Even Marinites aren’t thrilled about taxpayer funded tuition for illegals

You may have read that the California Supreme Court ruled that California taxpayers have to pay for illegal immigrants to attend state colleges and universities — and that these illegals get preference over legal Americans from other states.

I was therefore surprised this morning when I went to the home page for our local paper — the Marin IJ — and saw that one of the little unscientific poll they always run showed readers outraged at the notion.  I have no idea if the poll was gamed — it is, as I said, unscientific — but it was a funny thing to see on a liberal Marin newspaper webpage.  (The poll is in the lower right hand corner of the captured screen shot, below.)

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  1. SGT Dave says

    You forgot the important part – the only people voting in the poll are the English speakers!

    (Sorry, bad joke, but I had to do it.)

    SSG Dave
    “Si entiendes lo que yo deji, sabes que es un chiste.”

  2. suek says

    I have mixed feelings about this.  First, college attendance and military service are _not_ equal.  My understanding was that military service was already a path to citizenship, but my husband says you have to be legal to apply…which eliminates this particular group.  I wouldn’t object to removing the bar to that pathway.  Second, there _is_ some justification for the resident tuition – if they’ve been attending a California high school for 3-4 years, they _are_ residents, even if not legal.  Out of staters could get the same tuition if they attended high school in California for that period.  And, I’m a softy when it comes to education.  If we’re going to provide benefits of _any_ sort, I’d choose food (as in school lunches and breakfasts) and education over almost any other.  And the kids aren’t really responsible for being here illegally – they didn’t have much of a choice.  Still…laws are laws.  Not  much point in having them if you don’t intend to enforce them.
    However – on that “boy on bicycle with flag” situation…that’s a different story – but imo, it’s the fault of the administration who have allowed the Cinco de Mayo celebrations to get out of hand.  Someone needs to go into that school and ask the youngsters to choose – “are you Mexican or American” – and if they choose Mexican – all benefits are off!  That was in a junior high school, by the way.  But _somebody_ needs to start pointing out the choices they need to make.  _Before_ they’re 18…

  3. says

    ” I wouldn’t object to removing the bar to that pathway. ”
    It’s a good idea as well, if you ask me. A lot of immigrants get assimilated more into the US ethic by joining the military. They’ll be more patriotic than your average Democrat politician, I can assure you of that. That’s got to be a plus, somewhere.

  4. MacG says

    Suek “And, I’m a softy when it comes to education.  If we’re going to provide benefits of _any_ sort, I’d choose food (as in school lunches and breakfasts) and education over almost any other.  And the kids aren’t really responsible for being here illegally – they didn’t have much of a choice. ”

    Let’s just make the Constitution and the Federalist Papers required reading.

  5. SGT Dave says

    Sue and Y,
    Any illegal can apply for a permit to join the U.S. military; the system is such that anyone from anywhere can join if they can pass the background.  Once in, they have to get on the citizenship path (and there are classes and support systems in place to help) to re-enlist.  The permit is a type of green card; it falls under a Dept of State/DOD agreement.  The service members are fast-tracked on the citizenship path, too.  They don’t have to do a second tour (though most I’ve known turned into lifers), but they do get preferential treatment for completing their citizenship and for green card applications following their tour. 

    SSG Dave
    “We’re all green now.  Not black, yellow, pink, or brown.  Green.  You all bleed red.  It’s the same blood now, for all of us.  When one bleeds we all bleed; all of us green people.  Remember that, when the times are hard and the pain is almost unbearable – you have more brothers and sisters than you can ever count and they all bleed with you and share your pain – and by sharing deminish it to a survivable level.”  – SGM N.

  6. says

    <B>Any illegal can apply for a permit to join the U.S. military</b>
    I haven’t heard anything about that. Was there a recent development or is this something the NG or Army did on their own due to manpower costs?

  7. SGT Dave says

    The system predates the modern volunteer army.  It’s been on the books since the frontier days; it was added for Euro immigrants to encourage the bloody Irish to join the Army and go west.  The system was reinforced in the late 1860’s to provide “real” citizenship to freed slaves joining the 9th & 10th Cavalry Regiments.  It provided a boost in the Spanish-American War and a fairly large bump from Philipinos in ’42 after the invasion of Manilla.  Even into the Vietnam era it was a respectable path for border-city Mexicans looking to get out of poverty.  They’d line up at the recruiters, primarily for the USMC, and fast track into citizens.  The system fell into disuse for years, but it never left the regulations.  It still sees a lot of use in San Diego and El Paso; there was a fairly big push during the Cuban normalization in the ’60s and ’70s when the exiles realised they weren’t going back – so they pressed their kids born outside the U.S. into the service to make sure that they’d be full citizens (thus the large number of Cuban-descent military personnel in the mid 80’s). 

    Just a good way to make sure people who want to come here can get here, contribute, and stay here.

    SSG Dave
    “There is no overkill – there is only ‘dead’ and ‘I need another magazine’.”

  8. suek says

    If what you’re saying is correct, SSG Dave, then the “military path” of the DREAM act is completely bogus.  Basically, the act only provides for college as being “equal” to the military as a means to obtain citizenship.
    What a crock!

  9. SGT Dave says

    The military path has always been there; the DREAM act would change the system by making citizenship automatic for service, rather than expedited.  The current military system does not give citizenship, but rather makes it an available option for those who want to earn it.  If a person chose to do so, they could serve a single enlistment and return to their home country without gaining U.S. citizenship.  But very, very few of those who join as foreign nationals do this – most use the exemption for joining as a way to citizenship – especially since they don’t count against the green card/visa quotas for their home nation and that home nation does not have the ability to deny them movement into the U.S. for service, as has been common for a number of Nigerian and Ethiopian soldiers I know who are now U.S. citizens.  Their families were either not connected enough or out of favor with the government, so they could not obtain visas to visit or study in the U.S.  They contacted recruiters via the embassy (often starting with the USMC, but mostly going Army since the security clearance situation is easier in the Army) and made their way over using that method. 

    It became less popular after the patriotism rebound in the early 90’s and after 9/11.  There is a considerable amount of paperwork involved for the recruiter, and the upheaval in security checks caused huge delays, making a somewhat difficult situation worse.

    SSG Dave
    “We are not alone, we have all of our brothers, both past and future, watching over us until the time is nigh.”

  10. says

    Dave, do you have a particular search name I can use for this. I can’t seem to get an exact State Department breaucracy thingie or military whatever from just a general search.
    In the future, I’ll want something to use as a source if I want to use this against those that argue that illegal immigration can only be solved by the Left.

  11. says

    To provide further detail, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/15/us/15immig.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1
    I’m not sure which part of that is true or not given the updates you have provided, Dave.
    Btw, how would you be able to check the background of a foreign national? It seems like it would be such a hassle and problem overall that the number of recruits gained would not justify it.
    “There is a considerable amount of paperwork involved for the recruiter, and the upheaval in security checks caused huge delays, making a somewhat difficult situation worse.”
    I’m still confused as to why people say illegal immigrants are not accepted in the US military given your description of a feasible process that can happen. Is that (no acceptance of those without the necessary VISA paperwork or immigration documents) just a common hearsay that is wrong and has been repeated? Or is the bureaucratic hurdles such that unless a branch is desperately in need of specialists or quota numbers, they will refuse to go that path?

  12. SGT Dave says

    I can’t recall the regulation number; the recruiters have it down pat and I never did a tour as one (they won’t take intel weenies for some reason).  You can, however, do a search for news articles where the Mexican government filed a formal protest about a recruiter in San Diego going to Tijuana to get enlistments.  The rules say they can’t leave the country to get the recruits, not that the recruits can’t come from outside the country. 
    The majority of the examples I know of are guys from northern Mexico along the Texas border who have family on both sides of the line.  A large number of Central American and African natives have gotten here on student visas and joined to get citizenship (since you can’t transfer a student visa to a green card while remaining in the U.S.; you also are not (legally) allowed to start citizenship under a student visa).
    I’ll do a check, but the fastest way I’d be able to get the actual verbiage is to go down to the recruiters – who are swamped right now.  The Guard, Reserve, and Active components are getting a lot of interest, especially with the down economy and health care costs.  The pay is not great, but the benefits are pretty good.

    Off to work,
    SSG Dave
    “When you hear the call of the drumbeat, there is naught for your heart to do but follow it into the fields of poppies.”

  13. says

    I think the interesting term in the matter is illegal immigrant vs legal immigrant. It seems like a complex subject. Meaning, someone can come in with a legal visa and apply to enlist, I’ve heard of that. I’ve also heard of people with green cards, legal residents, enlisting.
    But illegal immigrants? Specifically, people without immigration papers or current visas, that seems unknown to me. Families of those that have asylum, yeah, there’s that asylum status which is sort of like a special status between green card and and a working visa.
    I guess the thing is, I think there is some minimum level of documentation that a non-citizen needs to show to prove he is in the country legally or that he is protected by some legal status. I’ve heard instances where people have tried to defraud the US government by providing fake immigration papers and were caught by the MPs later on. But from what you are saying, the recruiters can somehow sign people up without any paperwork if they are illegal, meaning not covered by a visa, a green card, an asylum status, or a temporary permit for work, etc.
    This is all tied to the Dream act and what it will actually do to US military recruitment rolls or options. Thanks for the Mexican government reference, I’ll be sure to look it up.

  14. SGT Dave says

    The process of enlistment, especially for individuals utilizing the border zone exemption (generally 20km allowance for residents of the border region) grants a work permit – thus the paperwork.  It goes through DOD – the current system of enlistment includes “needs of the Army” in the contract, verifying a job vacancy not filled (a requirement for both temporary work permits and green cards).  The Army becomes the individual’s legal sponsor for immigration status – once they enlist, they’re no longer illegals.  They’ve become legal residents, pending the completion of training and honorable fulfillment of their contract (its provisional, which is another thing the DREAM act wants to change).  The DREAM act would make the application for military service the key for legal residence – you’d have a bunch enter the reserve/guard system, get their status changed in the system, then be separated for “failure to adapt” – a general discharge – and they go back to the street.  As to the recruitment rolls, there would be little or no impact.  First generation illegals are often fleeing military service; they also are less likely to be proficient in English and have a GED or high school diploma – all of which are either required or need to be waivered for entry to the military.  (Note:  The waiver requires that the GED be completed within two years of entry to service; the Army sends the soldiers to school along with their other duties, picking up the tab for the classes.  Every Army member with over two years of service has their diploma or GED – and the waiver rate is under 1% anyway.  It is normally used for Guard recruits in the “summer join” program – join the Guard at 17, go to basic between junior and senior years in high school (summer job that pays about $4K after taxes for two months’ hard work) and then go and finish school and go to advanced training following graduation. 
    Anyhow, the legal/illegal question becomes irrelevant once they join – and that is one reason a lot of State folks hate the military exemptions for service.  They don’t get a say, it doesn’t go through their bureaucracy, and they don’t get to count the servicemen and women as “good” gains for the country.
    Another piece of the DREAM act is the inclusion of family members for prospective service members.  The current system requires working within the system for a foreign born dependent and that dependent must either get a green card or get on the citizenship track themselves.  The DREAM act would just say “Jose joined the military and is now a citizen; his wife, children, and dependent immediate family are all citizens/legal residents now”.  Instead of gaining one working soldier, we gain one soldier (maybe) and two to eight dependents.  Not necessarily the best system, especially since we have no clue as to how the rest of the family will find work or fit in.

    SSG Dave
    “There is always a place for brave men; either marching beside me or borne upon the arms of my squad to his rest.”

  15. says

    Given the greater benefit of the Dream act, it seems to me that a longer enlistment period would be proper. Since the rewards are so high and given how stupid slow the alternatives are “State Department and INS”, 4 years or even 8 years, doesn’t sound like a long enough time.

  16. suek says

    Ok.  I’m convinced.  Education or no, sympathy for kids who were brought here without any say-so or no…this is a bad bad bad bill.  It really is Amnesty, parsed to appeal to sympathetic folks – like me – who would just like to help the kids settle in as citizens.  This is _not_ the way to do it.

  17. says

    The immigrants are really the pawns of the Democrats in this manner. Just like the Sunnis and Shia were under Saddam and then under AQ in Iraq. To defeat Democrat power decisively, I want to push immigrants wholly into our camp and make them cement alliances of mutual interest, so that the Left is entirely blocked from that source of manpower and resource base.
    To me, it does not matter if it is amnesty or not. Anything that will get them on our side and away from the Left, will fulfill the standards of military necessity on this negotiation question of legal vs illegal immigrants.

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