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Posted on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 7:32 p.m.

University of Michigan student protesters demand tuition equality for illegal immigrants

By Kellie Woodhouse

With red tape over their mouths, roughly 100 University of Michigan students wearing maize T-shirts pushed their chairs aside and sat on the ground during a Board of Regents meeting Thursday.

The students were silently protesting against current tuition practices at the university, which don't offer illegal immigrants who attended Michigan high schools in-state tuition.

For more than a year, a large group of students have petitioned U-M for tuition equality.

"What's happening isn't right. Undocumented students unfairly have a barrier," said John D'Adamo, a U-M junior and a member of the U-M Coalition for Tuition Equality who protested during the 4 p.m. regents meeting. "They're often discouraged from coming to the University of Michigan."

Tuition equality would allow illegal immigrants who attended Michigan high schools to attend the college for in-state rates, which are $12,994 for underclassmen this year. Currently, illegal immigrants would pay $39,122, the out-of-state rate for underclassmen.


Michigan student Curdit Suri holds a sign as he address University of Michigan regents in support of tuition equality during a board of regents meeting at the Michigan Union on Thursday.

Melanie Maxwell I

The tuition difference, equality supporters say, puts U-M out of financial reach for most illegal immigrants that grew up in Michigan.

During the public comments session, Curdit Suri —red duct tape over his mouth— stood before regents while a recording of his message played. Suri talked about his grandfather, who attended the university decades ago.

"He is ashamed that the University of Michigan fails to lead on tuition equality, that the university deprives bright undocumented students the same transformative opportunity that has allowed him to attend here," Suri said in the recording.

Added Maria Cotera, a faculty member speaking on behalf of the Latino studies program at the school: "We are very surprised that the university is placing barriers to qualified resident students who have show great resilience and drive... and who, but for a lack of a social security number, would likely make important contributions to the betterment of the state."

U-M task force looking into tuition equality

This semester, a task force assembled by U-M Provost Philip Hanlon began meeting biweekly to establish recommendations for tuition equality at the school. The group will present a final report of recommendations to U-M President Mary Sue Coleman, although the group is lagging behind the end-of-the-semester deadline originally set by Hanlon.

"So far the working group hasn't come up with a anything and the administration has refused to make public comments on the issue," said D'Adamo, a U-M junior. "This [protest] is essentially to try to show the administrators and others that there are a lot of students on this campus that are for tuition equality."


Michigan students and members of the Coalition for Tuition Equality sit on the floor with red tape covering their mouths in protest during a board of regents meeting at the Michigan Union on Thursday.

Melanie Maxwell I

Hanlon said the university isn't offering any statements on tuition equality until the task force finishes its report.

"We want to hear what they have to say," Hanlon said in an interview.

Hanlon said the task force is composed of three students and three administrators, each group writing different sections of the report. The group recently visited two flagship universities in California that have tuition provisions for illegal immigrants.

"The group did take trips out to University of California at Los Angeles and Berkley... They talked to people out there about how they did things," Hanlon said. "I thought that was important because those are two institutions that are comparable in many ways, in quality and being public."

Hanlon expects the report to be completed in January, he said.

Other schools

Students in attendance criticized U-M for being slow to change its tuition practices. They cited other schools, nationally and locally, that have more immigrant-friendly policies.

"We all believe everyone deserves an equal opportunity," said junior Rachel Oakford, who attended the protest. Fellow attendee freshman Connie Gao called tuition equality "a human issue."

Tuition equality varies throughout the state, although multiple student bodies are rallying college administrators to establish an equality policy.

Eastern Michigan University's Board of Regents earlier this year determined that the school could not offer undocumented students in-state tuition rates because doing so, administrators found, could violate federal grant and funding requirements.

The school is, however, looking into establishing a scholarship fund that would offer illegal immigrants grants that would reduce their tuition to in-state levels.

Western Michigan University students who can prove in-state residency are awarded in-state tuition, regardless of their citizenship status.

Massachusetts also announced a plan in November to allow illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates at public colleges. A form of tuition equality was recently legalized by voters in Maryland. In that state, illegal immigrants can attend in-state colleges for free after proving they've attended state high schools and spent two years in a state community college.

One illegal immigrant spoke to regents during their public comments session. She said she grew up in Michigan and wanted to attend U-M as an undergraduate, but couldn't afford the out-of-state rate she would need to pay.

"I am here putting a face to this issue. I am only one of 29,000 undocumented students that are here in the state of Michigan and that are affected by this policy," said Xochitl Cossyleon. "Be on the right side of history and be the leaders and the best on this issue."

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Thu, Dec 20, 2012 : 2:13 p.m.

Illegal aliens should pay the "here illegally" price and be sent back to their own countries. They are law breakers thumbing their noses at our constitution and costing tax payers tons of money, and we're supposed to treat them like American citizens? NOT!

Jay Thomas

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 3:17 a.m.

Forget about how much they pay, folks. Why is an illegal alien getting into U of M in the first place? There are only a finite number of slots and they should be for Americans or foreigners legally here (some of which are being denied admission based upon these people getting in). When the University says that it wants to set up a fund to subsidize these illegal aliens... they are using OUR MONEY to do it! Who authorized them to do this? Where are the regents, the legislature and the Governor on this issue? The kids doing the protesting all went down the Marxist rabbit hole; the problem is SO DID THE UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATORS.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 6:22 p.m.

When did illegal stop meaning illegal? If you are illegal, you are an invader and not entitled to anything... except a ride back to where you come from. Get out. Will somebody get some courage and throw them out. Legal = Welcome Illegal= Criminal Invader...Get OUT!


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 5:44 p.m.

So, "John" residing in Indiana could drive to Michigan, live in his car in here for a month, call himself "Juan" and get instate tuition not available to a US citizen from Indiana. What hoops would he jump thru to prove himself to be illegal vs out of state? Or maybe he could claim to be illegal from Indiana. Bleeding hearts would create a higher "out of state illegal" tuition bracket, just for him, still cheaper than out of state US citizen would pay. Sadly, somebody is going to read this and think I am serious.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 5:16 p.m.

I guess the meaning of" illegal immigrants" does not mean anything to these protesters but to me a life long legal resident of Michigan it does! Pay up or ship out.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 4:37 p.m.

First, why are we not deporting the illegal immigrants? We're paying the illegal immigrants $5 an hour to do work instead of paying someone that's actually legal to work in US and everyone is wondering why no one can get a job these days. Second, why should they pay the same amount as the rest of us that attends u of m that are legal citizen? How fair is that to the rest of us?


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 4:19 p.m.

Let me get this straight. These students want the University to identify and then support illegal immigrants? Maybe we could provide online courses they could access from jail? Maybe our schools should be for legal residents and citizens?


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 3:23 p.m.

Another, are you kidding me agenda.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 3:15 p.m.

Perhaps these "protesters" should learn the meaning of the word illegal, and its ramifications.

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 3:01 p.m.

Can anyone explain how an illegal, who is in continuous violation of the law, can comply with the university honor code?

Ali Alexander

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 12:28 a.m.

Yes. Interesting point. You can be expelled for lying or plagiarism, but not if you break immigration laws.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:18 p.m.

These are illegals, and not undocumented. For the folks who wish to "take care" of these folks,please do, but not on our dime. Why is there a significant difference between EL Paso and Jurarez, or for that matter Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor. They are geographically co-located,eh!

Roy Munson

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:17 p.m.

These clowns are the leaders of tomorrow. What a scary thought.

Jon Wax

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 1:57 p.m.

sure, give em a free education: since they are here illegally, first they can learn about the incarceration system. then they can learn how the deportation system works, for free. then they can learn how the border patrol system works, again, for free. these kids are nuts. they come here from out of state and trash the town, then when it's trendy to be antiestablishment, they try to kick up dust about illegals getting free education when the reality is none of these students will be here long enough to kick in anything reasonable toward the costs of educating these illegals. u of m = a place where all the kids learn theory, but never learn the practical. Peace Wax


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 1:48 p.m.

HEY Ann Since most of these were brought here as kids by somebody else, can;t you call them undocumented? After all being here without papers is a simple misdemeanor, not bank robbery. This is Ann Arbor, not Arizona, fro heavens sake!

J Bartlebee

Sun, Dec 16, 2012 : 8:35 a.m.

Morris, if a foreigner is "undocumented", then they are an illegal alien.

Ali Alexander

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 12:26 a.m.

Morris, entering this country without inspection is a FEDERAL CRIME, punishable by several months in prison, a large fine, and deportation. If they entered with a non immigrant visa they overstayed, then they or their parents committed immigration fraud by lying about their intent. And of course, if mom and dad could should the job, assets, and family ties to get a non immigrant visa, then they could have afforded to get a STUDENT visa for their kid.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 3:24 p.m.

That is absolutely correct. This is Ann Arbor. Not Mexico CIty, not Shanghai, not Mumbai. Fewer citizens are willing to accomodate those kind of demographics here. The first offender crime is a misdemeanor so there is no jury trial thus allowing for an immediate exit. Why do you think Arizona is now taking action? And Georgia. And, well, stay tuned. This will become a fierce debate about who's economics are run by whom and the archaic alliances once supporting globalization will dissolve.

Kellie Woodhouse

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:03 p.m.

Illegal immigrant is standard practice per the journalist's guidebook, the AP stylebook.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 1:22 p.m.

Why aren't the parents and their children trying to get legalized to start with ?If the parents are illegal and it is known why isn't something being done about it? If they are taking a spot a legal resident wants and can't get they should be paying more.

Silly Sally

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:46 p.m.

What does paying taxes have to do with it. If I break into your home while you are eating dinner, can I pay you $3 and demand that I eat too? After all, I am now a taxpayer! Illegal aliens are breaking into our home of America

Tim Hornton

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:40 p.m.

Hey many of these student's are studying in the social sciences and liberal arts and will have $80,000 worth of student loan debt and job opportunities at Starbucks and K-Mart when they graduate. I suggest you people quit making fun of them and listen to the "great" wisdom their liberal arts professors put in their brains.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:33 p.m.

If these kids were so clever and concerned about their future then they should know that overpopulation is the core instigator of the biggest problems in their world today. Pollution, climate change, resource depletion, wage depression, road congestion, inflation, and the worst one - war. If that were not true then everyone in the US should be better off today thanks to unlimited growth - we are not. We have borrowed fake value from the future to grow real value today and now that bill is due. Now people are counting what value is left and see too many local competitors. The Department of Homeland Security estimates there are 11.5 million illegal immigrants in the United States. Others estimate more like 20 million Amnesty for millions has already been granted by Reagan and Clinton. If illegals stay they will reproduce millions more permanent "citizens". The growth in US population is not coming from its euro or african peoples. It comes from Asia, the MiddleEast, and South of the US border where most illegal immigrants come from. Why? Most illegal immigrants have left their impoverished country for a better opportunity in the US. Once in the US, however, most do not melt into the pot like legal immigrants who did build this country. Illegals tend to retain their customs from abroad including native language and family tradition including having more than two offspring per couple - overpopulation. Overpopulation is taking more than its fair share out of the world resource bowl simply by number, That overgrowth game is unsustainable and leads to global problems. Until is is learned and corrected impoverished countries will continue to grow and illegal immigrants will continue to try and secure a better life and education in the US. At everyone elses survival expense. Citizens here have become wise to that game and have had enough. So, goodbye illegal students.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:18 p.m.

All they have to do is call Obama. He will help them. Too bad Obama is not helping those suffering from the recent storm, Sandy as promised. Too bad Obama is not bringing the parties together to address our growing debt, as promised. But, Obama will help illegal immigrants.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:19 p.m.

Crigji - Detroit, Flint, and the rest - own it. How childish!


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 1:28 p.m.

Obama ... blah blah blah ... Kenya ... blah blah blah ... George Soros .... blah blah blah. November 6, 2012 ... own it.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:03 p.m.

The protestors might have boarded a bus and headed to DC to push for immigration reform. I'm all for the Dream Act, but am unclear why U-M should offer in-state tuition to undocumented students. It may not be their fault that their parents brought them here as babies or young children but I don't think that qualifies them for a favorable break on tuition. I know 2 families who have spent their entire lives in Michigan, whose children graduated from Huron and Pioneer, yet they are paying out-of-state tuition for those same kids because one parent works out of state. I call that unfair. In this economy, people have to do what they can to find work, yet they are being punished by U-M.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 1:26 p.m.

I agree with you kris. I think there is a big difference between the Dream Act issues and in-state tuition. Eventually, there will be meaningful immigration law reform, but I am not sure it will resolve the tuition issue. It might, however, clarify it. For now, I believe the UM rule should remain as is.

Silly Sally

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

Wow, if this same family's parents were divorced, and mommy and the kids lived in A2 and daddy lived out of state, would they would then pay in-state tuition? That is UM for you.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 11:53 a.m.

Apparently these kids don't realize how often the word "illegal" is used in this article...

dading dont delete me bro

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 11:36 a.m.

why don't these illegal students first work on being here legally? i applaud emu's regents determination.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

Just how do they "work on being here legally"? Do you think there is a test you take or a line you just stand in. I disagree with granting in-state tuition to illegal immigrants, but this idea that they are, somehow, jumping in line is a fantasy. There is no line. You either fall within the quotas or categories in the law or you don't come in.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 11:27 a.m.

It's really depressing how completely blind and stupid people are willing to be in the name of some shallow and poorly-thought-out ideal. On the scale of stupidity almost for stupidity's sake, this is right up there with wearing pants so low you have to walk weird just to keep the waistband from dropping below your knees. "...puts U-M out of financial reach for most illegal immigrants that grew up in Michigan." This should be COMPLETELY out of reach for ALL illegal immigrants, and not just because of price. They are here illegally. There was a big sob story in Arizona about how illegal immigrants had a hard time getting driver's licenses, complete with interviews with illegal immigrants complaining about the occasional difficulty or hurdle. It shouldn't be difficult; it should be IMPOSSIBLE.

Roy Munson

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:40 p.m.

Have you ever considered running for city council? That band of extremist fools could sure use some common sense thinking like this.

In doubt

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 11:34 a.m.

Your soooooooooooo right!


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 10:20 a.m.

I'm sorry, but what right does an illegal alien even have to attend a US university? Isn't the government supposedly punishing corporations and businesses for hiring illegal aliens? If that's the case, shouldn't universities also be fined or punished for allowing them to register for classes? It's not that I'm against international students and immigration in general, but the method of entry into the US is what matters. Now, obviously the "students" were minors when they entered the country, but there needs to be some plan by the government to either allow minors the ability to become legal residents or documented immigrants or to deport.

UM Student

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 7:53 a.m.

Curious if all these people commenting with so much hate and contempt for people who live here illegally really understand the process for obtaining citizenship or legal status?! There's this sentiment that people can just "get in line" towards getting their documents, but with the exception of DACA, there is no clear path. For young people who think of Michigan as their home but do not have the social security number necessary to get into Michigan, there is no other option but to become a "permanent undercaste" to quote Maria Cotera. Additionally, a lot of the bright young people who would be affected by tuition equality have parents who pay many taxes despite their undocumented status. Believe it or not, the students protesting are not ignorant. Their actions are well thoughtout. I hope others wake up to how anti-immigrant sentiment is fueled by an unhealthy dose of "us" vs. "them" which is shameful to see in a nation built by immigrants of all backgrounds.

J Bartlebee

Sun, Dec 16, 2012 : 8:29 a.m.

@UM Student, it's not anti-immigrant sentiment. It's anti-ILLEGAL immigrant sentiment. There's a big difference between the two.

Ali Alexander

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 12:21 a.m.

UM student, do YOU realize how many people there are overseas who are following the rules and waiting in long lines at our consulates to apply? The "anti-immigrant" sentiment is from people like YOU who think that illegal aliens shouldn't have to follow the laws of our country and should be rewarded for failing to do so. Those young people who "think of Michigan as their home" are NOT even legal residents of the US. If they want to be, they should take the paths open to them, such as returning to their home countries before age 18 1/2 and applying for a legal visa.

Stephen Landes

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 3:57 p.m.

For students still in the "progressive, left-wing, womb" of university life, anyone who just can't understand the wisdom and heart-felt pleas they make for a variety of causes is filled with hate.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:24 p.m.

I do happen to have first hand knowledge of the process as my brother in law is orginally from guatemala. Does it take time and effort? Yes, but it can be done. I think maybe you are the one that is misinformed. If you come here illegally, you first need to go back to your country of orgin and apply for citizenship. It is really that simple. If it is truly your intention to stay here for the rest of your life, then this is what you need to do. No one is trying to stop immigration, it just needs to be done legally.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

UM Student. Where do you get the hate and contempt? I read the same comments, and I didn't see anything hateful, just folks who would like to see our laws enforced, and would like to see immigrants follow lawful procedure if they want to stay. Regarding the immigration process, if you don't like it, then work to change it. That's a protest that would show some intelligence. Simply advocating ignoring the law degrades our society and shows a woeful lack of understanding.

Silly Sally

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:40 p.m.

There is the option of the entire family going home. What does paying taxes have to do with it. If I break into your home while you are eating dinner, can I pay you $3 and demand that I eat too? After all, I am now a taxpayer! Illegal aliens are breaking into our home of America


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 7:30 a.m.

Come to the country LEGALLY and PAY TAXES, then we can talk about it.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 1:17 p.m.

Thank you Silly Sally for stating in the open the real issue here. It is not about taxes, it is about who has been allowed to come here. Maybe you are referring to the existing categories: family members of citizens/residents, quotas based on nationality, professionals who are hired instead of Americans and brought in to lower wage rates, or the relatively few who gain access from a lottery. Somehow, I think it is more likely you are referring to other qualifications such as race, nationality and religion. Given your chosen name, I doubt you are Native American. Given that, just who decided that your ancestors were the right kind of people to come here?

Silly Sally

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:37 p.m.

It is not just about paying taxes. It is about who we, as Americans have allowed to come here. Would you actually sell our birthright as Americans just for a few tax dollars?


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 4:48 a.m.

This is real simple- if you want to take advantage of what this country has to offer, including in state tutition rates, follow the process to become legal as so many others have. I should not have to supplement your education with my tax dollars when you don't contribute and most likely won't when you are done either. You cannot have it both ways. This is from someone who will be paying my U of M student loans off probably into retirement.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 4:14 a.m.

NOT to be rude but if you don't like it. Go home, your real home.

An Arborigine

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 4 a.m.

Illegal immigrants shouldn't even be allowed to enroll. Hello?!

Ryan Martin

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 4:04 p.m.

It's not illegal to attend a university that isn't in your country of citizenship. The fact that they're living in the country illegally is a totally different issue. If INS hasn't deported them, make them apply for a student visa, then let them attend, at international student rates.

Silly Sally

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:35 p.m.

Enroll them, then arrest them on their first day of class and turn them over to ICE! That is what most other nations would do.

In doubt

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 4:16 a.m.

Yours is the BEST post of all of these!


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 3:32 a.m.

There are more students, Michigan residents who would like to attend Michigan, than admitted. There are students in other states who would like to attend Michigan, but can't afford to pay the out of state tuition rates. There are students who are married to house officers (resident physicians) who have been denied in state tuition rates. Whether or not you support in-state tuition for undocumented Michigan residents, there are other Michigan residents that are denied in state tuition or admission.

Ali Alexander

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 12:18 a.m.

If Michigan's like other universities, such as the University of Maryland, it places heavy weight in its admissions policies for factors which FAVOR illegal aliens, factors such as speaking English as a second language, ethnicity/race, and income. My brother is a Michigan resident, but his son lived in Texas with his mother. My nephew wouldn't be able to get in-state tuition in Michigan based on his dad's residency. And when I returned to Michigan, I had to wait a year before I could get in-state rates, even though I'm a U-M alum, graduated from a Michigan high school and lived only in Michigan until I was almost 30.

Daniel Piedra

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 3:28 a.m.

The post important thing is that, after their protest, these kids will feel good about themselves. After all, it's gloomy this time of the year.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 3:06 a.m.

Well, they got the tape part right. I do not understand how this article can be published without any information on how many students we are talking about here. Lots or just a few? Maybe I missed it. I figure I didn't because I read the article and scanned it twice. Also, it says, "Currently, illegal immigrants would pay $39,122, the out-of-state rate for underclassmen. " "Would pay", not does pay. Does "would" mean we do not know if there even are any? Are these children protesting here for "just in case it happens" or so that the red carpet can be thrown out for potential illegal immigrant students who might want to apply so Michigan can get some? How does UM know whether or not an applicant with a Michigan high school transcript is an illegal immigrant child? I am surprised they would ask that or that an applicant would check the "yes" box. Do illegal immigrant parents always tell their kids they are illegal too? I would think they would keep that skeleton in the closet. If you can give illegal immigrant students instate tuition rates it would be discriminatory to not extend the same to illegal resident students, students who did not attend a Michigan high school but moved in with Uncle Bob and Aunt Harriet who live in Blissfield, Mi, down by the border. A Michigan resident, but an illegal resident in terms of tuition qualification for in state tuition. If illegal immigrants get in state, these kids should too. For the sake of equality. What the heck, lets just drop residency rules altogether and charge all students the out of state tuition rates. That would grant total equality to all students, then these kids can yank off the tape to reveal their huge smiles for a job well done.

Silly Sally

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:33 p.m.

Oh, no! UM wants the foreign (oops International, gottta be PC) tuition money. No, it craves it as if it were a heroin addict.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:58 a.m.

If an illegal immigrant gets in-state tuition then why shouldn't LEGAL residents, who happen to live in another state, not get the same tuition? While I appreciate that these children have grown up in Michigan, and while I am not apposed for a "path to citizenship", they still are not citizens. It's pretty simple, illegal immigrants should have to pay whatever international students pay. If the University wants to charge international students in-state tuition then so be it.

Jay Thomas

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 2:59 a.m.

Many left wing Americans are perfectly fine with people here illegally getting subsidized (or even free) higher education while Americans from the the other 49 states pay a full load.:P

Silly Sally

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:30 p.m.

Why not admit them and then on their first day, arrest them?


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:57 a.m.

"They're often discouraged from coming to the University of Michigan." Discouraged from coming to U of M.....or ENCOURAGED to get legal so they CAN go to U of M at a discount.....


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:36 a.m.

This group obviously needs a Social Director to arrange a Flash Mob via Twitter.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:21 p.m.

Maybe they can contact the recently departed media director for help.

Stephen Landes

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:25 a.m.

No one has a right to come into the United States. We have a process for admitting foreign born people into the country and for them to gain citizenship. I know the politically correct term these days is undocumented, but these people are illegal aliens. A citizen without a birth certificate in hand can be called "undocumented", so the term means nothing. It is unfortunate that the parents of these illegal aliens came here illegally, stayed here, illegally, and now want their children brought here illegally to be treated as if they are legal residents or even citizens. They are not. The University of Michigan needs to respect the law and teach respect for the law to these students. The U does not need to abet a felony by admitting or hiring illegal aliens.

Stephen Landes

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 3:50 p.m.

Silly Sally -- not so silly; good point. What I was attempting to convey is that anyone without a "document" is undocumented at least for that moment, like driving without your license in your possession. The politically correct term gets thrown around when there is a perfectly sound term in use: illegal alien.

Silly Sally

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:29 p.m.

Well written except for "...A citizen without a birth certificate in hand can be called "undocumented", so the term means nothing..." If they were born abroad and were not naturalized, then they are not a citizen, but a foreign national. Since they were not admitted with a visa, they are living here illegally and are illegal aliens, not citizens. Perhaps the word you should have used was resident.

Ricardo Queso

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:11 a.m.

Oh they can stay, just pay full freight like any other foreign student. Sad thing is, they are taking the spots that LEGAL applicants could fill. plenty of Cali JC's that would take 'em.

John D'Adamo

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:08 a.m.

What is being fought for here is fairness and equality. It is not right that hardworking students who have fought, lived, bled, laughed, cried, and worked their hardest in Michigan have to face these insurmountable barriers to attending U of M. An educated populace is one thing what will help make our country competitive in the long term, and forcing undocumented students to jump through these hurdles is absurd. These students did nothing wrong and yet they must pay a tuition that, for most undocumented students, is impossible to pay. That is why students and faculty from all ethnicities, backgrounds, and creeds joined together in protest today. That is why we are here.

J Bartlebee

Sun, Dec 16, 2012 : 8:23 a.m.

undocumented students = illegal aliens

Ali Alexander

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 12:12 a.m.

John, I've taught overseas in the Middle East. My students, if they want to come here, have to jump through immigration hoops and pay high immigration and foreign student fees. Why should THEY have to do that, while illegal aliens get not only "free" k-12 educations, but in-state tuition? These illegal aliens are able to return to their home countries before age 18 1/2 and apply for a student visa without facing a bar to re-entry. Why should breaking our law give them an advantage over legal foreign students? And if these "students" were all that concerned about fairness, then they'd be asking for ONE tuition rate for everyone, rather than trying to get in on the preferred in-state rate.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 9:18 a.m.

here is an idea John, you and or family can pay for them.......

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 3:53 a.m.

Instead of jumping through hoops they should just jump back over the border.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 3:51 a.m.

Spare me. It's a slap in the face to those who went through the correct process to be here.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:57 a.m.

"These students did nothing wrong " THAT must be where the "illegal" part of "illegal alien" comes from. I always wondered that.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:01 a.m.

The lack of understanding the law will never cease to amaze me. How about self identification on the application for that you are an illegal immigrant, and then the data is turned over to immigration officials?

martini man

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 1:48 a.m.

While I totally disagree with these left wing zealots ..I do like the idea of the tape ...maybe it will help keep their pathetic mouths from spewing all that "progressive" drivel.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 1:42 a.m.

How about legal immigrant student?

Liberty Soule

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 1:34 a.m.

Steven Murphy better yet, why don't we just let everyone into the UofM for free. What I think they missing is that the reason they were admitted in the first place is because they had to pay more. If we let them pay a third of what they're supposed to, then who is picking up the tab. All this will do is drive up the in-state rate if everyone is entitled to it.

Steven Murphy

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:44 a.m.

It's an unpleasant thing to make mention of, but is one to overlook Manifest Destiny ... and insist that zero compromise can be reached in any of this? Where is King Solomon when you need him?


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 1:24 a.m.

Undocumented means illegal for all of the PC types. What part of that is so hard to understand? Try going to any other foreign country as an illegal alien and see what happens. Just goes to show you that just because you have the GPA to get into college doesn't translate to real life and paying taxes..............


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 4:55 a.m.

Do the people who use the term "Undocumented" even pay attention to the National deficit? ..Or do they just assume the tax-paying US Citizens have money falling out their buttts? Cuz at the end of the argument, WHOEVER gets the Tuition assistance from the state, its in truth from the State TAXPAYERS.. Im all for giving handouts to the needy,..but not at the cost of Me and My family going hungry.. Ill give when I can spare, when I cant, I'm SORRY, but I can't.. Detroit went bankrupt, dont think it can't happen. We have to cut back on 'Save-the-world' costs for now and save AMERICA first,..if we fall, then no one will be there to help out others later on.. It's stupid to give and give til youre drained dry and have no more to give, not even to take care of your OWN first,..cuz it's Your own, who will be the Future generation of 'givers', unless their parents generation bled their futures dry..

Steven Murphy

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 1:19 a.m.

Why not compromise and have them pay a tuition fee that falls between that of which (legal) Michigan residents pay and that which out-of-state students pay? That way everybody will be thrilled!


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:54 a.m.

Many of the Leaders and Best are International Students. They pay a defined rate of tuition based on an established policy. Nuf said.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 11:10 a.m.

He didn't say that.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 5:40 a.m.

So you're OK with every existing law and policy in Michigan right now?


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:50 a.m.

shouldn't these "students" be in class?


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 9:03 p.m.

I'll have you know that I'm pictured in the above photo, indeed a "student" here at Michigan, enrolled in the Honors Program, with a 4.0 cumulative GPA that is not suffering due to my standing up for what I believe in. And a quick glance at the Michigan Academic Calendar would have afforded you the information that there was, in fact, no class held on Thursday.

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:45 a.m.

How childish. Make your point like an adult. Make your point, sit in your chair like a grownup, and save the clownish tape for Halloween. Maybe taxpayers shouldn't be asked to fund the educations of those who aren't here legally. I don't think it's fair that people should benefit from cutting in line when immigrating to the US. We were built on immigration, but there's a process.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 5:05 a.m.

"How childish. Make your point like an adult. Make your point, sit in your chair like a grownup, and save the clownish tape for Halloween." The Same could be said for the nurses who went to lansing this week!


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:44 a.m.

Actions have consequences. Sadly these days deportation doesn't seem to be one of them. When you flagrantly thumb your nose at our nation's sovereignty, then we will do the same to you. Only in this country you aren't locked up in a prison for doing so. Lucky for you all you get is a denial of discount tuition.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 4:48 a.m.

Lol, no kidding.. I looked, and didn't see ONE single 'ICE' agent in the video..

Michigan Man

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:42 a.m.

Sure glad these clowns are not my two sons who both graduated from a different Big Ten University, scored good paying jobs immediately after graduation and are gunning to break into the 1% crowd. My condolences to the parents of these juveniles - thought they would receive a more practical education at the U of M - but apparently not.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 4:46 a.m.

@ Snapshot,..Why would he apologize for his sons' obviously being highly intelligent? I'd be proud too.. Only a Liberal would feel like they needed to apologize to Illegal Immigrants for their U.S.Citizen Children graduating from a Great University.. Illegal Immigrants make it much harder on people like my dad, a Legal Mexican Immigrant, who did graduate Highschool, served 4 years in the U.S.Military, then worked and paid taxes til Cancer took his life in 2009. But because He's Mestizo, people automatically thought he was an Illegal if they didnt know him, Cops included, stopping him for no reason all the time.. LEGAL mexican immigrants suffer most, from the Illegal Immigrant problem.. My mother, another immigrant, but from Germany, obviously didn't suffer like my dad, so it isn't just because all immigrants suffer, US Citizens only have a problem with Illegals because they cant put INTO the same system they want to take away from.. Do it the right way, dont break the law, then no one except the few bigots will stand against You.. @Tim HOrton, You sir are an idiot.. If I were to insult you, using the same amount of brainpower your comment took, I'd be saying nothing more than "Shut up you fartknocker".. @Maya,..Yeah Smart thinking, going to a school where the Curriculum is easier to attain a high GPA from.. Although I wouldn't boast unless it was a 4.0 GPA from one of the top ten, or even top 20 universities, or MIT, where the curriculum is much tougher, and the graduates are sought out by the Nation's top companies..


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 8:58 p.m.

I'm pictured in the above photo, a student here at Michigan, enrolled in the Honors Program, and my cumulative GPA is only a 4.0... maybe my awful performance is due to the fact that I stand up for what I believe in -- thanks for your insight, Michigan Man!


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:27 p.m.

It seems Michigan grads have a thin skin, whenever someone critises their scchool. Get a life. There are quite a percentage of Mich. grads who do not get a good job after graduating from Michigan, and there are many grads from other schools who make substantially more than a lot of Michigan grads.

Tim Hornton

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

You're sons working as assistant shift supervisor's at Starbucks making $28,000 a year does qualify them to be in the 1%. Maybe if they went to UM instead of "a different Big Ten University" they would be making over $30,000 by now.

Evan Smith

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 7:37 a.m.

First, the tuition equality folks are an extreme minority. Don't make rash assumptions of the entire university based on less than a quarter of a percent of the student body. Second, what in the world prompts you to call them Juveniles? Since when has nonviolent protest been illegal?


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 5:38 a.m.

So you're bragging about your good fortune or apoligizing for it? I don't see the relevence of this comment Michigan Man.