Former San Diego Congressman Brian Bilbray has joined in a lawsuit against the California university system. The Class action lawsuit
contends that the children of illegal aliens are allowed to attend California colleges and universities as if they were California residents, while students from outside California are required to pay out-of-state tuition to attend state schools.
Of course the motivation here is the same sorry old immigrant bashing crap that has plagued California for 150 yeas. This is just a new twist. And, as Bilbray's presence demonstrates, the crew joining this lawsuit is not looking for fairness, they are looking for political gain.
Bilbray, you see, is one of the Republicans in the running for Randy "Duke" Cunningham's seat in the CA-50. Although he has been working as a lobbyist for anti-immigrations groups since he lost his seat in the CA-49 to Democrat Susan Davis in 2000, Bilbray's anti-immigrant credentials aren't as radical as those of his primary Republican opponents in the 50th District special election field. So, Bilbray is using his children as a tool to insert himself into the lawsuit.
Here's some background, from the Sacramento Bee
, on the state law that allows the children of illegal immigrants to attend California public colleges and universities for the same fee as any other California resident.
"The California Legislature in 2001 acknowledged the basic principle that children raised and schooled in California do not have control over their parents' entrance into the United States so the state should not penalize these children.
The Legislature passed AB 540, which says that "all persons" who attend high school in California for three or more years and who graduate from a California high school (or receive the equivalent GED) are eligible for in-state tuition in the public university system. Students without lawful immigration status have to sign an affidavit stating they have filed an application to legalize their immigration status or will file an application as soon as they are eligible to do so.
Texas, Kansas, Utah and other states have similar laws. In any case, more U.S. citizens benefit from AB 540 than undocumented immigrants, such as students who attend boarding school in California or those who stay behind after high school when their families leave the state. At the University of California, for example, 1,339 students of the system's 208,000 students received the AB 540 exemption; only 407 were undocumented immigrants."
So, Bilbray has joined a lawsuit that contends that children educated in California, who live in California and who graduate from California high schools, should not be granted in-state tuition consideration unless the same consideration is granted to children educated outside of California, who are not California residents and who did not attend high school in California. That certainly makes sense to me.
What are the circumstances in the case of Bilbray's children?
"Bilbray is griping because his kids went to a private school in Virginia and have to pay out-of-state tuition to attend community college in San Diego, while children who graduated from a California high school but whose parents entered the state illegally, get in-state tuition.
Bilbray lives in Virginia, though he told the press he has been living with his mother in La Costa for the last three or four months, splitting his time between Washington, D.C. There is no residency requirement for congressional candidates. But California does have residency requirements for students to get in-state tuition at public colleges and universities.
On the face of it, the lawsuit is ridiculous. The child of parents who illegally entered the United States and lived in Virginia would have to pay out-of-state tuition at a California public university just as Bilbray's do. Bilbray's children pay out-of-state tuition because they lived and went to school in Virginia, not California.
If California's AB 540 law didn't exist, Bilbray's children would still have to pay out-of-state tuition. So what is the lawsuit really about? It is about penalizing children who were raised and schooled in California because of parents' actions, a repugnant notion. These kids are blameless. They are part of California society. Is it in the interest of the state for children living in California to pursue an education? Of course."
So, tell me again, why is congressional candidate Brian Bilbray involved in this lawsuit?
"Californians should recognize the lawsuit for what it is, a political stunt to jump on the anti-immigrant bandwagon to advance a congressional campaign."
Got it! "Political stunt" by a Republican who wants to make sure he is on the "anti-immigrant bandwagon." Check.
On stop California's Congress of Corruption shopping at Words Have Power.