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DREAM would be a nightmare

July 12, 2007

Re "Aid for all students," Opinion, July 7

I disagree with UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau that illegal alien students are "our students." "Our students" are legal residents who have excelled academically and yet, because of various constraints, find it difficult to gain access to the public university of their choice.

The kids that the federal DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act proposes to extend financial aid to are here illegally. They have already received a much better education and have already lived in a much better environment (at our expense) than they would have experienced in their own country. Financial aid and access to our public higher education system are limited. The more benefits extended to illegal aliens, the less is available for the kids of taxpaying citizens.

JOANN MOUSER

Rancho Cucamonga

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The University of California system rejects thousands of legal residents yearly, so it is not exactly in want of qualified applicants. Further, every illegal applicant accepted, whether or not his or her parents live in the United States, probably displaces a legal, qualified, resident applicant, most likely a child of a taxpaying Californian.

Now Birgeneau is saying that taxpaying Californians, whose children already have to compete with illegal aliens for UC acceptance, should provide these same illegal students with financial aid to further assist them in displacing legal California residents. And he bases this on anecdotal evidence? Funny, I thought physics doctorates had better discipline than this.

MIKE HARVEY

Irvine

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Birgeneau demonstrates the terrible disconnect between college students receiving financial aid and the taxpayers, a significant number of whom did not attend college, who have to pay the bills. He argues that the taxpayers should fund the tuition of citizen and noncitizen college students alike. Whatever happened to people working part time or taking night classes? Why should someone in a blue-collar vocation, who never went to college, be forced to pay for others' college education, including those who are not here legally?

Birgeneau laments that without $25,000 a year in aid, a student will never be able to attend UC Berkeley. Why does UC Berkeley cost so much? Is it because there has been so much free flow of taxpayer-funded government grants? What is wrong with an undocumented immigrant student attending more reasonably priced colleges? The reality is that taxpayer funds are finite. The line needs to be drawn somewhere.

DAN HALDERMAN

Long Beach

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Birgeneau promotes the passage of the DREAM Act, which would provide access to college financial aid to illegal aliens. His dream is a nightmare to citizen taxpayers.

DONALD HIRT

Paso Robles

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