Rohrabacher blasts illegal immigrant scholarship
Washington, May 27, 2010 - Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is incensed that Santa Ana College is establishing a scholarship for illegal immigrants . He has written a letter [click for PDF] to the school’s president saying if they proceed with this, their federal funding could be in jeopardy.
The $2,500 matching scholarship is being created in honor of Tan Ngoc Tran of Garden Grove, a former Santa Ana College student and immigration activist who was killed in Maine on May 15 by a drunk driver.
In his letter to college president Erlina Martinez, Rohrabacher said while Tran’s death is tragic, “channeling our scarce resources to illegal immigrants, even if they are students, is unforgivable at a time when so many of our citizens and legal residents are struggling to meet their own education needs.’’
Tran was a crusader for passage of the DREAM ACT, which would allow illegal immigrant students to get legal status.
Rohrabacher, R-Costa Mesa, also said the scholarship dedicated to illegal immigrants is “an affront to law abiding citizens who tax dollars will pay the bill.’’
Rohrabacher tells Martinez that giving such money “to law breakers by rewarding them with scholarships exhibits a misguided set of priorities for Santa Ana College.”
School officials say because Tran was crusading to help other illegal immigrant students like herself it is only fitting that the scholarship be geared towards undocumented immigrants. Recipients also have to be in need of financial aid and have at least a 3.0 grade point average.
In the end of his letter Rohrabacher tells Martinez that if she goes ahead with this scholarship she is “putting continued public financing for Santa Ana College in jeopardy.’’
“If they’re going to thumb their nose at the American people who are paying the bill and thumb their nose at the law there could be moves against them to defund them,” Rohrabacher said in an interview.
According to a news release announcing the scholarhip, it will be the Santa Ana College Foundation that will create the award so presumably no public dollars will be used for the prize.
The Costa Mesa Republican acknowledged that he probably couldn’t be successul in getting something included in an education appropriations bill on this unless the GOP regained the majority in the House. But if they did, he said, he would try to get a provision in spending bills that institutions that give money to illegal immigrants would not be entitled to any federal funds.
Rep. Loretta Sanchez spoke about Tran on the floor of the House on Wednesday.
“Tam was a courageous leader who inspired many through her personal story of immigration. In 2007, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) raided the Tran home and subsequently arrested Tam and some of her family members,” said Sanchez, D-Santa Ana..
“Representatives (Zoe) Lofgren, (D-SanJose), (Chris) Smith, (R-N.J.) and I wrote a letter to then Secretary Condoleezza Rice urging her to uphold the U.S. policy regarding the return of refugees to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, that would allow them to remain in the United States. ”
No word yet from Sanchez on what she thinks of the Santa Ana College scholarship.
Original article: OC Register