nope. That is just plain wrong!

      • jmquillian says:

        Residency requirements are based on where the student lives currently, not where he was born. In Texas the so-called DREAM act requires a minimum 3 years residency as well as graduation from a high school here in Texas. Anyone from any state can meet the same requirement. In fact, a US citizen meets the residency requirement by living in-state for one year – not three. The illegal immigrants receive no advantage not available to any citizen. They pay local taxes and contribute just like anyone else. This strikes me as much ado about very little.

      • sandy says:

        Of course it is extended to legal residents in those states!
        In Texas, at least (I'm not sure about the other states), in-state tuition is not a benefit for illegal immigrants. Immigration is not mentioned in the law. It is a benefit for graduates of Texas high schools.! So the question of whether legal residents get in-state tuition misses the point–of course they do; all Texas residents who graduated from Texas high schools pay in-state tuition. Graduates of high schools outside Texas do not. Period.

    13. Guest says:

      Taxpayers have to foot the bill and Rick Perry says he is strong on illegal immigration when his state forces the legal citizens to pay for illegal education am I missing something here? The states involved in this should be cut off from federal funding period. What about our kids any politician ask that question?

      • river says:

        Yes you are missing something; the people of Texas through their legislators decided this issue. It's a matter of the states having to take responsibility for the decades long duplicity of the federal government. The feds have created enormous problems for the states and lack the integrity that the rule of law requires. Ask Gov. Brewer or Gov. Perry if it is a good thing when the feds tell states what they can and can not do. The federal government's record on illegal immigrants is so duplicitous that they have lost their credibility in the minds of many people. This issue of state univercity tuition is an example of why the Tenth Amendment was required before the Colonists would ratify the Constitution.
        Heritage should retract this article until they can recognize that the states are the only ones dealing responsibly with a huge and growing problem. Again, ask Gov. Brewer if it's a good idea to have the feds interfere with her state's problems.

      • sandy says:

        Taxpayers have to foot the bill for welfare, too. Welfare for uneducated residents–legal or illegal–costs more than the in-state supplement to college tuition. And educated residents–legal or illegal–pay more state taxes. From a purely fiscal standpoint, in-state tuition for all residents makes sense.

      • mary says:

        I don't like it either and am totally against illegal immigration. We have a bad situation here too in Florida but how are the Governors suppose to deal with it? They really have no power that is why we need to support our state's who need to be suing the feds! Our public schools are packed with illegals. But, even if they send them out, they come back. And of course our legislature voted down an E-Verify bill.
        Texas no doubt is completely mobbed with illegals!

    14. Dave says:

      It would seem to me that by virtue of Article II Section 1 Paragraph 8; and Article II Section three, that those executive officials who refuse to "faithfully execute" the laws should be subject to impeachment. By extension, the President should also be subject to impeachment. The Constitution is fairly clear both in the Oath of Office and in Section 3 that the President "shall take Care that the Laws are faithfully executed, and shall commission all Officers of the United States." If the Officers are not doing their job they should be fired or impeached and if the President is not doing his job, he is guilty of "high Crimes and Misdeemeanors." Where is our Congress in all of this? Or have we decided to tear up the Constitution?

    15. T. S. Shinn says:

      Please explain how this law not being enforced by the States in question does not parallel how the States are not enforcing ObamaCare? Was not ObamaCare passed by Congress? Is it not law? I am not arguing that I am for or against ObamaCare. Nor do I disagree with this article's premise or conclusion. The point is this article seems to open the door for someone to argue that the States cannot "not" enforce OCare unless the upcoming ruling by the SCOTUS determines otherwise.

    16. J E Houser says:

      That is not surprising. The federal govt does not enforce the existing immigration laws. It promotes the use of drugs. It does not know the Constitution exists to keep it out-of-state and personal issues.

      • George Gallo says:

        It knows the Constitution exists but scoffs that it has validity in the current world, which is a strange way to adhere to the oath it pledges before assuming its Constitutional duties.

    17. Kendall Svengalis says:

      Thanks for pointing out this violation of federal law. This was always unfair, even in the absence of the federal provision barring discrimination against out-of-state American citizens. For two years, I paid out-of-state tuition for my son to attend a college in Florida until he achieved in-state status. Then, he transferred to a college in Colorado where we started the same process all over again for 1-1/2 years. While illegals do not have the benefit of in-state tuition in those two states so far, this unjustice should not be permitted anywhere. Let's see Holder sue the 12 states in question for this violation of federal law.

      • John G says:

        In-state tuition is a state issue, not a federal one. Each state should be left to determine its own residency rules for qualification. The situation you experienced would be no different for someone who overstayed his visa or was here without one. I fail to see the "unjustice" in all of this, and I fail to see how the federal enforcement (or lack thereof) has anything to do with residency requirements for in-state tuition.

      • sandy says:

        Oh, but it does make sense. U. S. residents do not pay for state colleges; state residents do. Therefore state residents get a tuition discount. If you want U. S. residents to get in-state tuition, then U. S. residents should pay for state colleges. I doubt you want that. Since I am a well aware that these United States are a cooperating group of sovereign states, I don't want that, either.

    18. Neal Thomas says:

      It kind of comes back to states rights though.

    19. evermyrtle says:

      "Obamahellcare" says that if we are able pay for health care that medicare does not cover, we will not be allowed to pay for it and get it, we just have to suffer, because there are those who cannot pay, and if they have to suffer, we suffer along with them.

    20. CesarFstoll says:

      Immigration is a tool for political manipulation and obtaining cheap votes. Well, maybe not so cheap, given the amount of damage the 'ideal' foments and produces on many areas.
      The matter though is that too many byproducts of 'immigration' are constantly exploited for or against while all of them are not the point that should really be resolved.
      The real and actual question is on what type of nation and what type of country the people want to live on and of course, if the chosen answers are 'livable' given all the consequences.
      There are two ways to go and only two. Collectivism which gives the power to the state to reign over the individual, or individuality, not individualism, but individuality; which gives the individual power over the state.
      Collectivism exploits the ideal of the word democracy to represent the power of the people, when in reality, the people has barely any power whatsoever under the collectivist ideal of 'democracy' because they intend to produce several schemes where the people will vote, not to chose them or reject them, but to just slightly modify them so that some sense of power is perceived. Under this ideal of course, there virtually no limit to which the governing apparatus will grow to satisfy all the permutations the ideal might confront or be confronted with.
      The ideal of individuality cannot accept a very large governing apparatus because the individual reigns over his/her own decision and thereby is not able to focus in the governing ideal. The government then can only be small and limited strictly to the functions of administrating common matters of the state such as safety, law and order and security, but not issues exclusive to individual concern such as health, food, education and so on.
      Hence, immigration as a problem is nothing but a problem of big government and a game everyone has to fall to because it is 'given' issue ans the answer will never be either that; everyone can freely immigrate to the country, or, that every immigrant needs to be 'different' than the people form the country.
      Rights is a favorite word of collectivism because it is part of their 'compromise', that surrendering from the people of their individuality, loosing just about every freedom, because of the equality people must accept and so transforming the idea onto individualism, which is a necessary mutation onto what is 'good' for the individual and should be given by the state as some sort of concession which of course never will be, because it is not so much a prerogative of a person to be completely 'equal' to another and so a flipping of reality occurs and so, truth becomes relative and freedom absolute and either under that scheme is not truth or viable.

    21. tom s says:

      allowing any such perks or benefits to anyone in the country illegally is a slap in the face to all AMERICAN citizen taxpayer. The federal govt should get off its corrupt butt & start doing its well paying job & round up ALL illegals & remove same from the country. It shouldnt even have to be said that the govt needs to protect our borders.

    22. Mario Lopez says:

      Join the revolution. I boycott the local McDonalds because all the employees speak spanish except for the Token that speaks english at the register. boycott, boycott them all.

    23. John G says:

      Under Section 1623 of the law, state colleges and universities are prohibited from providing in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens “on the basis of residence within the State” unless the same in-state rates are offered to all citizens of the United States
      That would seem to clearly violate the 10th Amendment, no?

      The residential requirements necessary to qualify for in-state rates (at least where I live, and I imagine in other states as well) make no mention of legal status, only proof of residency. In-state tuition rates are a realization that residents have pre-paid part of the tuition, as they have paid sales taxes, property taxes and other taxes and fees which go towards the operation of the in-state school.

      If you want to call In-state tuition a welfare program, then it's a welfare program for all of the state's residents, not just those who have overstayed their visa or are here without one.

      • Doug Nicholson says:

        So you, John, are in favor of enforcing some laws, such as the one that allows in-state students to take advantage of in-state tuition (legal status notwithstanding), but not other laws, such as Section 1673. Sure sounds hypocritical to me. In my opinion, someone here in violation of federal law, such as illegal immigrants, forfeit their "right" to avail themselves of any benefits available to those who are here legally.
        How about this: let's all get behind the E-Verify law currently working its way through Congress. If passed, 95%+ of all illegals will self-deport, costing the taxpayers next to nothing.

        • John G says:

          So you, John, are in favor of enforcing some laws
          Throughout our history people have used civil disobedience as a way to shine light upon bad laws. This is nothing new. Prohibition and Civil Rights immediately come to mind.

          forfeit their "right" to avail themselves of any benefits available to those who are here legally.
          But access to in-state tuition rates have nothing to do with federal immigration status (at least in the states in question). And that's my whole point. Under federal law, states are required to treat everyone equally (14th Amendment), therefore states cannot arbitrarily change the rules for one group of people who otherwise meet all the other eligibility requirements.

          At what point do we as a country take ownership of the fact that illegal immigration is an unintended, but forseeable, outcome of our incredibly inadequate immigration policy?

    24. nemo says:

      So why isn't the DOJ suing these states for ignoring the law like they have Arizona, South Carolina, and Utah for enforcing a law the DOJ will not. sorry, rhetorical question.

    25. Bobbie says:

      imposing costs unfairly and promoting illegality is not in favor of America and denies expected principled behavior outside the peoples control. if government members had dignity they would enforce the law with respect to the law! tuition is outrageously unfair and if the tax base was even close to fair, legal immigrants would not be exempt from any anywhere and deductions would be equal and nobody would need special government favor over another!

      this is America! there is only limited areas the government can treat us equally and those are the ONLY areas the job of government is necessary!

    26. How can we trumpet federal law over states' laws in this article and yet condone the states' efforts to legislate away Obamacare? For the record, I consider myself to be a conservative and would like nothing better than to see Obamacare go away, but this apparent contradiction bothers me. Can anybody explain?

      • Mike Brownfield Mike Brownfield says:


        Thanks for the question. For the answer, I’d point you to the Constitution. Under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 of the United States Constitution, Congress has the power to “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.” In short, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution, Congress sets America’s immigration policy.

        When Congress passed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, it prohibited state colleges and universities from providing in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens “on the basis of residence within the State” unless the same in-state rates are offered to all citizens of the United States. Though state officials have considerable influence in Congress over the crafting of immigration laws, and they may take steps to help enforce federal law, state officials cannot act contrary to a congressional statute.

        That is different from, say, Obamacare, whose mandate has no basis in the Constitution, no precedent, and no limits.

        Mike Brownfield
        Editor, The Foundry

        • John Mitchell says:

          While I agree that the Federal government has the power to provide rules regarding immigration, I do not think the tuition amounts charged by the states is relevant to the question. The illegal aliens are, due to the negligence of the Federal government are actually residents of the states and the state does not have the authority to deport them. A citizen who is a resident of New York should not be granted the same rights as residents of the state. The illegal alien pays the state sales tax and probably the income tax. The citizen of New York does not.

          We need to have the various states claim the rights under the constitution for all items not specifically given to the Federal government and education is not given to the Feds in the constitution.

      • ThomNJ says:

        Read the Constitution again – there are certain laws that can be set by Congress and some by the states – obamacare is not a law that the Congress can make (at least in my humble opinion) using the argument that it is a part of their regulation of commerce (they are mandating commerce – and that is a no-no). US citizens are supposed to have equal rights under the Constitution, and granting foreigners – especially those here without permission – a right or privilege that is not available to all Americans – but only some – is not legal; as in the case of the in-state tuition issue. Romneycare is legal (as disgusting as that may be) as a state law, but it would exceed the bounds of Congressional rigths in the same form as nationwide obamacare.

    27. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Shows how two faced this administration is, they will file suit to prevent states from having their own immigration laws, YET they will not uphold one preventing in state tuition when it's against the law and already on the books.

    28. Jim P says:

      This federal law is another one that shouldn't exist. It is not the federal government's business how much Kansas wants to charge for tuition.

      • Nancy says:

        They aren't telling them how much to charge. They're telling them they cannot discriminate.

      • Clearhead says:

        Jimmy boy, read the quoted section. Kansas can charge five dollars per student per quarter if they want to, but if they do, they have to make that price available to ANY CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES, regardless of which state his residence is in.

    29. WMS, Springfield, MO says:

      We are becoming the united States of do whatever you like as far as politicians are concerned. We need to protect and prosper our own people I agree with Cathy, we need to wake up and VOTE to clean house in Washington. Let's get term limits set for the house and senate, it is not a place to retire and take everything you can get. They need to live by the same rules as the rest of the us. You get ajob, do it well or you sare filed.

    30. T-Texas says:

      Can any one explain how come the congress doesn't enforce the constitution along with the DOJ and Supreme Court.All of these people swore to up hold and defend constitution of The United States?

    31. Neil says:

      Would degrees granted by universities to these students be valid?

    32. FlaJim says:

      Federal law would be quickly be acknowledged in these states if federal education subsidies were withheld. No lawsuits. Simple.

      For that matter, the same tactic would work well with so-called 'sanctuary cities' if federal funding for various projects was suddenly stopped.

    33. Ohio Ron says:

      We are talking about illegal immigrants–illegal aliens are from Mars

      • Todd says:

        What would you prefer – undocumented aliens? That is what they are – aliens. Immigrants, whether illegal or legal, move here usually with the intent to stay long-term. Aliens are just here temporarily either to make money to send back home or to suck off our government programs like the one outlined in the article. And there are legal aliens – people on temporary work visas or student visas.

      • ThomNJ says:

        The term "alien" does not mean from outer space – it means "non-citizens" in this usage. The term immigrants refers to legal immigrants – it is essentially redundant to say legal immigrants. One can be here in the USA and be a legal "alien" as in tourist or on a working visa, etc. An illegal alien is a citizen of another country here without permission.

      • PADDY O says:


      • Sophia says:

        Illegal aliens are foreigners who are in the United States illegally.

      • Nancy says:

        Alien is a legal term for one who is not a citizen.

      • John Bowman says:

        How many illegal aliens from Mars does ICE have in custody?

        Better check your dictionary and Federal Law, illegal alien is the correct term.

      • saveamerica says:

        Aliens are foreign no matter where they come from. Immigrants is specific to define people who come from one country to legally live in another.

      • Fred says:

        But they aren't immigrants either, illegal – yes.

    34. haroldson says:

      You say no action from the justice department. We have no justice department. I am sure the whole American government is crooked and answering only to Obama, If a American citizen wants justice we will have to fight for it, The good old days are gone, Want them back? we will have to take them back.

    35. toledofan says:

      If we have to depend on Obama and Holder to enforce the law, I think we should consider the time table of when hell freezes over. These guys will do what they do best, nothing.

    36. Peabody1911 says:

      Obama does nothing but sue Arizona for trying to defend its borders.

      The national government does nothing except provide more weapons to the cartels with their "gun tracking" programs.

      U.S. citizens fund the cartels with their drug use.

      LaRaza wants the southwest and it appears that our federal government is willing to give it to them.

      If Obama gets re-elected in 2012 this country will never be able to recover from where he has taken us.

      Sheriff Babeu stated, “This documentary is a true depiction of the border crimes we see 75 miles north of the U.S./Mexico border. I’m grateful to the NRA for giving my office a chance to showcase what we’re all about and if there’s any doubt regarding the real problems facing our nation when it comes to border security, this documentary helps expose what’s really going on.”

    37. Jim T says:

      "Now it is up to the President and the Attorney General to enforce that law and take action against these 12 states."……….Don't hold your breath waiting for THAT to happen!

    38. jmhj5 says:

      Join forces with a grassroot organization. http://www.numbersusa.com
      God Bless the United States of America.

    39. mtk says:

      Well, in Texas, for instance, there is no income tax. It's all sales and property taxes, so illegals pay the same share as legals. The federal gov't mandates that we educate illegals k-12, so why just stop there? If they're paying tuition, you might as well. It's also a path to citizenship, so they're tax payers instead of tax wasters for the federal gov't after that, so it works out.

    40. Valentino Procida says:

      Seeing what has been going on coming out of those in Washington DC over these last 3 years, I just can't help wonder it anyone in Washington really have any brains. Try as I may, looking in all directions I don't see any one there that knows what they are doing. This spy plane that crashed in Iran and is now in their hands,
      When it was made, did no one think it should have a self destruct built-in it just in case of what now happen.

    41. Ron W. Smith says:

      Offering illegals in-state tuition might alternatively be considered just restitution for the low wages earned by the illegals in jobs offered them by the businesses that hired them. The 1986 federal legislation designed to reduce significantly the problem of illegal immigration failed miserably since Congress didn't follow through on enforcement necessities. Employers kept hiring illegals, word continued getting back to Mexico that "good" jobs were available in the U.S., and the tide of illegals, if anything, increased. Now we're caught in a bait and switch problem: yes, the jobs were available in the U.S. and, no, illegals weren't, except for a few smaller episodes, being prosecuted or deported. They were allowed to work here–some of them for decades.

      Employers, in search of low-wages employees, hiring DESPITE clear legislation in 1986 have been the problem, not uneducated, poor workers from Mexico seeking to find work at more than $5 a day to benefit themselves and their families. If they broke the law (unenforced) by crossing into the U.S. illegally, willing employers did, too, by hiring, thus encouraging them. Almost anything we do now to mitigate the problem, aside from being sure no further illegal immigration is encouraged or allowed, is bait and switch on the word-of-mouth advertising Mexicans have heard for more than a generation.

      In-state tuition rates for the children of illegals solves no problem at all, creates a financial one, but, oh, the justice in restitution!

      • John Bowman says:

        Except that the businesses who profit by hiring illegals are not the ones paying, all Americans are! Now if any business who hired an illegal paid $20,000 a year for the privilege, you might have a point.

    42. In no way do the state actions infringe on Federal laws. The anti-immigrant mentality bu conservatives is repulsive and contrary to the idea of individual liberty. We should deport union members, not hard working immigrants. Unions are destroying this country, not immigrants.

      • Sophia says:

        It's not anti-immigrant mentality. It's anti-ILLEGAL ALIEN mentality, which is the mentality that all Americans should have in regard to these lawbreakers and criminals. By the way, illegal aliens are not immigrants.

      • John Bowman says:

        A lot of "immigrants" are union members also.

    43. Arvid Myhre says:

      What is the value of an unenforced law? Did Congress ever have any intention of standing behind this law or are they just a bunch of robots that vote for "the hell of it"?

    44. Archie says:

      This says that we are a nation of laws. I disagree. We have a lot of laws in this country but the ones that are enforced are whichever ones the powers that be want to enforce. Just as immigration laws are forgotten the laws against hiring illegals are not enforced.
      I will agree with some of the above about states rights except in this issue if Kaly4niA invites illegals into their state some of those will soon spill over into the other 49 or would it be 56?

    45. let me get this straight …it's wrong for those 12 states to go counter to federal law regarding illegal immigrants but it's OK for Wyoming to pass a law saying owning, carrying and discharging a fully automatic fire arm ….yeah .. right …

    46. map says:

      Well if none resident students in these states should then be paying the in state rates it sounds like they should get together and file a suit for a refund of the amount they over spent.

    47. Bob Heinrichs says:

      I am wondering WHY a parent of a legal in state student hasn't filed a law suit against the state and the university where an obvious violation of this federal law is taking place. It is up to the conservitives to file such a law suit. The liberal left democrates will never file it.

    48. Kyle says:

      You're not likely to get a rational response from the two low-lives that currently have the titles of president & AG!

    49. John Galt says:

      If I were a parent and I was sending a dependent child to a universities in one of those 12 states and I was paying more than what an illegal was paying, I would definitely be suing that university and name the Federal government as an accessory in the suit. Obama and Eric Holder continue to ignore laws they don't agree with, while at the same time, break laws i.e. Fast and Furious, when it suits them.

    50. Mike, Hickory, NC says:

      Us Constitutional Conservative Americans must and do prize the rule of law, but the Statist Left, and those with any such leanings, are showing their contempt for the rule of law, through such as special treatment of illegal immigrants and thus endorsing and supporting their lawlessness.
      What is "the rule of law" and "lawlessness"?
      The rule of law: Absolute predominance or supremacy of ordinary law of the land over all, regardless of position.
      Lawless: 1. Not regulated by or based on law; 2 (a) Not restrained or controlled by law.
      Synonyms: anarchic (also anarchical), disorderly, lawbreaking, unruly.
      Lawless: 1. Unrestrained by law; unruly: a lawless mob. 2. Contrary to the law; Unlawful. 3. Not governed by law.
      So there is a pattern, but we've been warned.
      A number of our founding fathers warned that the pattern of democracies is how they descend into mob rule and fall for tyrants; which is why the U.S. was not founded as a Democracy but instead as a representative Republic, based on individual freedom, a Constitution which is the "ordinary law of the land", and all based and dependent upon the rule of law.

    51. Clearhead says:

      Read your own article, Mike: "…………Now it is up to the President and the Attorney General to enforce that law and take action against these 12 states." Do you think, for instance, that one criminal breaking out of jail would file charges against the guy in the next cell for breaking out of jail also?

    52. Mr. Rant says:

      One has to remember that to get these slave laborers and their children to be Americanized the taxpayers must be taxed even more and they must suffer a little bit. Otherwise how can those children be socialized properly if not educated in our school systems. Also how can politicians receive campaign contributions from corporations if the don't guarantee the slave labor workers.

    53. Owen says:

      What a display of naiveté. The federal government has KNOWN since 1986 that the vast majority of the American population is overwhelmingly opposed to the illegal invasion across the southern border – and has REFUSED to do anything meaningful about it. Too much money in the form of campaign contributions from U. S. employers of illegal workers ensures that our elected politicians do not eliminate the cheap labor that has flooded into the United States across the border with Mexico It is not just Mexican nationals, but include significant numbers of terrorists from the middle-east as well.

    54. Owen says:

      To continue: The federal government knows this and still refuses to take effective action to stop it. Every aspect of our social services is hemorrhaging billions of dollars each year and emergency rooms in hospitals are closing thereby denying emergency services to American citizens because illegals don’t pay and hospitals cannot afford to carry the debt. The only positive result of not closing the border is cheap labor – and the increase of democrat voters when the illegals receive amnesty and eventual citizenship.

    55. Owen says:

      Finally: Remember, all their progeny born in the U.S. are presently considered citizens and will be voting in our elections in a few short years. Guess who they will vote for.

    56. Joyce Friedericy says:

      As I recall Rick Perry, said in order to qualify for in state tuition rates a person must have lived in the US for over three years, be eligable to go to college and have applied for citizenship.

      He also said anybody from anyother state could qualify for in state tuition by meeting these requirements.

    57. Dan Heffner says:

      Don't hold your breath waiting for Holder or Obama to do anything. Must keep an eye on Obama as I believe he will try to rig the election in 2012. I wouldn't put it past him.

    58. Brittanicus says:

      Fighting for your jobs in 50 States, by using MANDATORY E-Verify?

      The numbers of politicians enthusiastic by passing 'THE LEGAL WORKFORCE ACT' is rising, and now only needs 32 more of sponsors for its introduction to the House floor. This would have exceptional ramifications for the ailing job market, in rejecting illegal aliens and replacing them with citizens and legal diverse workers. The numbers of politicians enthusiastic of passing 'THE LEGAL WORKFORCE ACT' is rising, and now only needs 32 more of sponsors for its introduction to the House floor. This would have exceptional ramifications for the ailing job market, in rejecting illegal aliens and replacing them with citizens and legal decisive workers. This is not a pogrom against any race or nationality; it’s not a witch hunt to stop Blacks, Hispanics, Europeans, and Pacific Islanders, Asian or other persons. It’s about keeping to the law, the 'Rule of Law' like aiding and abetting millions of illegal alien from every hemisphere across the world.

      It's about corruption in Washington from both parties to hire cheap labor and exploit it; it’s also about millions of votes in future years, to undermine fair and equal electoral laws. You have seen the outcome after the original amnesty of rampant fraud by business owners, who will be held liable for not implementing form I-9 and not running a electronic E-Verify process. E-Verify will become–MANDATORY–for every business and if not complying face harsh penalties. Hundreds of thousands at the Mandatory E-Verify enactment would promote rapid self-deportation, adding more jobs for Americans. Ice raids have shown in large companies, illegal migrants and immigrants fleeing and making room for different racial backgrounds lining up for those jobs.

      Former Speaker Newt Gingrich would have American taxpayers keep supporting the millions still unlawfully in this country? The question to ask yourself, they already committed an offence against our laws by crossing the borders or being an over-stay visa. Then to obtain a job in the U.S. other than criminal businesses not bothering to verify their hired work verification, they had to use fraudulent Social Security cards, drivers licenses, birth certificates or some other form of ID—isn’t this a FELONY by definition? THEN WHY IS IT NOT A FELONY? IF YOU STOLE SOMEBODIES ID OR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER AND GOT CAUGHT, YOU WOULD BE IN JAIL.

      Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn.) is the latest cosponsored of House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith's Legal Workforce Act (H.R.2885). The bill would require 100% of businesses to begin using E-Verify for all new hires within 2 years and require all federal, state, and local governments to check new hires and existing employees within 6 months to name a few statuary laws. Although hundreds of companies now are using the E-Verification hiring process, it must be made permanent. Currently it needs heavy action by all patriotic Americans. This can be done by the voter contacting Washington 202-224-3121 and giving your name, address to the aid and insisting your representative in the Senate-House uphold the law and co-sponsor H.R. 2885. Don't hesitate! Perform it now, as not only are thousands of jobs vanishing overseas, because of the stalemate in Congress, but people are still crossing borders or staying after their visa is expired. Don't be fooled by the lies from the Leftists, who are concentrating with their lies that moderates are seeking all ethnic majorities be deported. Don't listen to their lies that illegal aliens pay for their own financial support, that the majority pay taxes. Most states are in a terrible mess, specifically Sanctuary states like California, Nevada and flooded with foreigners, feeding of the crippled welfare system.

      Rep. Duncan represents Tennessee's 2nd Congressional District and is serving his 13th term in Congress. He has earned a career A-plus grade and has also cosponsored Rep. Steve King's bill to end Birthright Citizenship and Rep. Marsha Blackburn's bill to strengthen interior enforcement. Pregnant Mothers from other countries in numbers unsustainable of 300 thousand annually, which taxpayers are forced to outlay. NumbersUSA website—is another way to communicate your demand for following the 1986 Immigration laws, be obliged to be held accountable for illegal hiring. Only the TEA PARTY, the American people of all party denominations, from every walk of life, wants an end to this growing deficit crisis. Illegal Immigration is fiscally hurting Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, Utah, Indiana and all the rest of the 50 states, which are being drained in billions of dollars in federal non-funded mandates. Unless millions of patriotic Americans start communicating their fears, the worst is just across the horizon. We must build the–REAL–double fencing across the lower United States. We must enact the MANDATORY 'Legal Workforce Act" Now.

      Farmers and those giant agricultural factories, who hire illegal alien workers, pay nothing for the children’s schooling or families’ health care. YOU DO!

    59. Diana says:

      The United States of America indeed welcomes immigrants however, it is also a country that the laws are in high regard and we as a country have limits imposed on those who seek citizenship. The states cannot ignore these laws. These immigrants need to get in line just like the rest of the people before them like the immigrants who came through Ellis Island.

    60. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Illegal aliens should return to their own countries, get to the back of the line, and wait like everybody else.

    61. Martha, Florida says:

      Why am I not surprised that this story does not tell the whole truth. The so-called illegal aliens who are being allowed to pay in-state tuition are not classified as illegals. These students were born in the United States. The students are not here illegally but their PARENTS are not legal. The students are legal and the parents are not, so some states have determined that children of illegals should not be punished for the sins of their fathers, hence they are allowed to pay in-state tuition. Perhaps, it is because these states want to keep high-achieving citizens in their communities.

    62. bnuckols says:

      Poor commentary. Worse logic.

      At least in Texas, the same benefits are available with lower requirements for citizens of other US States. If we're attracting illegals, it's people who think at least 3 years in advance, have college track children and those children graduate from Texas high schools and get admitted to Texas colleges.

      Also, how do the authors measure that "cost" for in state tuition? Bogus, since there's no real connection other than a hypothetical assumption that each illegal would be replaced with full non-resident tuition.

    63. Paul says:

      Like the Federal government will do the right thing. I have lost all faith in our corrupt system . They are so out of control they think they are our bosses. They work for us and I am firing all of them.

    64. Faithy says:

      Ahhhh come on!! Hasn't my State and Gov. Rick Perry been undeservingly stomped on enough over this? At least if you're going to write something .. make it factual please! I don't know about these other States but I'm a 53 year Texas lady and I've had to address this issue enough because of such bogus material waged at my State. Please print a retract statement because here is the facts about Texas and Instate Tuition!

      N A T I O N A L I M M I G R A T I O N L A W C E N T E R | W W W . N I L C . O R G
      THE DREAM ACT: http://www.nilc.org/immlawpolicy/dream/Texas-DREA

      Good for Texas’ Economy; Good for Texas’ Future
      December 2010
      The Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act (S. 729; H.R. 1751) is a
      bipartisan bill that would give undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as young children a path
      toward legal status if they attend college or serve in the military. For many of these young people, the
      U.S. is the only home they know, and English is their first language. They have the potential to be future
      doctors, nurses, teachers, and entrepreneurs. The DREAM Act would provide an opportunity for them to
      live up to their full potential and make greater contributions to the U.S. economy and society.
      ¦ The DREAM Act will boost Texas’ economic recovery.
      ¦ The state of Texas is expecting a budget shortfall between $11 and $17 billion in 2011. The DREAM
      Act will reduce Texas’ deficit by increasing tax revenues.
      ¦ A conservative estimate finds that the average DREAM Act beneficiary student will earn $1 million
      more over his or her lifetime simply by obtaining legal status. Each DREAM student’s earnings will
      net tens of thousands of additional dollars in taxes for state and local treasuries.
      ¦ Texas is one of the top beneficiaries of the DREAM Act.
      ¦ Over a quarter of a million (258,000) students — 12 percent of all potential DREAM beneficiaries in
      the country — live in Texas. Every beneficiary of the DREAM Act will be a college or military-
      bound high school graduate.
      ¦ The average college graduate earns over 60 percent more than the average high school graduate over
      his or her lifetime. According to the Internal Revenue Service, a typical single person who graduates
      with a bachelor’s degree makes an average annual salary of $60,000 and will generate about $11,194
      in tax revenue every year.
      ¦ If only half of Texas’ DREAM students attain a bachelor’s degree, they will generate over $1.4 billion
      in tax revenue for Texas a year ($11,194 X 129,000 DREAM students).
      ¦ The DREAM Act invests in Texas’ future.
      ¦ Texas DREAM students have been raised and educated in the state, and taxpayers have already
      invested in the elementary and secondary education of these children. DREAM students are fully
      assimilated into the American way of life and are ready to give back to the state they consider home.
      ¦ Only 5-10 percent of undocumented high school graduates go to college. The DREAM Act would
      create a strong incentive for undocumented students to remain in school until graduation. Some of
      these students will go on to pursue careers like teaching and nursing, thereby helping to resolve the
      state’s rising demand for such positions.
      ¦ The DREAM Act gives Texas back the right to determine in-state tuition eligibility for Texas
      ¦ Federal law attempts to deny Texas’ ability to determine eligibility for in-state tuition by stating that if
      the state provides in-state tuition to undocumented state residents who graduated from Texas high
      schools, it must provide the same benefit to out-of-state residents who graduated from Texas high
      ¦ Texas has made a decision to enable all residents, regardless of immigration status, to pay in-state
      tuition because state policymakers understand that this policy increases school revenues by securing
      tuition from students who otherwise might not go to college.
      ¦ The DREAM Act will restore Texas’ authority and choice to provide in-state tuition to all of its
      residents penalty-free.

      Adey Fisseha, Policy Attorney, National Immigration Law Center | fisseha@nilc.org | 202.216.026

    65. Doug Nicholson says:

      Let's all get behind the E-Verify law currently making its way through Congress. It requires employers to confirm, via a federal database, whether an applicant is eligible to work in this country and provides severe penalties for employers who violate it. If this law passes, I guarantee you that 95% of illegal immigrants in this country will self-deport and it won't cost the taxpayers a penny.

    66. Ray L says:

      Oklahoma ended that with House Bill 1804 in 2008. The author of this article needs to do al little more research. Apparintly he did not realize that Oklahoma stopped this program.

      Read the third paragraph in this NCSL policy paper. http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=13100

    67. John Matthews says:

      No where in this article does it mention whether or not these 12 states offer out-of-state students the lower tuition rates. Do they? Did von Spakovsky and Simpson try to find out? Did Mr. Brownfield? When we are not given all the pertinent information, this is just another attempt to rile the masses to our way of thinking. It would be a great article if all of the facts were in. Heritage should do more homework.

    68. Roland says:

      This infuriates me. I was a (legal) NYS resident for my whole life until last June, when my employer moved me to Virginia. I will retire in August 2012 and return to NYS, where I hope to attend college in order to change careers. I have been informed that I will need to pay out-of-state tuition for at least a year after I move back to NYS. Meanwhile, ILLEGALS apparently get in-state tuition rates!

    69. Delaware Bob says:

      We MUST stop pandering to these illegal aliens. We MUST get them back to their own country where they belong.

      How's this for an idea? Make entering this country illegally a felony. Make the fine $2500 plus one year in Federal prison. Make this the same on overstayed VISAs. If drugs are involved, triple the fine. Then, apply this to all the illegal aliens in this country now. Leave or if you get caught, the fine will apply to them. Maybe, just maybe, this will take the place of a fence that is costly and doesn’t seem to work all that well. It may even cut down on the cost of deporting these illegal aliens. The other thing is this birthright citizenship. We MUST know through Congress or the Supreme Court if indeed a child born to an illegal alien is a U.S. citizen. I say they are not. If not, then, how do we REVOKE the birth certificates already issued. Boy, can you see the problems with this illegal immigration? Maybe Congress should allow states to enforce immigration laws, or at least a few of them. When is enough going to be enough? Tell me!

    70. George Gallo says:

      Answer we can give all states and institutions acting illegally: declare their diplomas unacceptable qualifications for hiring. Not the illegals themselves alone, but any of their "graduates." Would make better sense to hire veterans anyway.

    71. Faithy says:

      Heritage needs to get their FACTS straight!!

      For Texas ..
      Texas law was modified in 2005 to be in compliance with the federal 1996 law. There are strict requirement on illegal children to have attended a Texas high school for 3 years. Someone from Alabama can move to Texas, extablish residency in Texas for 12 months, and receive the same benefit. The US citizen's path to in-state tuition is remarkably easier than an illegal resident in Texas.

    72. Andy Harvey says:

      If the Federal Government intentionally fails to enforce immigration laws, it should no longer have jurisdiction and each state has the right to protect itself. Each state has it's own National Guard Troops that are normally controlled by the state's Governor. I agree that offering any benefit to an illegal serves as a magnet for others, but our Federal Government already requires that states provide free medical care to illegals, so if a state decides that it is prohibited from preventing protecting it's borders, and must pay for medical treatments, then the states must be allowed to receive some benefit from in the form of residential taxes, sales taxes, etc. It doesn't require much thought to realize that better educated citizens pay more in taxes by virtue of their ability to earn higher wages so the loss of additional tuition could easily be offset by the receipt of more taxes and I would suggest a study be made to provide this information.
      While I agree that the 12 states are in violation of Federal Law, so is the US Government in violation of the same Law for failing to enforce. The Federal Government is also in violation of the Constitution with such things as Obama Care, Interstate Commerce excesses etc.

    73. Jim L says:

      If the law prohibits giving illegals in-state tuition unless it is granted to all citizens, the solution is simple; all it takes is one out of state student to sue to stop out of state tuition charges. If Heritage (or anyone) wants to deal with this problem it is simple. The law does not make charging illegals in-state tuition illegal, it makes charging anyone else out of state tuition if illegals are charged in-state tuition.

      This should be an easy suit. It takes a student charged an illegal tuition to file because the student would have 'standing' to file the suit.

    74. Stu says:

      Even with the IIRIRA of 1996, Is'nt the Federal Government in violation of it's own law when letting illegal immigrants have any type of tuition in the United States? They are breaking the law by just being here.

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