funding to immigrants

Greenberg Jean greenbej at stripe.Colorado.EDU
Wed Jan 15 14:30:11 EST 1997


The following is an e-mail which was sent from the University of
California, Berkeley.


IMMIGRATION ALERT: New Bill to Cut Aid to Non-US-Born Citizens!!
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*** Please forward, especially to those in other schools ***

The following message regards pending legislation that would restrict
student aid to anyone who is not 'born' in the US, regardless of resident
status (even naturalized US citizens).  The implications of this
legislation
are far reaching, not just for the quality of our student pool, but more
so
as a reflection of a growing xenophobia in this country.  Please consider
the implications of this legislation.  You may wish to contact your
representatives in the Senator and House.

RE:     No Financial Aid for Non-US born Citizens/Residents

Whether or not you were born in the US, the following is some information
which is important to us all.  Spread the word.

The following issue hasn't received much attention yet because it's still
a
bill going through Congress. What it boils down to is this:  If HR-4
passes,
students who are permanent residents, even NATURALIZED U.S. citizens, will
no longer be eligible for financial aid -- Stafford loans, Perkins loans,
Pell grants, etc., even though these citizens, LEGAL immigrants, have been
paying taxes all along.  The qualifying factor for student financial aid,
according to 4HR-4, is having been BORN in the United States.  NOTE:  This
is no longer an attack on illegal "aliens", but on people who entered the
country LEGITIMATELY and who are trying to continue their contribution to
this society through attainment of higher education.
PLEASE help increase awareness of this issue by letting as many people as
you can know about what Congress is attempting, and contact/write to the
senators and representatives of your district to express your position on
the matter.  We need to kill the bill at its early stages.

WARNING: THE US GOVERNMENT WANTS TO TAKE FINANCIAL AID FROM STUDENTS

In addition to a bill recently passed in the Senate to cut Federal loans
programs by $10 billion, the Senate and the House have both passed bills
that will effectively curtail student aid benefits to LEGAL immigrants,
including Pell grants, subsidized Stafford loans, and other federal
financial aid programs.

These proposed cuts, hidden deep within a welfare reform bill (HR 4), are
to
be achieved through a process known as "Alien Sponsor Deeming", in which
the
income and assets of an immigrant's sponsor are added to the immigrant's
own
resources in determining eligibility for government financial aid
programs.
Since most immigrants must have a sponsor in order to immigrate here
legally, deeming would disqualify many legal immigrants from receiving aid
by falsely inflating their income and wealth.

WHO WILL BE AFFECTED?

*A new draft report issued this month by the General Accounting Office in
Washington, D.C. states that 390,000 legal immigrants received Pell grants
nationwide in 1992-93.  The Pell grant program is designed to help the
neediest students and has a maximum award of $2,340 per year.

*In California, legal immigrants make up 32.6% of Pell grant recipients.
An
analysis performed by the UC president's office found that more than 25%
of
UC students who receive need-based aid are legal immigrants.

*In New York, legal immigrants make up 26.5% of Pell grant recipients.  In
Florida, the total is nearly 16%.

*The Senate version of this bill (S. 269) would also restrict aid for
naturalized citizens.
*The bills now under consideration would essentially affect anyone who was
not born in the United States.

*A total of $21 million in Pell grants and $31 million in subsidized loans
could be lost among the nine UC campuses alone.  These restrictions will
affect private colleges as well.

*As Permanent Residents of the United States, legal immigrants have been
eligible for federal financial aid for many years.

*Permanent Residents pay federal income taxes and are subject to the
draft.

*The bills now being considered by a Joint Committee of the House and
Senate
would restrict benefits to many legal immigrants by changing eligibility
requirements.

*Two classes of citizens would be created, and legal immigrants would
effectively be denied opportunities for higher education.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

A list of those members of Congress who are on the Joint Committee
considering these bills will soon be made available. We will try to
organize
letter-writing, faxing, calling, and e-mailing campaigns. We will also try
to get in touch with local and national news media. Ethnic newspapers
definitely need to be targeted.

More specific information on what you can do will be coming in the next
few
days.  If you are interested in working on this issue or getting more
information, contact the ASUC Executive Vice President's Office at:

Phone: (510) 643-9830
Fax:   (510) 643-6396
Email: urd at uclink2.berkeley.edu
asucexec at ocf.berkeley.edu








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