Texas Law Offers Financial Aid and In State Tuition to Undocumented

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POSTED: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - 10:47pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - 1:04pm

Two Students Speak Out on Both Sides of the Issue

Millions of Texas taxpayer dollars are being spent to give undocumented immigrants free money towards their college education.

What's known as the Noriega Law, allows for non-residents and undocumented immigrants to receive financial aid and in state tuition.

Tonight on Newschannel 9, we'll take a deeper look at how this law affects students on both sides of the issue.

One student is a Non U.S. Citizen who received aid to attend college. The other is a U.S. citizen who says she didn't qualify for financial aid.

Here's more information on the law itself and the number of students who benefit from it.

 

Texas - A law which allows undocumented immigrants to receive in-state tuition and financial aid is being challenged.

The lawsuit comes as recent numbers show the number of students benefitting from the law is increasing.

According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, in Fall 2009 12,138 used the program.

That covers about 1% of students in Texas Universities.

THEC Board says in Fall of 2009 UTEP had 94 students benefit from the program.

From Fall 2005 to Summer of 2008 the state of Texas awarded $33.6 million in state and financial aid to those students.

The law was passed in 2001 and amended in 2005.

In order to qualify for the program students must have lived in Texas for the three years leading up to high school graduation or GED and file an affidavit indicating intent to apply for permanent residency status as soon as they are able to do so.

Critics are now questioning how much aid non U.S. residents and undocumented immigrants should receive, especially in tough economic times.

The Immigration Reform Coalition of Texas has since sued several Texas Universities.

Supporters of the law say it's necessary to help immigrants enter the workforce.

Comments News Comments

How can we help the inmigrants to enter the workforce if they are illegal?
on't they need papers to work?
I thisk is a waste of money, and since we are the ones paying that money they should give it to our kids

This injustice shouldn't have even been brought up. There are endless numbers of American citizens who cannot sustain financial aid to finish college. We should be assisting our citizens first who have been here since the beginning and therefore deserve the benefits before other immigrants. I understand their corrupt government is disrupting their economy and education, but that isn't our fault. It shouldn't be a burden to resolve their problems when we have our own to pact with.

True it isn't our burden. Intead of fighting for their civil rights and education from Caldron and the rest of those tyrannical goverment officials they rather leave thier country and impose themselves on another countries aid programs and not just with education.

Time to wake up Citizens of Mexico and take back your homeland and restore it to its former glory.

For all you young people, hispanics, whites, blacks or whatever you consider yourself to be who agree that Texas Law should remain as it is and support Illegals then you don't see the big picture. American citizens can't qualify for Financial Aid because the money is allocated to the ones who take advantage of our free system. Texas government knows this but to keep relations in shape with the two countries this is the necessary step to take to make it work. Illegals go home make your own way

Boycotting AZ for doing the right thing??? Lets open our eyes and listen better they are enforcing laws for the ILLEGALS. Schools should verify citizenship so this problem can be cut at the roots and Americans can be educated in smaller classrooms with more electives to choose from AND struggling parents and students can have the money given to the illegals to go to college. Wake up TEXAS enforce laws on the illegals. The odasity of Calderon to tell us how we should treat his people! Go Home

audacity...hmm yes you need that money.

WE DID NOT QUALIFY FOR FEDERAL ASSISTANCE (FINANCIAL AID). GOVT SAID WE MADE TOOO MUCH MONEY (GEEZ ON A SECRETARY SALARY, RIGHT) ON TOP OF THAT MY DAUGHTER WAS NOT ALLOWED TO SEEK EMPLOYMENT AT THE COLLEGE, BECAUSE SHE WAS NOT ON FINANCIAL AID. GEEZ GIVE THEM MONEY FOR SCHOOL AND GIVE THEM EMPLOYMENT. WHAT DID WE GET "THE SHAFT". COME ON EDUCATE AMERICANS FIRST.........

I have a son who will be starting College and he has been beating his brains out to qualify for scholarships because he does not qualify for financial aid. If I would of known this was going to happen, I would of given birth in Mexico and just crossed to the U.S illegaly so that I could get all the benefits. SO my opinion is !ABSOLUTELY NOT!

What?!!! So much for trying to stop illegal immigration! As always, ILLEGALS are getting another FREE ride paid for by hard working LEGAL U.S. citizens. Thanks a lot Texas for adding to the problem, this is just one more reason for them to sneak across the border. The great state of Texas should be called the great state of Mexico...

I recently attended graduation at UTEP, I proudly watched my niece graduate, and heres the amazing part she did it all on her own finances. I had to sit through the entire ceremony listening to juarences chant about there pride of there country yet it is American money that finances their graduates. I'm struggling to pay for my son's education while watching these people bite the hand that feeds them. Let their president pay for their eduacation. PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN.

Andrew, I am right there with you. It is rude to denigrate a country who is providing assistance at the expense of making education affordable for more AMERICAN citizens. We should rethink our value structure and take care of ourselves before giving money and aid away.

OK first of all this is absolutely ridiculous, I myself as a student from at UTEP with my own struggling parent to be putting me through school. Well jesus if I knew I was I going to recieve a free ride I may as well of claim to be a mexican immingrant. I understand our country supports the world, but really these people do not deserve our money. Seriously we have enough education majors, lets give the money to our own people to get there education and expand our fields of expertise.

STOP THIS MADNESS!!

This should not happen, this money needs to be directed to our citizens and students of the US. - instead of - being used for complete support of educating those who are already - "taking advantage of the system" - which we all know they know how to manipulate from the inside and out.

NO WONDER! they are ~ up in arms over AZ and its law that has (yet) to go into (actual) effect!

Well, guess who's coming to Dinner? President from Mexico and Sra. Zavala, with entertainment Beyonce and Rodrigo somebody...Is President Obama in LaLa Land, offering to work together with the Mexican president to help his people get better opportunities? HELLOOOOO, who's side is he on? Mexican President is here to condem Arizona Law and President Obama supports him on this. We are getting it straight from the top, so what is to become of America. We really need an American President.

Its called free speech, Calderon can say what he pleases. Im sure theyre discussing matters such as immigration and the drug war. Hm lets see what is to become of america? Well that includes lots of countries. Canada, U.S.,Mexico,Panama but i digress. Our president has already improved our economy significantly since he took office. He gave 99% of Americans tax cuts. Were pulling more and more troops out of Iraq and he plans to pull troops out of Afghanistan in 2011. All Facts!

87% want nothing to do with funding illegal aliens. Yet they do it anyway. why ? Quid pro quo ? who is getting paid off on THIS side of the border to allow crapola like that to go through. AZ law is nothing but a State's OBLIGATION to protect its citizens. Period. Scare mongers, media buttkissers, make it out to be everything BUT what it is trying to do, PROTECT the people who LIVE there Legally. Why is that making people into idiots, boycott AZ? not a chance, I will LOOK for buys from AZ!!!

I totally disagree that illegals get financial aid and a free education. I'm a U.S. citizen and don't qualify for financial aid. UTEP is handing out free diaplomas to people who don't speak English. But they have a degree !! I'm tried of paying for their freebees.

FED UP

I am on your side. My son, a U.S. born and bred citizen, started working when he was 16 yrs old, had taxes withdrawn from his pay checks, couldn't even qualify for one single text book. Yet, done a couple of houses from where we live, an undocumented kid got his tuition paid. That makes my blood boil. What worse is that we're suppose to cater to their language.

Haha So what hard facts do you have to prove this kid you speak of was is in the country illegally? Or that he got all his tuition paid for? Im not saying your wrong its just amazing to me that you might know so much about your neighbors business and even financial matters.

This is your opportunity to voice your concerns to the UT System Board of Regents. Here is their information:

Office of the Board of Regents
Ashbel Smith Hall, Suite 820
201 West 7th Street
Austin, Texas 78701

Phone: 512.499.4402
Fax: 512.499.4425
Email: bor@utsystem.edu

I encourage EVERYONE that has a comment on this article to contact the board of Regents and impress upon them the NEED to take care of U.S. Citizens First and Foremost.

Done, and I also let them know how I feel about what is coming next for us in Texas. State Income Tax, because they are going to need more money to help all the illegal children in our class room, which is the first place they should not be, asking for legality should be their first move when getting enrolled. By the way a lot of kids are getting a meal before they go home after school, FREE. We could go on and on.

Also why dont you actually write your congress person and demand they stop accepting gifts from lobbyists in return for selling out americans to corporations! If you want to see a real change focus on corporations who do nothing but get rich and piss oil into our Environment just like BP is doing. They just put a whole region of the United States out of business. A whole fishing industry and with it thousands of people will be suffering. Why dont you write your congressman about that!

HaveYou?????

yes

I'm waiting for oh legitimate news reporting from the crisis.... I have to side a little with BP on this whole oil spill disaster... BAD the freaking well blew up why? Well maybe thats where they are TOLD to drill cause everywhere else is illegal. Ok everything approved and passes all our wonderful govt checks and balances, then one day blamo the oil rig blows up and our wonderful gov't running around pointing fingers at everyone to find whose to blame instead of sending out some kind of help!

First of all they cannot be told exactly where to drill. BP has a team of individuals that researches where to drill. Its a multimillion dollar investment theyre not going to go into it lightly.

From your tone I assume you wouldve preferred this happened up north. Hmm yeah because destroying pristine wilderness is alot better than destroying the Gulf of Mexico? Nice logic

That free meal is mostly given to poor citizens who for the most part wont eat anything else after they get home. Dont be a moron there are kids out there that are poor and CITIZENS! Unfortunately at this stage in their lives they can not do anything about it. Im all for immigration reform but yanking food out of POOR americans mouths is just mean and heartless.

thanks for info

Hah!Hah!hahahahaha! So Texans paying for undocumented or illegal immigrants free of money towards their college education.,that just plain @#$%! so now what you all think about the Arizona law that El Paso government think its profiling or racist! So my guesse is these OFFICIALS AND OTHERS who are Supporting this law who say it's necessary to help this illegals were in their same shoes before? So now its time for them to pay back or help them just like they were back then I don't know<>LOL

Education is so important, and I encourage all the get the best that they can. However, if a student from the US wanted to go to Mexico to get an education there would they being given the same opportunites as those offered in our country? Of course not. US citizen are seeing just how unfair they are being treated as compared to those who are not citizens of our great country and we are now taking a stand... We need to take care of our own citizens FIRST.

missing the point ENTIRELY. First, a U.S. student would enter Mexico LEGALLY, second, they wouldnt BOTHER, as Mexico is not where you GO to get an education, or have you not read the news or paid attention ? I mean, seriously, where do you think all the illegals are going, Canada ?? NOBODY is trying to sneak into Mexico, and EVERYBODY is sneaking into the U.S. So your arguement has ZERO merit, makes no sense, and is a bad example of support for illegal aliens at U.S. CITIZENS expense yet again.

First of all there are thousands of expats from the U.S. living in Mexico. There are major universities in Mexico where the students can get an education. Just to give you some perspective, ARWU of 2009, shows that the Univeristy of Mexico City is ranked above the majority of Universities in the United States. Its funny because right below it in the rankings are several major Texas Universities. http://www.arwu.org/ARWU2009_2.jsp
The link is in case you would like to educate yourself.

Now for some more facts. Is Mexico a dangerous place to be at this current time? yes! Is there extreme poverty in Mexico? Yes. But just to give you some perspective its also where the worlds richest man lives. The reason so many are poor in Mexico is because of this huge divide of rich and poor in Mexico. I can understand why the poor of the country would like to come north. Should they be allowed to? Of course not! The key to ending illegal immigration is ending corruption in Mexico.

“Texas Law Offers Financial Aid and In State Tuition to Undocumented”: Channel 9: I sometimes believe you are so discriminatory by the way you report the news and your polls only encourage people to become more racist. Instead of objectively presenting a story you spark debates that seem to be fueled by anger more than fact. I do not believe this is responsible journalism. By the way I do not see people complaining when Juarez residents come and spend their money in El Paso. El Paso should be

Why are my taxes being wasted on illegals, when I have friends who are struggling to pay their tuition, while these ILLEGALS are getting a free education. Who are the IDIOTS who passed this ridiculous law. DEPORT THEM NOW!! Give the money to AMERICAN students.

First of all moron you need to relax! Im sure you dont contribute many tax dollars to the system but again i digress. Now the small amount of tax dollars you do contribute GO TO THE BANKS AND CORPORATIONS of this country. Good job being a sheep and not looking at the ones that are really robbing you.

Mr. Freeze...appropriate name. You must be referring to your heart condition. What do you all mean by OUR OWN? Are people from Mexico not OUR OWN species, or what? We all came into this world with nothing, and we are all leaving the same way. Nothing on this earth is yours or mine, so get off it. How are people who make $40 a week going to pay for the paperwork to get a visa, which can cost thousands? What is wrong with a person wanting to make a better life for themself? Stop the hate.

We have three daughters at UTEP who are US Citizens and get loans for school. I have no problem other students getting financial help; I believe this help only makes us a better country. The education that is provided by our government will only serve to benefit our community. Like you stated it is only 1% that takes advantage of this opportunity the education they receive will only benefit us as a society.

We have to pay out of state tuition for our children, who are american citizens. We pay taxes and live here legally. People who are not citizens should not be able to benefit from financial aid or paying in-state tuition. Why should we have to pay out of state tuition, when immigrants are getting financial aid and/or paying in state tuition? That money should go to american citizens who pay their taxes.
-Marla

Just what we need, another "freebie". Couple the financial aid with the new healthcare benefits and the amnesty that will happen, and what do you have.....a tsunami of illegals, a lowering of the standard of living for Americans. This country cannot survive another four years.

Yup, you got that right. This nation is going downhill. These people that think there is nothing wrong with illegals getting financial aid probably don't see anything wrong with flying the mexican flag over the American flag or burning it. Instead of displaying an American emblem on their vehicles or a bumper tick with words of gratitude, college campuses have plates from mexico with mexican flags and the words "viva mexico". If your so proud of your country mexico, go back there then.

Haha redneck hard at work. Military perhaps? Haha its funny how all you people who are new to the city express your culture shock in such a way.

As a tax payer, this is another slap in the face! Why do our government leaders see it fit to take care of everyone else but refuse to look into their own yard? This form of codling the "poor immigrants" needs to stop. Thank you KTSM for bring this story to light as it shows just how much illegal immigration hits us taxpayers. Wake up people this is real

Mexico uses U.S. taxpayers as its personal wallet to shore up its on incompetence and corruption. Mexican officials assist citizens to illegally cross the border. Proximity doesnt give you any special priviledge or right to break the law. They are not 'undocumented', they are ILLEGAL ALIENS, who broke THE law, and did it willfully. Mexico has NO interest in securing its borders, no matter what mouthpiece is Pres. of Mexico. Taxpayer dollars should go to TAXPAYER citizens. Period.

Yes, I applied for financial aid and was denied. why, I do not know. I only need $5,000 to complete my education and I cannot get it. I was born in the United States which makes me a United States citizen. My parents were born in the US and my grandparents came to the US and became US citizens. I was laid off in April 2008, attended school under the TRA allowance, graduated in December 2009 and can not get a job because the majority want spanish speaking employees. What a state, huh?

Uhh did anyone else notice the small poster of Ayatollah Khomeini in the background of the photo? WTF?

It is time to stop this! Any aid or benefits should be provided to US citizens and legal residents only. Force these criminals to go back to Mexico. It is time that the states require proof of citizenship to enroll in school in all levels from elementary to college. Those foreigners here legally should be allowed to go to our schools only if they pay their own way. Give the financial assistance to our own!

AMEN Mr. Freeze, WTF is wrong with all the Americans who think we should help Mexican citizens? NO WAY! We have our own to help, our own to feed, our own to educate, and our own problems without adding to it. I second the motion to shut down the border and well if you don't like it LEAVE!

My daughter has a DREAM!!!! To finish college, however because we do not qualify for HELP her dream is taking longer than the MEXICANS. Fair I think NOT

Perhaps she shouldve done better in high school to qualify for more scholarships!

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