Malloy: “I’m Betting On Maria”

Thomas MacMillan PhotoA governor and a high school senior—both the progeny of “illegal immigrants”—met at Wilbur Cross High School Thursday afternoon. The governor signed a bill that will allow the student to go to college.

The occasion was the celebration of a new Connecticut law, a version of the so-called “DREAM Act,” to allow children of undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates at Connecticut colleges and universities, as long as they have spent four years in—and graduated from—a Connecticut high school.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy was in town for a ceremonial “signing” of the bill, following his official signing on June 13.

He was joined by Maria Praeli, a high school student from New Milford, who will now have the chance to go to college because of the new law. Praeli came to Connecticut from Peru when she was 5 years old.

Malloy told the crowd of media and supporters that he, like Praeli, is the product of “illegal immigrants.” He descends from Irish immigrants who likely came into the country illegally from Canada, he said.

Thursday’s event was a chance for celebration for the bill’s supporters. Chief among them was a grassroots group called CT Students for a Dream. (Check out the group’s Facebook page here.) Other supporters included members of a group called Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut (CONECT). The interfaith organization of 30 congregations from New Haven and Fairfield counties lobbied for the bill. The group did so thanks in part to an outspoken High School in the Community student named Karen.

By speaking out about her experience as an Ecuadorian immigrant, Karen helped galvanize disparate congregations who then lobbied hard to have the bill passed. Her testimony helped African-Americans in Bridgeport find common cause with Latino immigrants in New Haven. Together, they lobbied Hartford lawmakers and helped ensure the passage of the law.

On Thursday afternoon, Malloy and other state and local officials gathered in the packed atrium of Wilbur Cross High School. A cluster of cameras set up to record speakers at a podium in the corner, while high school students affiliated with CONECT rallied in the back beneath a large sign.

Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman was the first to speak, calling the new law a “very common sense” measure that will keep talented and productive young people in the state. She thanked Mayor John DeStefano, who she said had a prior commitment.

Praeli spoke about coming to the U.S. as a 5-year-old, abandoning Spanish for English, and growing up American. Then it came time for college applications, and the “sky is the only limit message” from her teachers came “shattering down.” She found she couldn’t afford college since she couldn’t get in-state tuition as an undocumented immigrant.

But now, it’s a “new day,” Praeli said. She said her “dreams are more possible” because of the new law.

New Haven State Rep. Juan Candelaria and State Sen. Martin Looney offered and accepted congratulations on the new law.

Like Wyman, Gov. Malloy called the law “plain common sense.” It will open a door for immigrant children, who did not choose to come to this country, he said. “They did nothing wrong.”

While “we must control our borders,” we must also accept that a large portion of the state’s current populations comprises children of undocumented immigrants, Malloy said. They “dream in the same colors we dream in.”

“This is a great day to celebrate,” he said, to applause. “We are celebrating a new generation of people who ... will repay us many times over.”

Malloy mentioned his own genealogical research, which showed the some branches of his family tree came from Ireland by way of Canada. It’s likely that his grandparents or great-grandparents were illegal immigrants, he said. “I somehow have found a way to contribute. I’m betting on Maria.”

A ceremonial signing followed, with Praeli receiving the first pen.

“I’m ecstatic for the opportunity these young people will have to contribute,” said Father Jim Manship of Fair Haven’s St. Rose of Lima Church, one of the co-chairs of CONECT.

Pastor Anthony Bennett of Bridgeport’s Mt. Aery Baptist Church, the other co-chair, drew a connection with the Civil Rights movement. He said the bill signing represents the “continuing expression of the movement.”

Karen’s Contribution

Absent at the ceremony, but instrumental to the passage of the bill, was an 18-year-old named Karen, the outspoken New Haven high school student.

Last year Karen started telling church groups the story of how she might not be able to go to college because she was born in Ecuador, even though she grew up in New Haven. Her story helped spark grassroots action that led to the governor’s visit to town Thursday.

Karen, who asked that her photograph and last name not be published, will benefit directly from the new law.

For a decade after she came to New Haven from Ecuador with her parents, Karen didn’t think much about the fact that she isn’t a U.S. citizen. Then it came time for the 18-year-old to apply to college. She hit a wall, and began to speak out.

Karen graduated this year from High School in the Community. She will now be able to afford to pursue her dream of becoming a kindergarten teacher. That’s partly because she worked hard over the past year to teach others about the obstacles she faces as an undocumented immigrant.

Thomas MacMillan PhotoOn Wednesday, Karen and Jackie Phillips, a Yale Divinity School student working at St. Rose, spoke about the work they did with CONECT, formerly known as the Connecticut Sponsoring Committee. The group comprises 30 congregations from New Haven and Fairfield counties. They are mostly Christian, along with a few Jewish synagogues, and are ethnically and socio-economically diverse, Phillips said. The group has been working together for several years to organize around a number of issues, from education to health care.

Recently, as St. Rose began to organize around the in-state tuition bill, the mostly-immigrant church reached out to the larger CONECT community for support. Karen and Teodoro Garcia Jr., another high school student, were chosen to give presentations on the issue at four “cluster meetings” comprising five to seven congregations each.

Karen’s and Garcia’s talks were intended to garner support for the bill, to rally all of CONECT around the legislation. But they weren’t exactly preaching to the choir. People went into the meetings opposed to the bill. They used terms like “illegal aliens,” Phillips said, rather than the friendlier “undocumented worker.” But they came out unanimously supporting the legislation, she said.

Karen agreed that the crowd wasn’t always with her when she began speaking. She said it came down to unfamiliarity with immigrants. “I think that’s because you don’t know what’s behind those doors,” she said. “You don’t see who they really are.”

Karen simply told people about her life, and gave them a face and a story to connect with. She told them how she’d come to the U.S. with her family at 6 years old, had grown up knowing she was undocumented but hadn’t worried about it. Until the end of high school.

“When you start applying for schools and see all your friends excited,” Karen said. “That’s when it really hits you.”

Karen had to face the reality that she probably couldn’t afford to go to college. Her dad works in a factory and her mom doesn’t work. The family doesn’t have enough money to afford out-of-state tuition.

Pastor Bennett of the Mt. Aery Baptist Church in Bridgeport recalled the cluster meeting at his predominantly African-American church. He said his parishioners were curious to know how the law would affect U.S. citizens, people who are born and raised in Connecticut. In addition to the realization that it would not affect citizens, Mt. Aery parishioners also saw a connection to the Civil Rights struggle, Bennett said.

“Some of the issues faced by students today were in some way faced by African-Americans down south in the ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s,” Bennett said. In both cases, people who were “qualified and had prepared themselves” were denied opportunities, Bennett said.

Phillips recalled a moment when that connection was made during Karen’s talk at Mt. Aery. An African-American woman spoke up: “So you’re really being discriminated against. Reminds me of another group I can think of.”

Karen and Garcia’s presentations were able to build common cause between urban African-Americans and Latinos, two groups that have not necessarily found common ground, Phillips said. “People were blown away by these two stories.”

With CONECT coalesced behind the cause, the organization was able to bring a large number of people from diverse backgrounds to testify before the General Assembly’s Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee on March 15. “We had a real broad show of support,” Phillips said.

St. Rose’s Father Manship spoke. So did Pastor Bennett, along with Rabbi James Prosnit of Bridgeport’s Congregation B’Nai Israel. Having representatives from disparate communities helped show that the bill was not just a New Haven issue, Phillips said. “I think that made an impact.”

Two days later, on St. Patrick’s Day, Phillips headed back to Hartford to see the committee vote on whether to send the bill up for a vote. They heard East Hartford’s State Rep. Gary LeBeau reflect on the struggle of Irish immigrants when they first arrived in the U.S. in large numbers. LeBeau and 10 other committee members voted to recommend the bill to the full assembly. Eight representatives voted against it.

CONECT continued their lobbying. “This is where the power of the people came in,” Phillips said. Members from the 30 congregations made phone calls to representatives who were on the fence, and visited them in person, Phillips said. In the Senate, State Sen. Looney, who attended St. Rose parochial school as a child, took a lead role.

The House passed the bill on May 12, the Senate on May 24. The governor signed it on June 13.

Karen, meanwhile, has been accepted at Fairfield University and waitlisted at Univerity of New Haven. She is waiting to hear from Southern Connecticut State University.

She said she spoke out so that she could “get my voice out for different people,” who might not have the support that she had through St. Rose and CONECT. “That’s why I went through this.”

“It just opens so many doors for me,” she said of the new law. “For me to say that I can actually afford to go to Southern or Gateway or any other state school ... I’m not limited.”


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posted by: Get Real on July 7, 2011  1:03pm

Yeah Great!! We are succumbing to ridiculous liberal antics once again.  Let’s perform an end-around around the real issue, which is that they are here illegally.  They should be issued student visas, and pay regular tuition. They should not be given discounts for breaking the law. Imagine if we had this attitude with all law-breakers, from speeding, marijuana, and rape, to murder. 

During their schooling, they should be made to become US Citizens—if they choose not to, then they should be deported upon completion of their education.  I think it is ridiculous that they have not taken the time to apply for legal status for the entire time they have been here, yet now they want all the benefits of a natural or legal migrant citizen—Get Real.  My family took the time to come here legally, we followed the laws, and we never asked for hand-outs.  It is a sign of the times, that these individuals now wish to get free-handouts from tax-paying citizens, when they themselves are not.

posted by: streever on July 7, 2011  2:32pm

Get Real:
The law was very different when your family came here.

Just some facts:
Mass deportation would cost EVERY American $922/year in new taxes to pay for the 2.6 trillion cost over 10 years of managing this feat.

Incarceration costs over 30,000 per year per person in CT, versus 21k for college with room & board factored in.

People like “Get Real” ...  would have you believe that they have the answer—heartlessly exiling children who were brought here with no ability to make a decision in the matter—but the reality is that all of their proposals cost more money long-term.

The math has long proven that creating a pathway to citizenship that involves college tuition help is cheaper and better, long-term, for the health of our nation. Do not be fooled by maxim spouting talking pointers.

posted by: Atwater on July 7, 2011  4:22pm

@streever: Immigration laws have changed little since the 60’s and even those changes were made to allow a more equitable distribution of immigration opportunities. What has remained the same is the processes by which a person becomes a citizen. The first step is applying for a visa and coming into the country legally. Being that the parents of these students violated the law it is difficult to agree with our state’s version of the Dream Act. I have many friends who came here legally, would waited for years to obtain a visa, went through bureaucratic hell applying for resident alien status and finally citizenship. They worked hard, followed the rules and it paid off. Little did they know they could have avoided the paperwork and just hopped a fence, crossed a river or just let their tourist visas expire. You’re right, punishing the children of illegal immigrants doesn’t seem fair, but rewarding them doesn’t either. It is a difficult dilemma. And although most liberals and conservatives offer only the rhetoric of “right” and “wrong”, we must recognize the immense gray area and work to provide a fair and equitable method of redress. This solution should include some punishment for the parents, a fine would be sufficient. And their children should have to apply for and gain citizenship before they complete their undergraduate degrees.  I just know that simply ignoring the criminality of their parents’ behavior is a slap in the face to all immigrants who followed the rules.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on July 7, 2011  5:05pm

Double Standard.Why should a person who lives in this country legal and wants to go to college in this state have to pay out-of-state tuition and the person who is here undocumented doesn’t have to pay out-of-state tuition….

posted by: concernedwestvilleres on July 7, 2011  7:04pm

So they go to college and pay in-state tuition, but when they graduate they can’t get a job because it’s illegal for employers to hire undocumented workers. They get an education and can’t use it.  I guess the politicians didn’t think about that

posted by: jamesdg on July 7, 2011  7:27pm

@Get Real:
What you are suggesting is something every one of these kids wants. However, they don’t have the opportunity to become US citizens; in fact, no matter how American they are or how hard they work, they aren’t going to have legal standing here. A law like the DREAM act, proposed at the FEDERAL level, would give them a chance to get their documentation in order if they did well in school and were good citizens (each version of the law has different specific requirements.) And then, I think it might be reasonable to have a harsher deportation policy for those who didn’t want to become legal. But what you’re saying shows a misconception a lot of people have which is that these kids don’t want to be legal. From experience, I can say that [almost] all of them want nothing more than legalization and/or citizenship.

posted by: Henry Fernandez on July 7, 2011  8:09pm

This is great news and will mean that hundreds of New Haven children and children from across the state will now go to college.  These are our children and I am so glad that our elected officials clearly think of them that way.

In addition to the important organizations mentioned in this article, a number of other wonderful groups and people worked extremely hard to pass in-state tuition.  These include:

- Junta For Progressive Action which lobbied hard for the bill throughout the session, and brought a busload of community members to Hartford to advocate for the bill.

- Connecticut Students For A DREAM which organized undocumented students and other students in Connecticut’s colleges and high schools to testify on behalf of the bill and meet with legislators.  You can learn more about these wonderful young people here:

- Barbara Richards who has been fighting for in-state tuition for years and was tirelessly advocating for this issue long before most of us understood its implications.

- Connecticut’s Univision station (WUVN-TV), owned by Entravision, which made this a central focus of their reporting and public affairs programming.  WUVN-TV encouraged their viewers to get involved and spoke to a statewide audience of Spanish speakers.

- Vinnie Mauro in Senator Looney’s office, who skillfully shepherded this bill through the legislature.

- And there are no doubt others with which I am not familiar—so a big kudos to everyone who got involved.

Winning a human rights victory of this magnitude in the face of a national campaign to deny the human dignity of immigrants took a broad coalition of committed people from a wide range of walks of life.  We are fortunate in Connecticut that we have such people who take the time and make a difference.

posted by: Real Revolutionaries Know Their History on July 7, 2011  8:19pm

I would have expected you to be more supportive of young children of color who have come to this country often because of the failed foreign and economic policies of the US and IMF.  But maybe that is too radical for you.

One of your heroes, Frederick Douglass, was able to distinguish between reactionary and radical views when it came to immigrants.  Here’s what a radical sounds like [Douglass on December 7, 1869]:

“I submit this question of Chinese immigration should be settled upon higher principles than those of a cold and selfish expediency.
There are such things in the world as human rights. They rest upon no conventional foundation, but are eternal, universal, and indestructible. Among these, is the right of locomotion; the right of migration; the right which belongs to no particular race, but belongs alike to all and to all alike. It is the right you assert by staying here, and your fathers asserted by coming here. It is this great right that I assert for the Chinese and the Japanese, and for all other varieties of men equally with yourselves, now and forever. I know of no rights of race superior to the rights of humanity, and when there is a supposed conflict between human and national rights, it is safe to go to the side of humanity. I have great respect for the blue eyed and light haired races of America. They are a mighty people. In any struggle for the good things of this world they need have no fear. They have no need to doubt that they will get their full share.

But I reject the arrogant and scornful theory by which they would limit migratory rights, or any other essential human rights to themselves, and which would make them the owners of this great continent to the exclusion of all other races of men.”

posted by: MLR on July 7, 2011  8:38pm

“During their schooling, they should be made to become US Citizens—if they choose not to, then they should be deported upon completion of their education. “

Students eligible for the benefits under this bill would like nothing more than that chance to become citizens—and in fact the federal DREAM Act that allies have tried to pass for the last decade includes a pathway to citizenship.  However, that’s federal-level reform, not something the states can institute.

posted by: Wilbur cross student on July 7, 2011  8:59pm

All I have to say is that I am happy to hear that this law has finally been pass. Every child deserves the right to an education, regardless of citizenship. As a young American I believe that we are doing the right thing .

posted by: Beansie's Mom on July 7, 2011  9:58pm

Well Said, ATWATER.

posted by: anon on July 7, 2011  10:00pm

A minor issue, considering the import of this issue, but who goes to meet legislators and the gov in short shorts and a T?

posted by: Gabriela on July 7, 2011  10:09pm

Streever is right…..and BTW in most cases when you’re in bureaucratic hell you’re technically in status limbo….basically “illegal”

posted by: Mr. Maestro on July 7, 2011  10:37pm

I know one of the students mentioned in this article, and that student was *always* involved in helping a charity, clean-up project, and many other projects that made New Haven a better place. 

I don’t understand why some people want to punish that student for the parents’ decision.  That student didn’t choose to immigrate illegally (or legally for that matter). 

Let them contribute to society instead of limiting them.

posted by: Y.A.D. on July 7, 2011  11:54pm

I’m betting that if we built a wall across our southern border, we could spend more money to help LEGAL residents with their tuition!

posted by: robn on July 8, 2011  6:38am

I’m going to reduce the issue just a bit further and consider this for the purpose of invigorate your own enlightened self-interest…
Do we want people around us to be unsmart or smart?

posted by: Feliz Dia on July 8, 2011  8:02am

Thank you Gov Malloy, Sen Looney, Rep Candelaria!
Que viva Santa Rosa de Lima.

posted by: Atwater on July 8, 2011  8:10am

@Mr. Maestro: I agree completely, let the young people flourish as citizens. But, is it really fair to ignore the crime their parents committed? I would love to see a day when all Americans (from Canada to the Straits of Magellan) would be allowed free and legal access to our nation, but the reality is that we do have laws and the laws must be followed until they are changed. We cannot hold some people accountable and let others receive a pass, it is unfair and contrary to our Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment. Our state’s version of the Dream Act seems to ignore the illegality of the actions of the parents and, to some, rewards it. There has to be some measure of fairness in the solution to this problem but the state’s Democrats have only offered legislation that panders to a specific demographic while at the same time ignores the thousands of legal immigrants who are currently working hard to gain legal citizenship.
As I said before, there isn’t an easy solution, but we owe it to our neighbors to work toward equitable relief. I hope that this act meets stern opposition and is eventually amended so as not to further offend and degrade the honest, and legal, efforts of aspiring citizens.

posted by: streever on July 8, 2011  8:26am

Fine, to avoid hurting the feelings of people who came here legally, let us spend trillions of dollars to “round em up” and “ship em back home”.

Wait, which home? I’m sorry, Mr. Undocumented, where are you from? Ecuador? Oh, what is that, Ecuador says they don’t want 1 million people dumped in their country?

I apologize, I was trying to look at this practically, I didn’t realize that we were going to make these decisions based on a desire to not hurt anyone’s feelings.

posted by: Mark Colville on July 8, 2011  8:51am


posted by: Atwater on July 8, 2011  9:29am

@streever: I never stated that we should “round them up and ship them out.” .. The issue goes deeper than a simple offense to legal immigrants, it cuts to the fundamental percepts of any society/nation, which are laws. Laws must be followed by everyone and to allow one group to openly violate them, without penalty, is illegal and contrary to the ultimate aim of any legalistic society. I am sure, if we abandon the partisan rhetoric, we could find a practical solution. I mentioned a fine might be imposed upon the parents, once paid they could begin the process of legal citizenship. That’s just one suggestion. But, to simply ignore the problem will not make it any better and just might make it worse.
Someday immigration laws might not be necessary, this is something we could and should work towards. But, until that day we must enforce our laws equitably and without exception.
I am not anti-immigrant, to be so would be un-American. But, I am against the party that seems too willing to legitimatize and reward illegal behavior.

posted by: Lincoln Robertson on July 8, 2011  9:29am

This, on the day after Obama agrees with the Republicans to cut social security and medicare, you have to wonder if all Democrats have gone mad.

posted by: notatop20dude on July 8, 2011  9:46am

I actually have little problem with providing amnesty to the illegal immigrants that are already here, it costs less then to round them all up and if they can come out of the shadows they will likely help the local economies more where they live.

I do believe that the borders need to be secured however and that means spending more effort and money on enforcing the laws.  I also believe that after amnesty employers that hire undocumented workers should be more heavily fined and should essentially pay the deportation costs and pay fines that will hurt them enough to provide a reminder that they cannot break the law.  The folks that hire undocumented workers at that point should go to jail as well as simply paying fines.

I will go one step further and even say that the H1b worker sponsorship program should be ended and those on it now allowed to become legal non-sponsored residents and fortune 1000 companies that offshore manufacturing and technical work should be forced to do their part and help pay for the unemployment benefits of millions they helped to make unemployed.

While amnesty needs to be granted for the illegal immigrants here now.  What is clear to me is that this country cannot afford to provide jobs for people that are not here legally after the amnesty period.  We cannot be the world’s employer and we cannot continue to offshore jobs and import foreign cheap technical labor through the H1b program.

Sure, lets absorb what is here now, it is actually cheaper to do so then to enforce the law and our government is broke. 
Stopping H1b, taxing companies that offshore, protecting the borders better, and permitting the 10 – 20 million illegal immigrants to come out of the shadows will help the US economy.

I come from immigrant stock; I’m a middle aged 2nd generation American of Italian decent.  My grandparents came here with little more than their clothes and they came here legally.  I am the first person in my family to go to college.  Both my undergrad and masters were from average schools.  I still have tuition debt, even at my age for my graduate degree. 

I work in an average professional job and make average wages, yes I see my limitations.. no Yale or other top school pedigree here and thus I am stuck in my dead end job.  At least I am employed. 

My grandparents came here legally though and in my opinion we are in this economic depression because of 3 factors:  rise in productivity and thus the need for workers has diminished (surplus population), off-shoring of work to other countries with lower currency valuations,  rise in energy costs due to our federal government being essentially owned by big energy companies.

The continued flood of people into this country illegally is only making these issues worse.  We need to stop this tide of people in because, lets face it, there’s no jobs for them.  We also need to stop the “legal” import of workers that take jobs Americans should have.

The Yale/top school liberals that pontificate on the plight of the illegal immigrant have the luxury of doing so because they are insulated from the economic crisis which is in part caused by the fact this country needs to provide the illegal’s with assistance.

I have no problem with these kids paying in state tuition for state schools but we need to draw the line here and now.

posted by: Brian on July 8, 2011  10:30am

Corporation won’t hire them, and will not incur the cost of sponsorship; too many qualified nationals and legal immigrants in the labor pool. That will be the ultimate filter and wall these people will never be able to hurdle.

It seems kinda cruel law, giving illegal immigrants false hope for a better future.

posted by: The Miz on July 8, 2011  11:18am

(DISCLAIMER: No, I am not playing the race card. But, if one does actually study immigration policy/history, certain realizations are made)

People need to remember that immigration debates A) refer mainly to Mexicans (+ other dark-skinned people), and B) don’t assess the situation properly.

A: Not only was a large proportion of this land taken from Mexico in the first place, but this country has a HUGE amount of set slots for immigrants from other countries in West Europe. These people don’t even use up 10% of the spaces allowed for them to come. Why do they still exist? The same reason the DMZ exists I’d bet. NAFTA and a few other organizations/events have messed up the Mexican economic system. Who are we as a nation to say it is not their right to come over and try and make a better life for themselves?

B) When people speak on immigration topics, they always make assumptions.

“Immigrants are taking our jobs.”

Does anyone see what kid of work they do? They do the dirtiest, lowest forms of work. And it has been shown that Americans DON’T WANT to do those jobs. There have been stipends offered to Americans to farm out in the midwest because there was a need. Very few people took that offer. The few who did, guess who they hired to help out?

American companies outsource work to way more foreign workers than illegal immigrants here. The immigration policy is just a scapegoat. People need to focus on the bigger issues: the history of foreign policy in this country (which nothing can be done about, sadly), and the current economic/employment state in this country.

As far as this article goes, education and immigration don’t exactly affect each other, despite how many people may argue that it does. This policy isn’t going to open the floodgates of students into college. Those who do receive assistance will be such a small fraction of the gov. budget that it makes no sense to mention.

In the end, as a response to those who mention the anecdotes of “so and so did the legal thing, lap in the face,” and so on, I’d have to say no, it isn’t right that certain individuals went through the proper channels and others didn’t. Then again, A) that’s life, and B) for everyone one person who goes about it the “right” way, so many more don’t, for reasons beyond their control. Are we, as a nation, outright saying “sucks for them?” Yes, we are. And if one researches, s/he’ll see that there are and always have been certain people we say that to.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on July 8, 2011  11:28am

posted by: Real Revolutionaries Know Their History on July 7, 2011 8:19pm
I would have expected you to be more supportive of young children of color who have come to this country often because of the failed foreign and economic policies of the US and IMF.  But maybe that is too radical for
You need to read what I said and that was.Double Standard.Why should a person who lives in this country legal and wants to go to college in this state have to pay out-of-state tuition and the person who is here undocumented doesn’t have to pay out-of-state tuition.My point is that why should one group get the benefit of out of state tuition when the other groups can’t.

But I reject the arrogant and scornful theory by which they would limit migratory rights, or any other essential human rights to themselves, and which would make them the owners of this great continent to the exclusion of all other races of men.”

There are laws in place for migratory rights.Case and point.My inlaws are from the Caribbean Island of Barbados and Jamaica.They came here got there green card and became U.S. Citizens went to paid there way to school.Now some of them are Doctors,Lawyers Poilce ofiicer’s and other jobs,In fact some of them are still waiting for there citizenship.So we do have laws in place for migratory rights.People must follow the law.

In fact Cesar Chavez was against illegal immigration.

In 1979 testimony to Congress, Chavez complained, “... when the farm workers strike and their strike is successful, the employers go to Mexico and have unlimited, unrestricted use of illegal alien strikebreakers to break the strike. And, for over 30 years, the Immigration and Naturalization Service has looked the other way and assisted in the strikebreaking. I do not remember one single instance in 30 years where the Immigration service has removed strikebreakers. ... The employers use professional smugglers to recruit and transport human contraband across the Mexican border for the specific act of strikebreaking…”

In 1969, Chavez actually led a march to the Mexican border to protest illegal immigration, accompanied by Sen. Walter Mondale and Ralph Abernathy.

like i said if you are going to do for one group,Then you must do for all.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on July 8, 2011  11:39am

posted by: The Miz on July 8, 2011 11:18am
(DISCLAIMER: No, I am not playing the race card. But, if one does actually study immigration policy/history, certain realizations are made)

You many not be playing the race card.But you are playing the Americans don’t want to do those jobs card.The reason why americans will not do those jobs is the they know what wages they are to be paid to do the job.If you knew that a job paid fifteen dollars a hour and the boss said I will give you five dollars a hour would you take it. You sound like Vicente Fox’s who said that Mexican immigrants to the United States take jobs “that not even blacks want to do.”

posted by: Jp on July 8, 2011  12:54pm

We are talking about our students. The future of America. I believe that we should stop criminalizing these children for actions that they were not responsible for . Yes!! they are “undocumented,” but there human beings with a dream. Citizens of the United States of America, there are thousands of undocumented students in this country, and one day they might be your children’s teachers, your lawyers, your doctors, engineers, and scientist. As an American I am proud this bill was sign. Hopefully the DREAM ACT will one day pass!!!

posted by: Be real on July 8, 2011  2:16pm

It’s extremely difficult to legally enter the us from south America unless you are very wealthy. It’s not a matter of waiting a few years and filling out endless paperwork- if you don’t fall in the right tax bracket you aren’t getting one. Different story if your from Europe.  And it’s not so easy to cross the border. You have to pay some coyote 10,000 dollars to smuggle you in knowing you might not make it or ever see your family.  I have a friend whose mother couldn’t even get a tourist visa to make it to her daughters wedding in the us because she is in the wrong tax bracket. This mother owns a home, has saving but is retired from her job as a social worker. People are people. The system we have is clearly broken. I don’t understand how you can blame a child who had no choice. What if it was you? How trapped would you feel? I should not read these comments because the hate makes me I’ll.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on July 8, 2011  3:03pm

Here is another case and point.Say a person lives in another state and comes to go to school here and lies about living here.And is then found out they don’t live in this state.Under the law this person will be charge with a crime.But here you have some illegal immigrants which under the present system of law illegal immigration is a crime. Yet you pass a law that will not charge the illegal immigrants.But you have laws on the books that will charge the out of state person with a crime.

posted by: ronk1957 on July 8, 2011  4:02pm

I think that this is a wonderful thing ! already we are putting up signs in Pa letting the illegal aliens know what a great life they would have if they relocated to Connecticut. Thanks again !

posted by: Immigrants' grandson on July 8, 2011  6:28pm

When my grandparents showed up here more than 100-years-ago, that’s all they had to do, show up. Later, xenophobia in the 1920s created more restrictive policies. “We have too many Jews, Slavs, and Italians.” That has only increased over the generations, and extended to Latinos, Asians, and latter-day Irish. I think pretty much anyone who wants to come here, should be able to. After all, given the number of undocumented residents they pretty much do so anyway.

That aside, I think we should give a green card to anyone who graduates from college here, whether it’s an undocumented person or someone on a student visa. From a purely American-first perspective, you have to be quite dumb to say to a newly minted MIT grad, “Go start your business or invent your inventions back in your own country rather than here.” But I guess we are that dumb.

Also, anyone who has the ability and capital to start a business here should be allowed to become an immigrant.

posted by: Ridiculous on July 8, 2011  9:34pm

Thanks liberals…we already have so much we cannot pay for already. Let’s pay for the ignorant illegals who had multiple attempts to become bona fide US Citizens to go to college. I love the fact that my paycheck goes to more and more selfish, entitled, disgusting people.

posted by: TC on July 10, 2011  6:38pm

How about if I want to go to Ecuador and attend university? Can I get the in-state resident tuition rate? Who wants to make the odds of this happening?  So, with the state cutting funds for higher education, citizens now have to compete ... for the precious few spaces at our local colleges. Where is the justice in this? When Quito U gives me the OK, I’ll write again. Till then, I oppose this ploy

posted by: Postgraduado on July 11, 2011  11:55am

Congratulations Connecticut on joining Illinois passing similar, common sense laws. American youth, regardless of their legal status are the economic future of this nation. DREAMers have proven over and over to have the potential overcoming obstacles.

Congratulations to your lawmakers for working together on this progressive reform.

posted by: Karen on July 14, 2011  11:55pm

This Signing is Just not right, Hope the Voters will make a better choice for Governor next time.