Mr. Speaker, there are some in Congress who have gone to sleep and blissfully are dreaming of ways to get more illegals benefits that American taxpayers are going to have to pay for.
It's called the DREAM Act, or specifically the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act. You notice that word ``alien.'' It only applies to aliens illegally in the United States, not to American citizens and not to foreign nationals who are here legally. It's a bill to give preference to illegals in our public universities.
Here's how it works under normal circumstances: Most States require that if you are not a resident of their State, you pay out-of-State tuition to go to their public universities. For example, if you are from New Jersey or from India and you go to school at the University of Texas, you pay out-of-State tuition because you are not from Texas. Most public universities have this rule.
The DREAM Act, however, will do something differently. It applies only to folks who are illegally in the country and who can attest that they came before they were the age of 16. If so, this person will be able to get a green card, later to get a permanent residence card, and then after that get a green card for the parents of this illegal who brought this child into the United States illegally in the first place.
It gives priorities to illegals over American citizens and foreign nationals who are legally in the country. It discriminates against Americans. It discriminates against foreign students because it only applies to illegals who are here so that they can go to our public universities and pay in-State tuition because if you are from some other State or some foreign nation and legally in the country, you pay out-of-State tuition, which, of course, is more.
It seems to me this violates the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. It treats illegals who are violating the law by being here in the United States already better than Americans.
Mr. Speaker, as college costs continue to soar, most Americans who have kids that go to college have to foot that bill. I just had my four children finish college not too long ago and just paid off the last college loan. I have one daughter who is still paying on her college loan after she received her doctorate degree.
There are many Americans who will not be able to go to college because it now costs too much for them to go. But the dreamers want it to cost even more because they want us to subsidize illegals so they can go to school with in-State tuition.
This silly law goes further. It repeals a law that this body signed into law in 1996. In 1996, the legislation was enacted by Congress, started in this House, stating that States cannot give preference to illegals and let them pay in-State tuition unless those same States treat foreign nationals who are legally in the country and out-of-State students, students from other States, the same way. The law applied saying you have to treat everybody equally and you have to treat Americans the same as illegals if you let them go to your university with in-State tuition.
In spite of this 1996 law, there are 10 States who defy this law and have ignored the law and have allowed in-State tuition for illegals. Those 10 States: California; unfortunately, my home State of Texas; Illinois; Oklahoma; Utah; Washington; New Mexico; Kansas; Nebraska; and New York. You see, these 10 States violate Federal law because they already allow in-State tuition for illegals that are in their State.
This is called ``nullification.'' That's a legal term, Mr. Speaker, which means that a State ignores or passes legislation contrary to Federal law. Nullification is not a new concept. It started over 150 years ago when several southern States decided they could nullify Federal laws that they didn't like.
And so one reason for the Great War between the States was because of the nullification concept where States voted laws that were contrary to Federal law.
So this DREAM Act will legalize the conduct of these 10 States. It will then give amnesty and in-state tuition to illegals in this country at the detriment of American students and legal foreign students. Mr. Speaker, this ought not to be. Americans should not have to pay the cost for the education of illegals in this country. And illegals that come to this country and get in our universities should not get to pay less than Americans who live in other States.
And that's just the way it is.
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