U-M OKs in-state tuition for immigrant students

The University of Michigan on Thursday decided to let immigrants living in the country illegally pay lower, in-state tuition, a victory for activists who said one of the nation's most prestigious schools is financially out of a reach for high school graduates living in the state without legal permission.
AP Wire
Jul 19, 2013


The move applies to the flagship Ann Arbor campus and satellites in Flint and Dearborn and joins Michigan with other top public colleges like the University of Texas and the University of California, where students qualify for in-state tuition if they went to state high schools regardless of citizenship status. The Board of Regents voted 6-2 along party lines to make the change after university students waged a year-plus campaign for "tuition equality" that featured silent protests and other public demonstrations.

Democrats supported the plan, while Republicans voted against it. The proposal also allows members of the military to receive in-state tuition, regardless of where they live.

"These students want nothing more than what my family wanted and what every other student wants, which is to launch their lives from this university. These are students who have in most instances spent virtually all of their lives in Michigan," said regent Mark Bernstein.

With a national immigration overhaul elusive, a small but growing number of states — 16 — have allowed in-state tuition rates for the immigrants since 2001, including 14 that passed laws explicitly authorizing the moves, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Two OK'd it through governing board decisions.

Three states bar the students from qualifying for in-state tuition, and two others prohibit them from enrolling altogether in public universities.

Though Michigan hasn't enacted legislation either allowing or prohibiting in-state tuition rates for people here illegally, a few of its smaller 15 public universities have been able to allow them to pay in-state tuition. That's because they're independent under the state's constitution. Advocates are hoping a high-profile step by Michigan's most prominent school — and one of the top public universities in the U.S. — will set the stage for others to follow.

"It's going to put the University of Michigan on the map as a college that really puts into action what we say we believe," said Laura Sanders, a faculty member.

It costs $13,100 for in-state tuition and fees at the university, compared to nearly $40,400 for out-of-state tuition and fees. The Ann Arbor campus has more than 42,000 students.

One who hopes to attend the university is Javier Contreras, of Ann Arbor, who moved with his family to Michigan from Mexico when he was 4. The 18-year-old said he got into the school this year but would have had to pay out-of-state tuition because of his immigration status, so he'll first attend a local community college on scholarship to study computer science.

"I'm going to try to finish my last two years at U of M now that I can afford it," an elated Contreras said while celebrating with dozens of supporters who attended the meeting.

His father, Jose, choked back tears while telling the board his family's story, saying they came to escape poverty.

"He was a little boy when I bring him over to the United States," he said. "I know you members of the University of Michigan (are) same as me, you also have kids. I know you wish the best for them. ... I wish you can help us out and let these kids do their best because I know they have what it takes to become professionals."

Regent Andrea Fischer Newman said she voted no because the matter is best left to the federal government. Critics in other states have said a 1996 federal law prohibits states from giving students who are living here illegally in-state tuition unless they charge everyone that rate.

"I'm concerned about whether this is appropriate under federal law and believe this type of national issue should be resolved at the federal level, although I am supportive of the expansion of in-state tuition for veterans who have served our nation," she said.

While happy with the regents' vote, activists criticized a provision requiring university applicants living in the U.S. without permission to have attended a Michigan middle school or junior high for two years along with a Michigan high school for at least three years. They said the middle school requirement is unnecessary, not used elsewhere and will hurt students who arrived in the U.S. later.

The new guidelines will take effect in January. University officials expect a small number of the state's estimated 29,000 young immigrants here unlawfully to be affected by the changes, which also help other students with longstanding ties to the state but who leave temporarily after high school.


Sound Judgement

WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! What part of "Illegal" don't they get? This is wrong on so many levels. Why in the world would anyone reward an illegal act and ignore the law? U of M...shame on you.


More than likely there is an Obumbo Program that will pay out-of-state fees to U of M and that,s what they like..Yah,
and the taxpayers will pick-up the tab..What can you expect from such a Liberal College..


crazy. No UM football games for me this year! US colleges modo should be..."if you're not white, underprivileged, non-citizen, & on welfare, you can get your obama education here, leave and take our legal students jobs!"

disgusting what colleges have become.


What, this is wrong, why cannot we get it together and realize that rewarding a wrong, does not make it right. Living in the United States "illegally" does not entitle you to entitlements and benefits that most American Citizens must pay for, and/or are not entitled to.
It is terrible and wrong that students living here legally and working hard to accomplish there dreams must pay in the future higher interest rates for student loans. I guess this partially explain why some rates and taxes are going up for American taxpayers and American Citizens, because we must make up for what we give away free for those who do not deserve it. Enough is enough...God Help Us.

Say no to new taxes

What an insult to the citizens and LEGAL immigrants of this great country. Parents of future students in neighboring States must pay out of State tuition while the lawbreakers get a much lower rate? Shame on you UM!


What an expectant HOOT from this town!
Here are the three states that made laws that bar illegal immigrant students from being able to pay in-state tuition...Arizona, Georgia, and Indiana. Guess they will see an exodus of illegals into the (small?) 1/3 of the US who now allow it? Maybe ya'll can pull up roots and migrate? LOL
Go State!


Taxpayers are a bottomless pit of money for a government that wants to redistribute money in the "fairness" game of socialism.

Better start informing more family, friends, and neighbors.
We are in many ways reliving what the founding citizens of the country experienced! Amazingly enough it is our own government and politicians that have found ways to subvert "taxation without representation"

retired DOC

This proves that the U-M law school needs to be shut down. If the "leaders" teach things like this in school.


Perhaps this could be viewed in a positive way. Any student who is accepted into U of M, one of the top universities in the country, must have superior intelligence to meet entrance requirements. Given that, if the student graduates with a degree from U of M, it is very likely he/she will obtain a job that pays well, offers benefits, and provides a future.

This translates into a graduate who is self-sustaining, not on welfare or food stamps, who pays income taxes, with social security payroll deductions, probably will be a homeowner and pay property taxes, probably will furnish that home and buy a car, paying sales taxes, and on and on.

Regardless of whether a student is born in the US to illegal immigrant parents, or a student born in Michigan, sounds like a win-win to me.

Tri-cities realist

Under current law, "a student [who] is born in the US to illegal immigrant parents" IS a US citizen. It dates back to the fact that at the time of the founding, all US citizens were immigrants, and they wanted to ensure that any babies born here would be citizens of the US. I believe there are efforts to change this, but haven't heard much about it lately.

Which part of ILLEGAL do people not understand?

And with your line of thinking Lan, what prevents the student upon graduation, from returning to their home country or another state, leaving us Michigan taxpayers to foot the bill. Out of state tuition is there for a reason, I'd be ticked if I was a LEGAL resident from another state, paying higher tuition to attend UM.

Hopefully the board of regents will correct this massive error

Say no to new taxes

Then why charge ANY student out of state tuition if they meet the admission requirements? Why should the legal citizen parents of out of state students be penalized while the lawbreakers get a HUGE tuition break?

Tri-cities realist

Lanny, you said "Any student who is accepted into U of M, one of the top universities in the country, must have superior intelligence to meet entrance requirements." It also helps if they are a minority, since UM's admission policy (which was crazily upheld by the courts) is to DISCRIMINATE by taking into account an applicant's race. So much for Dr. MLK's dream. So it's a double whammy for non-minority out of state students. They have a harder time getting into UM than a minority student, and then they get to pay higher tuition than the illegal immigrant. Talk about fair... Good grief. And since I have been accused of never seeing the good in anything, I do agree with the decision to let military members pay in state tuition, at least they EARNED it.

Mystic Michael

The haters don't WANT to view it in a positive way, Lanny. They don't want to view ANYTHING in a positive way. All they want to do is find another opportunity to spew their hate & their blind bigotry.

Reading all the (predictably) pathetic posts here has reminded me vividly of why I had to get out of Grand Haven. Beautiful place. But way too many mouthbreathing knuckledraggers...


I have to keep in mind that the posters may or may not represent the spirit of Grand Haven. I have many conservative friends in the area who do not think this way, at least they don't present it to me face-to-face!

I love this area above all others I've lived in, but I have come to accept that no place is perfect. But hope springs eternal - notice how many more reasoned, balanced comments there are in this forum?

Tri-cities realist

Most conservatives don't bloviate their views in person to liberals for two reasons, they are conservative, tending to their own affairs (I know shockingly logical), and second, they know most liberals can't be convinced, because they think with their hearts instead of their brains. I have a few lib friends, we just tend to focus on the things we share in common. And I find it ironic that most of my lib friends live their lives in a more conservative way, they just think others should be more liberal. Sounds crazy I know.


I can't speak for liberals, as I was born, bred, raised and voted Republican basically until the 2004 election. But even as a registered Republican, I'm not in the habit of labeling my friends as conservative/liberal, etc. I happen to have many political discussions with my friends (although they are less passionate about it than me, and engage me more because they are wonderful friends than because they love politics), and we are generally able to stay focused and respectful, and express our beliefs in a positive and balanced way, using our brains and yes!, at times our hearts. I would wager that upon entering into a discussion face to face, you would find me very reasonable and acceptably "Republican", even though I suspect you consider me a "lib" in this forum.

I happen to be on the fiscally conservative side, and conduct my affairs with that sensibility, and am outraged that the deficit goes up under Republican administrations and down under Democrat admins. See - things are not always what they seem! Even me!


Huh? Lanner further to prove that statement as I know you want to.


I would, but which statement are you referring to? You are being too nuanced, Wing!


The last paragraph..."outraged that the deficit goes up under Republican administrations and down under Democrat admins." Please use real facts not Lanifacts!


I thought you'd never ask - the deficit has gone down faster in the last three years than at any time since WWII...


If Huffpost is too liberal for you, there's this: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rick...

And finally, I offer: http://www.politicususa.com/2013...

This is just for starters, there is so much more available at the touch of the keypad.

I know you and TCR will find, deep in the crevices of the souls of the articles, something that can be used against Obama. Interesting how you work so hard on some things, but have difficulty Googling "deficits Obama" and getting answers to the question.


I am not your personal librarian. You asked for facts, and I provided three separate links. If you don't understand, keep digging. I have every confidence you will find the truth.


A copy of a comment from one of your links best explains it Lan:
"Only by picking 2009 as a starting point can this idiotic position be defended. The truth is the Obama Administration has been borrowing, printing and squandering money at unsustainable levels without actually triggering any sort of recovery for the US economy.

But liberals insist on play “let’s pretend” and spinning the analysis to show that things are getting better under Our Dear Leader."

I'm confident if you get digging thru your Lannering bag you can come up with a better explaination!


Oh dear - if you didn't like those three links showing that the deficit under Obama has gone down faster than any time since WWII, you're really going to flip burgers over this one:

"Economist Mike Kimel notes that the former Democratic Presidents (Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy, and Harry S. Truman) all reduced public debt as a share of GDP while the last four Republican Presidents (George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Ford) all oversaw an increase in the country's indebtedness.[19] Economic historian J. Bradford DeLong, former Clinton Treasury Department official, observes a contrast not so much between Republicans and Democrats, but between Democrats and "old-style Republicans (Eisenhower and Nixon)" on one hand (decreasing debt), and "new-style Republicans" on the other (increasing debt).[20][21] David Stockman, director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan, as op-ed contributor to the New York Times, blamed the "ideological tax-cutters" of the Reagan administration for the increase of national debt during the 1980s.[22] Bruce Bartlett, former domestic policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan and Treasury official under President George H.W. Bush, attributes the increase in the national debt since the 1980s to the policy of "starve the beast".[23][24] While noting that George H.W. Bush's budget deal was one of the reasons for improvement in fiscal situation in 1990s and ultimately for budget surplus, Bartlett is highly critical of George W. Bush for creating budget deficits by reducing taxes and increasing spending."



Deficit: The amount by which the government’s total budget outlays exceeds its total receipts for a fiscal year.

Now that we have a starting point for your education we can talk about what causes deficits and what lowers deficits.

One of the largest causes to deficits is war. One of the best ways to reduce is job growth.

Now I'll let you chew on that for awhile and let you relate that to administrations and how that allowed for deficit spending or not. Have fun!

Tri-cities realist

Well as a strict Constitutionalist (I know you didn't say that, I'm just having a little fun), I'm sure you are aware that all revenue generating legislation MUST originate in the US House. So while the executive branch gets the blame (or credit) for deficits or surpluses, it is more accurate to look at who controlled the legislative branch. And yes I know, our current crop of Repub's spend like drunken sailors too, I'm fed up with 99% of Congress.

And on that same note above, it dumbfounded me how SCOTUS could label Obamacare as a tax, and then NOT strike it down as being Unconstitutional for not originating in the House. But I guess even some justices pick and choose which parts of the Constitution they want to follow.

And you might want to rethink your last paragraph, unless the trillion dollar deficits these last few years some how don't count in your mind... Unbelievable.


See above post to Wing - you are included!

Tri-cities realist

But no comment on my SCOTUS comment?

Tri-cities realist

The reason I consider you a lib or democrat is that 95-99% of the time you praise Obama and other democrats, while ridiculing Bush and other republicans. How illogical of me. Fiscally conservative... What a hoot!


Please read my posts in "Obama talks up health care rebates...," especially those replying to Whatareyoutalking. I won't bore readers with another declaration of my political persuasion. The fiscally conservative thing should not be a surprise if you've been reading any of my comments during your absence. It'll take time to get you up to speed if you have not.

What I ridicule, despise, and find to be traitors to America are the Tea Party Republicans of the House who, despite their 9%-14% approval rating - the lowest ever recorded - the fact that the Presidency and Senate retained Democrat leadership and House Democrats in the aggregate received more of the popular vote in the last election, the Federal deficit is falling like a lead balloon, and whose actions are opposed by other members of their own party, are embarking on a strategy of sabotaging the government, declaring anarchy, and are doubling down on obstructing, opposing, discrediting, and nullifying every important initiative. They are the illogical ones, acting with ideologically extreme contemptuousness.

Obama governs in a pragmatic, centrist, moderately conservative manner. This is why many extreme left liberals get upset with him. The lines of delineation within US political parties, they be a'changin'.



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