Minutemen say U policy on undocumented immigrants is illegal

By Dustin Gardiner and Patrick Muir

Several members of the Utah Minuteman Project, a group for strict enforcement of immigration laws attended yesterday’s mass protest at Capitol Hill.

The group strongly supports House Bill 7, which would bar illegal immigrants from receiving in-state tuition.

“Allowing illegal immigrants to attend a public university at the in-state tuition rate flies in the face of federal law?the U jumped the gun on the law,” said Alex Segura of the Utah Minuteman Project.

He added that the law allowing undocumented immigrants to attend Utah public universities at the in-state tuition rate was not supposed to take effect until the Dream Act of 2003 was passed. Since the act was never passed, that law wasn’t supposed to be implemented.

“The board of regents took it upon (itself) to implement the law,” Segura said.

Jeff McNeil, a fellow Minuteman, said the policy discriminates against out-of-state American citizens who have to pay two to three times more in tuition than undocumented immigrants.

“People who are here illegally can’t work in the U.S. anyways?.Why take a seat from a U.S. citizen and give it to someone who can’t even work here?” McNeil asked.

Maria Martinez, a senior mass communication major and member of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlan (MEChA), one of the student groups protesting House Bill 7, said she thinks there is a racist undertone to the movement against giving in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.

“(House Bill 7) is just another way to put down and discourage immigrants?they pay taxes just like everyone else, and they have to live here for several years before they get the in-state rate,” Martinez said.

The Minutemen said the racist stereotype is just a cop-out for those who have no argument.

Seguro said the student group MEChA advocates a radical position that calls for the southwestern states to be returned to Mexico.

“The U needs to stop putting money into groups like MEChA that want to return the Southwest to Mexico and staring putting money into pro-American groups,” said Seguro.

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