By Amanda Sprague-Brunk
Feb 17, 2011
Right now in the Kansas legislature, there is a bill (HB2006) that is about to be voted on in the House (where it will likely pass) and will then go on to the Senate (where there is a good chance of it not passing) that I passionately feel needs to be defeated. The way Kansas law stands now, immigrants without documentation of citizenship are eligible for in-state tuition IF:
1) they have gone to a Kansas high school for at least 3 years,
2) they graduate from a Kansas high school
3) they pledge to become legal US citizens as soon as they are able to.
Some legislators and political higher-ups (like Kris Kobach) are trying to change this so that these people would NOT be eligible for in-state tuition. One of their main arguments is that it's unfair to out-of-state students who don't get the in-state tuition rate.
Now, keep in mind that the only people eligible for in-state tuition had to have been brought to the United States when they were minors, many just young children. They had no say in the matter. Their parents broke the law, not them. Also, immigrants without "papers" are not eligible for any financial aid, unlike out-of-state students. This is often their only chance of getting higher education, and in turn being able to get non-manual labor jobs and really contribute to our economy and society.
A group of us are making a video that we plan on sending to all the state senators and every media outlet that we can. We need help! Anyone who is currently attending, or has graduated from any public KS university/junior college (KU, KState, KUMC, JCCC, Washburn, etc) we need you! And you don't have to do anything but give us a few minutes of your time and stand in front of a camera. If you want to say anything, we will have a script you can choose to read from, so it takes all the pressure off of you!
We have to get this done quickly, before the senate votes in a few weeks. Please, we want as many people as possible. This isn't about immigration, it's about education and opportunity. If you are interested in giving just a bit of your time on a weekend, please let me know! If you know anyone else who might be interested, please let them know! We are particularly interested in students who came from out of state, but we want Everyone! We have a real chance at keeping this bill from passing and giving innocent children an opportunity for an education and a strong future.
Thank you for considering!