SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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EXCLUSIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES OF CERTAIN OFFICIALS FROM THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT INVOLVED IN THE PERSECUTION OF RELIGIOUS BELIEVERS; AND ISSUE OF ELIGIBILITY FOR STUDENT VISAS
THURSDAY, JULY 24, 1997,
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Immigration
Committee on the Judiciary,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:45 a.m., in room 2226, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Lamar S. Smith (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Representatives Lamar S. Smith, Elton Gallegly, Sonny Bono, Bill Jenkins, Edward A. Pease, Christopher B. Cannon, Ed Bryant, Melvin L. Watt, and Zoe Lofgren.
Staff present: Cordia Strom, chief counsel; Edward Grant, counsel; George Fishman, counsel; Jim Wilon, counsel; Judy Knott, staff assistant; and Martina Hone, minority counsel.
OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN SMITH
Mr. SMITH. The Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims will come to order.
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I would like to ask the indulgence of our colleagues and our guests and those who are present. We are going to take our business a little bit out of order since we have, and I note the presence of, a working majority here, which means four Members. So we are going to mark up Mr. Gallegly's bill, and then go back to the hearing on the three other bills.
[The bills follows:]
INSERT OFFSET RING FOLIOS 1 TO 15 HERE
[Whereupon, at 9:46 a.m., the subcommittee proceeded to other business.]
Mr. SMITH. We will now return to the hearing and that will focus on three legislative proposals. Two bills, H.R. 1543 by Mr. Dellums and H.R. 2172 by Mr. Frank concern the issue of eligibility for student visas. The other bill, H.R. 967 by Mr. Gilman, concerns exclusions from the United States of certain officials from the Chinese Government involved in the persecution of religious believers.
Under section 214 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended by section 625 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, aliens are ineligible to receive non-immigrant student visas, called ''F visas,'' to attend publicly funded elementary schools, secondary schools or adult education courses. An exception for secondary schools provides that an F visa can be issued for a publicly funded secondary school if, first, the alien reimburses the school for the full unsubsidized per capita cost of the alien's education, and second, the alien does not remain enrolled in the school while on an F visa for more than 12 months.
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This exception was intended to allow for student exchange programs which do not qualify for cultural exchange visas under the J visa program. Section 625 of the 1996 act was intended to curb a pattern of abuse in which F visas were issued to students ostensibly to study in the United States at private institutions, and thus not at taxpayer expense, but these students then terminated their studies at private institutions and often enrolled in public schools. As part of this pattern, parents overseas would send their children unaccompanied to the United States for extended stays in order to gain the benefit of education in U.S. schools, thus, leading these children to be called ''parachute children.'' Section 625 was intended to end this practice, which resulted in State and local taxpayers subsidizing the education of children whose parents were not only not American citizens or legal residents, but also contributed nothing to the cost of their education.
The legislation under consideration at this hearing would liberalize these requirements. The legislation proposed by Mr. Dellums, H.R. 1543, would apply the exception that now exists for secondary schools to adult education programs. The legislation proposed by Mr. Frank, H.R. 2172, is broader. It would allow aliens to receive F visas to attend both elementary and secondary schools with no time limits or reimbursement requirements, but under the condition that the public schools ''may not use any Federal funds to pay any costs associated with such enrollment.'' Under H.R. 2172, students holding F visas could attend public schools for an indefinite period of time as long as their enrollment did not involve the expenditure of Federal funds.
The other legislation we will hear about this morning, H.R. 967, intends to deny the benefits of U.S. funding for immigration privileges to officials of the Chinese Government. Targeted officials are those who through their positions and official religious organizations approved by the Chinese government have engaged in the suppression of religious belief or practices that takes place outside the auspices of these official organizations. The bill will prohibit the use of Federal funds to provide for the participation of certain Chinese officials and international conferences, programs, and activities and would further provide that no visa could be issued to such officials and that no such officials could be admitted to the United States.
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The effect of this legislation would be to require State Department consular officers to refrain from issuing visas to the designated classes of officials and to require the Immigration and Naturalization Service to refuse admission to the United States to such officials.
Given the significance of Mr. Gilman's legislation to the Department of State, both as a matter of foreign policy and as a matter of operations in U.S. consulates, I am disappointed that the department declined to send a witness to testify at this hearing. In fact, we had originally planned to consider this legislation at a hearing in June, but we postponed doing so specifically at the request of the State Department. The failure to provide a witness unfortunately signals a lack of interest in the legislation at issue.
In addition, neither the State Department nor the INS has provided the written statements on Mr. Gilman's legislation that we were promised many days ago. The failure to provide these statements makes it impossible for us to include the administration's views as part of our hearing record. I trust this does not set a precedent and that we can look forward to better cooperation from the department and from the administration in the future.
The gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Watt, is recognized.
Mr. WATT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Again, I will be brief. It has been my long time position with the chairman of our committee that the bulk of the committee's activities should be in the context of hearings about real live bills that have been proposed by our colleagues rather than issues about which there is no pending legislation. Just a lot of public discontent. If nobody in the body is willing to offer a bill about it, what good are we doing having a bunch of hearings that stir up controversy? But that is another issue that we continue to debate.
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So anyway, I am happy to be here in the context of some specific legislation. Whether I support the legislation or not really is irrelevant. The purpose is to get a better understanding of the legislation, to hear the arguments on all sides of it so that if the committee decides to mark it up, we have the kind of context and information about the legislation that we need to make good public policy judgments about it. So I am delighted that we are here having this hearing.
I understand that Mr. Dellums is in the National Security Conference Committee and may have some trouble getting here. We are trying to work with his schedule. I hope we can accommodate him if he is able to tear away from that important conference committee. I understand Mr. Frank is having some trouble getting here also. So we still may have some problems hearing from the specific sponsors of those two pieces of legislation, but I hope we can work in a cooperative spirit to hear all of the Members when and if they are able to get here and present their testimony.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Watt. The gentleman from California, Mr. Gallegly, is recognized for an opening statement.
Mr. GALLEGLY. No.
Mr. SMITH. The gentleman from Indiana, Mr. Pease, is recognized for an opening statement. The gentleman from Tennessee, Mr. Bryant, is recognized for an opening statement.
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC If not, we will proceed. We will welcome our first panel, which now consists of our colleague Mr. Gilman of New York. Ben, please come forward. As Mr. Watt mentioned, two other members are not able to be here right now. We do hope to be able to accommodate them if and when they arrive.
Mr. Gilman, if you will proceed, we look forward to your testimony.
STATEMENT OF THE HON. BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Mr. GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank you and members of our committee and Ranking Minority Member Mr. Watt for holding this important hearing today to consider H.R. 967, legislation to prohibit visas for Chinese officials who repress religion in China and occupy Tibet and for other purposes. Forgive me for trying to be brief. I am scheduled to conduct a hearing, full committee hearing, at 10:00.
On March 6, several of my colleagues, including Chairman Hyde of the Judiciary Committee, joined me in introducing H.R. 967. We now have 35 cosponsors. It is part of Republican policy batch of bills that were reported out with regard to China. Mr. Chairman, there are hundreds of Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists and Moslems who have been sentenced to long term prison sentences for practicing their religious beliefs in China and in Tibet. Regrettably, this situation is not getting better. It is getting worse.
How does Beijing repress religious practitioners? Well, the communist government sentences a 76-year old Protestant leader to 17 years in prison for distributing bibles. It sentences a 65-year old evangelical elder to an 11 year prison term for belonging to an evangelical group outside the government sanctioned religious organizations. A 60-year old Roman Catholic priest was sentenced to 2 years of re-education through labor for unknown charges. He previously had spent 13 years in prison because of his refusal to renounce ties with the Vatican. A 6-year-old Panchen Lama and his family have been detained for over a year and a half. Their whereabouts is still unknown. Scores of Tibetan Buddhists who refuse to participate in the communist Chinese sham enthronement of Beijing's Panchen Lama have been sent to prison, and one of their spiritual teachers committed suicide rather than take part in the Chinese charade.
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There are hundreds of other such cases. I urge my colleagues to look at the document in the folders from Freedom House that lists the details of these brave people's ordeals and imprisonment. I would request the chairman to have a report made part of the hearing record.
Mr. Chairman, mind you, these people are not spending time in prison wasting their lives away for calling for political pluralism or for democracy. They are being severely punished for following their religious beliefs. H.R. 967 would ensure that individuals responsible for the implementation and the formulation of this repressive policy not be allowed into our Nation and that the State Department and our USIA and the US Agency for International Development not provide any funding for these individuals for travel expenses, for participation in conferences, for exchange programs and other activities. The Chinese government's repression of religion is something that our Nation must respond against strongly. While it might be good news that China has somewhat embraced free market reforms, our nation also stands for many other important principles that we should be standing strong on, democracy, the rule of law, human and religious rights. I look forward to favorable consideration by my colleagues.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Gilman follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF HON. BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Mr. Gilman: I want to thank the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, my good friend from Texas, Lamar Smith and the ranking Minority Member, the gentleman from North Carolina, Melvin Watt for holding this important hearing today on HR 967, legislation to prohibit visas for Chinese officials who repress religion in China and occupied Tibet, and for other purposes.
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On March 6, several of my colleagues including Chairman Hyde joined me in introducing HR 967. There are now 35 cosponsors.
Mr. Chairman, there are hundreds of Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists and Moslems who have been sentenced to long prison terms for practicing their religious faith in China and Tibet. Unfortunately, the situation is getting worse.
How does Beijing repress religious practitioners? The communist government sentences a 76-year-old Protestant leader to 15 years in prison for distributing bibles. It sentences a 65-year-old evangelical elder to an eleven-year prison term for belonging to an evangelical group outside the government-sanctioned religious organizations. A 60-year-old Roman Catholic priest was sentenced to two years of ''reeducation through labor'' for unknown charges. He had previously spent 13 years in prison because of his refusal to renounce ties with the Vatican. The 6-year-old Panchen Lama and his family have been detained since for a year and a half and their whereabouts are unknown. Scores of Tibetan Buddhists who refused to participate in the communist Chinese sham enthronement of Beijing's ''Panchen Lama'' have been sent to prison and one of their spiritual teachers committed suicide rather than take part in the Chinese charade.
There are hundreds of other such cases and I urge my colleagues to look at the document in their folders from Freedom House that lists the details of these brave people's ordeals and imprisonment.
Mind you these people are not spending time in prison and wasting their lives away for calling for political pluralism or democracy. They are being severely punished for following their religious beliefs.
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HR 967 would ensure that individuals responsible for the implementation and the formulation of this repressive policy not be allowed into the United States and that the State Department, the United States Information Agency and the United States Agency for International Development not provide funding for these individuals for travel expenses, the participation in conferences, exchange programs, and other activities.
The Chinese government's repression of religion is something that our Nation must respond strongly against. While it might be good news that China has somewhat embraced free market reforms, our also Nation stands for many other important things . . . democracy, the rule of law and human and religious rights.
I look forward to hearing from my colleagues,
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Gilman, thank you. Without objection, that full report you mentioned will be made a part of the record.
Mr. GILMAN. Thank you.
Mr. SMITH. I just have a couple of questions and then I'm afraid I am going to need to leave to very briefly go next door to a markup and vote. Then I will return.
My first question is why did you feel that there was a need for legislation that was so country-specific, in this case directed toward China?
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Mr. GILMAN. Because China is one of the leading nations that's been repressing religion. We feel it's extremely important with that large a population and that large a government, one of the leading governments in the world in size and scope, that we pay special attention to what they are doing.
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Gilman, one other question. That is, is there any danger in your mind that the legislation if it were implemented as you have written it, would deny benefits to any legitimate religious leaders, any bishops, any priests, any ministers or others?
Mr. GILMAN. Religious leaders.
Mr. SMITH. Right.
Mr. GILMAN. No, I don't think so. I think what we are seeking to do is to make certain that those who are oppressing religion be denied, and not those who are favoring religious organizations.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Gilman. I don't have any other questions. I appreciate the legislation you have introduced and appreciate your patience. As you know, we had intended to get to it last month. I am glad we were able to get to it today.
Mr. GILMAN. We appreciate your taking it up at this time.
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. The gentleman, Mr. Watt is recognized, after which we will go to Mr. Gallegly and Mr. Pease.
Mr. WATT. It looks like Mr. Gilman has a serious time problem, so I think I will just defer my questions and talk with him individually about some of the issues when we get closer to the markup.
Mr. GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Watt.
Mr. WATT. That way, he can go and chair his committee.
Mr. GILMAN. Thank you. If there are no further questions, forgive me for going onto our committee hearing. Thank you.
Mr. GALLEGLY. Mr. Frank.
STATEMENT OF THE HON. BARNEY FRANK, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS
Mr. FRANK. Thank you, Mr. Gallegly. I'm sorry I was late.
Last year, we did something that I don't remember hearing discussion about and it didn't seem to me it was intentional. We have made it illegal for a local school system to decide it wants to take in students with F1 visas unless that school system charges that student tuition.
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What my bill does, it is the most perfect local option bill that you could have. It simply allows the local school department to admit these students, giving the local school department the option as to whether or not to charge tuition and specifically says that they will not be eligible for Federal reimbursement. That is, what I am trying to do here is to say if the local schools want to educate these children, and the local school authorities decide to use local money to educate them, they should not be forced to charge tuition.
Now I have got several situations here. One, and one of the people who will be testifying later is an elected member of the school committee of the city of Newton, the second largest community that I represent wholly. They have had, as I understand it, exchange programs with students from other countries. Under this bill, they have to charge the students who come from other countries to their schools tuition, even though we are sending children to the other schools in exchange. In the cities of Fall River and New Bedford, where there is a strong Portuguese population, you have a lot of people who have family in Portugal. I have talked about this before, before this subcommittee particularly in the islands, the Azores. You have people, young people who are not here as permanent residents, who find themselves here temporarily. We are not talking large numbers. We are not talking about hundreds, even dozens I believe, and we have had cases where both in Fall River and New Bedford, children were living with relatives, sometimes family circumstances require or make it best for a child to live with a relative. All we want is the right for the local schools to be able to pay if they want to pay.
Now I am told by my counsel for the Judiciary Committee that FAIR, the organization opposes the bill on cost grounds. I want to be very clear. We are talking about local option. I don't understand why the Congress of the United States should tell the city of Newton, the city of Fall River or New Bedford, the town of Brookline, that the local citizens can't decide through their democratic elected procedures that they will take some students without charging tuition.
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By the way, in the case of two, three, or four students, there probably is virtually no incremental cost of any magnitude. You don't build a new school building. You don't hire a new teacher. You don't heat the buildings any more. You don't buy new textbooks. We are talking about a cost which is in fact at low levels of students negligible, if there's any at all. But under the formula, they have to charge these people thousands of dollars. In effect, we mandate that if a school wants to do this, it has to make a profit off these people in some circumstances.
Probably there was a suggestion that the prohibition on Federal funding applies only to some people and not all. In fact, that is the kind of objection that people who are against the bill and a little embarrassed about explaining that they are against it come up with. I don't think it's true in terms of legislative. If it is, we'll fix it. The intent here is to make it clear that no Federal funds go. If we need a little fix to make it clear that there's no loop hole, we can do it.
So then the question is, have we reached a point in this country where if locally elected officials decide it would be true for their kids to have an exchange program, that we're going to make it very difficult because they are going to have to pay, charge the kids who are coming here tuition, or if the people in Fall River, New Bedford or cities all across the country decide that there is a young person in certain circumstances who is a foreign national, but she is living with cousins, aunts, uncles for the year for a variety of reasons, and they want to enroll her in school and it's not going to add any measurable cost, we are going to require them to charge her thousands of dollars. The local citizens can't get together and do this? Why would the Federal Government want to interpose that objection?
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We are talking here about nobody illegal. We are talking about people who are here in a legal status, but are not residents that would otherwise be eligible. I guess I should say of FAIR's opposition, I am neither surprised nor disappointed by it. I am confirmed in it in my sense that there's an anger there that I do not understand. We are talking about letting local communities make this kind of decision. I am prepared obviously to have the committee rewrite this to make it 100 percent guaranteed that no Federal funds get used. I would hope that in the spirit of local option that we would let local communities exercise this choice.
Mr. GALLEGLY. Thank you very much, Mr. Frank.
Mr. WATT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just want to welcome my colleague, Mr. Frank here. Like Mr. Gilman, I am sure Mr. Frank has a very busy schedule. We'll have an opportunity to talk with him about any concerns or comments about the bill directly. It sounds like a persuasive case that he has made and very similar to what I think Mr. Dellums is trying to do with adult education programs also, which is why it was logical for both of these things to be heard before our subcommittee at the same time.
So I'll defer in the interest of time and yield back.
Mr. GALLEGLY. Does any Member on this side have any questions for Mr. Frank? Mr. Bono.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BONO. I just want to say we can talk to him, Barney, about this later. But I always appreciate the way Barney looks at situations and the effort he puts into them, and how he tries to broaden the scope on issues. It's a nice thing to be around him. I just want to say thank you.
Mr. FRANK. I appreciate it.
Mr. GALLEGLY. Mr. Pease.
Mr. PEASE. No, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. GALLEGLY. Mr. Jenkins.
Mr. JENKINS. No, sir.
Mr. GALLEGLY. Thank you very much for your testimony.
Mr. FRANK. Can I just enter into the record letters from the school committee of the city of Newton, the chairperson, from the director of bilingual education at the city of New Bedford, the superintendent of schools of the town of Brookline? I have a letter on the way from the superintendent of schools of the city of Fall River, who was actually one of the first who asked me to do this. So I'll leave you copies of this.
Mr. GALLEGLY. Without objection.
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Hon. LEMAR SMITH,
|Congress of the United States,|
|House of Representatives,|
|Washington, DC., July 30, 1997.|
DEAR CONGRESSMAN SMITH: Thank you for holding a hearing on and permitting me to testify in favor of legislation I have introduced to permit local school districts the option of permitting F1 students into their schools, at those districts' own expense. I continue to appreciate your attention to this important aspect of our immigration law.
Attached please find the statement I mentioned during my testimony would be forthcoming: a letter from the Superintendent of Schools in Fall River, Massachusetts, in support of H.R. 2172. I would appreciate your inclusion of this letter into the record of the hearing.
Thank you again for your consideration of and attention to this issue.
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Congressman BARNEY FRANK,
|Fall River Public Schools,|
|Office of the Superintendent,|
|Fall River, MA., July 28, 1997.|
DEAR CONGRESSMAN FRANK: I am writing this letter to endorse HR 2172 which is a bill intended to allow school systems the local option as to whether or not to charge immigrants on student visa's tuition while attending public schools during their short visits to America.
As you know Congress passed a law last year mandating that these students pay tuition equal to the local per student cost which in most cases would exceed $5,000 per year. This Law has had a negative impact on several students attending as well as, other students that were planning on attending school in the Fall River Public Schools.
The Fall River Public School Committee has unanimously gone on record opposing this Bill. I am therefore, writing on their behalf as well as, at my own initiative to request that Congress pass an Amendment, which is currently HR 2172 allowing local option. We have not seen an increase in the cost of education as a result of these student visa's and we would therefore, like to see the Law reverted back to its original form.
Please feel free to contact me if you need additional support or information regarding the Fall River Public Schools' feeling about HR 2172.
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Thank you for reading this lengthy letter and more importantly supporting our request.
|James M. Gibney,|
|Superintendent of Schools.|
Hon. BARNEY FRANK,
|The Newton School Committee,|
|Newtonville, MA., July 22, 1997.|
DEAR CONGRESSMAN FRANK: This letter will confirm that the Newton School Committee is very much in favor of Bill HR 2172 that you have filed to mitigate the harshness of the new law on student visas.
Your bill would permit the School Committee to make the decision as to whether or not to charge tuition for F1 students. This would allow us to invite students from other countries who cannot afford tuition, but whose presence would be beneficial to our students. Your bill would continue to allow our school system to charge tuition in many appropriate cases.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Thank you for your efforts in this matter. We greatly appreciate your support.
|Anne Larner, Chairperson,|
|Newton School Committee.|
Mr. GALLEGLY. Thank you very much.
Our next panel is Ms. Jacquelyn Bednarz, Special Assistant to the Associate Commissioner for Examinations of the INS.
STATEMENT OF JACQUELYN A. BEDNARZ, SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER FOR EXAMINATIONS, U.S. IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE
Ms. BEDNARZ. Good morning, members of the Subcommittee. On behalf of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, I am pleased to offer our views on both H.R. 1543 by Mr. Dellums and H.R. 2172 by Mr. Frank. Both of these bills would amend section 214(l) of the Immigration and Nationality Act by allowing certain exceptions to the recently enacted restrictions on which foreign students could attend public schools in the United States.
These bills both have arisen in our understanding due to some unique circumstances and individual hardships which we believe were not anticipated by the Congress when it passed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. The INS understands that the intent of these two bills is to address the desire for greater flexibility to section 214(l), provided that the American taxpayer does not bear the responsibility of subsidizing the cost of education for foreign students on the F1 visa.
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Although these amendments would offer relief for some students, we believe that there are other meritorious situations that neither of these bills would cover. We believe that to address these kind of circumstances it would be preferable to have a general exception, statutory exception to section 214(l).
Chairman Smith and others have briefly described the intent of Congress as well as the history of passage of section 214(l) of the Act, which is section 625 of the 1996 Immigration Reform bill. I would like to just take a minute to review the F1 visa classification and to explain some of the events which have transpired since passage of the 214(l) provision.
The non-immigrant F1 student visa is one of many non-immigrant visa classifications under section 101(a)(15) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. It is available to a qualified, admissible alien who has a residence abroad that he has no intention of abandoning and who seeks to come temporarily to the Untied States for the principle purpose of pursuing a full course of study at a school that has been approved by the Attorney General. In other words, the F1 visa is intended for those whose principle reason to come to this country is indeed to obtain an education in the United States. Currently, schools on all levels are able to apply to the Attorney General for approval from the elementary schools, to the very highest levels of superior education in this country.
Since enactment of section 214(l), which incidently did go into effect on November 29, 1996, a time at which many foreign students were departing from the United States to spend the end of the year holidays with their families abroad. Upon their return to the United States in January of 1997, many of these students were no longer found eligible to re-enter the United States as in F1. Many of these were unaccompanied minors, many had personal effects still here in the United States. So the INS on a case by case basis paroled some of these children into the United States to consider transfer to a private elementary or secondary school or intensive English program. We also paroled some of these in to consider other non-immigrant visa classifications or simply to finalize their affairs here in the United States and arrange for their departure.
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I would like to share with you just a few examples which we believe illustrate the unintended consequences of section 214(l). First, a situation on the Alaska, Yukon, and Alaska, British Columbia border came to our attention. In some of these areas, there is but one school which operates and serves communities, remote communities on both sides of the border. Once section 214 went into effect, several Canadian students were affected by this bill and were no longer eligible to continue their daily commute on the F1 visa classification to the United States, even though the provincial government had an arrangement with the local Alaska school system to reimburse the school system for the education of Canadian children. The elementary school children would not be eligible at all any more under this arrangement, and those in secondary school would be only eligible for one year.
Secondly, we had a situation that came to our attention in the state of Michigan. Unfortunately, midway in an academic year, a private school in Michigan underwent some financial troubles and was turned over to the jurisdiction of the local school system. In that case again, affecting Canadian students on the F1 classification, they were ineligible to continue their daily commute to the school which they had begun their attendance, even though their families and the Canadian government were willing to help reimburse those costs.
Thirdly, we know of some sister cities arrangements. I believe perhaps Mr. Frank was referring to some of these as well. Sister city arrangements where a city in the United States is in arrangement with a city in a foreign country. A component of those programs allows for a high schooler here in the United States to spend a year abroad in the foreign city and the foreign city sends one of its high schoolers to spend a year here in one of our high school systems. Under 214(l), the requirement of reimbursement would make many of these programs no longer viable, as no monies are exchanged in these sister city programs.
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Lastly, it has come to our attention that there are several tuition-subsidized public adult education programs. These are treated the same as any public adult education programs where there is no tuition subsidy. We are acquainted thus far with such programs in the state of Utah, as well as in Berkeley, California. We continue to examine how these tuition reimbursement programs are arranged to determine whether or not the tuition covers the direct or both the direct and indirect cost of the education.
We also understand that some of these tuition monies paid by the foreign F1 student would go to help cover the cost of educating U.S. citizens and those lawfully here in the United States. Unfortunately, under 214(l), there is no reimbursable arrangement to allow F1 students to continue attending any publicly funded adult education program.
With specific reference to the two bills before us, the Immigration Service agrees that there is a need for legislation to address many of these exceptional circumstances. However, we believe that it is preferable to have one statutory fix, if you will, and not deal with this on a piecemeal basis, as both of these bills attempt to do as the situations have arisen in the jurisdictions of the sponsors.
Lastly, with respect to H.R. 2172, we are concerned about the enforceability of some of Mr. Frank's bill. We are also concerned that this piecemeal approach to amending 214(l) may introduce new problem areas into Federal law. For example, Mr. Frank's bill requires that a school would be prohibited from using Federal funds to pay for any costs of the enrollment of such a student. We are advised that it may be very difficult to determine and sort out which funds are Federal funds from those which are non-Federal. Our colleagues at the Department of Education advise us that it administers programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 under which Federal grants are available school-wide to support a school's entire instructional program. We feel that it would be a very large additional burden on public school systems to undergo this kind of an accounting procedure for which no other purpose currently requires them to do that.
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Thank you very much for allowing me to offer these comments. I would be glad to take your questions.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Bednarz follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF JACQUELYN A. BEDNARZ, SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER FOR EXAMINATIONS, U.S. IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, on behalf of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), I am pleased to provide our views relating to H. R. 1543, by Mr. Dellums, and H.R. 2172, by Mr. Frank. Both of these bills would amend section 214(l) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by allowing certain exceptions to the restrictions, adopted in 1996, which apply to the conditions under which alien students can attend public schools in the United States. These bills have arisen out of certain unique circumstances and individual hardships which we believe were not anticipated by the U. S. Congress when it passed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA).
The INS understands that the intent of these two bills is to address the desire for more flexibility under section 214(l), provided that the U.S. taxpayers are not responsible for subsidizing the cost of nonimmigrant students. Although these amendments would provide relief for some students, the INS believes that other meritorious situations would not be covered by these bills. We believe that the circumstances giving rise to these two bills, and other cases which have come to our attention, will be best dealt with by a general statutory exception to section 214(l).
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To explain, I believe we should briefly review the history of the passage of Section 214(l) and the events which have transpired since its passage in 1996.
History of Section 214(l)
Section 625 of the IIRIRA amended the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by adding a new subsection (1) to section 214. The new 214(l) provision prohibits the classification of an alien as a foreign student under section 101(a)(15)(F)(i) of the INA if the alien seeks to attend public elementary school or publicly-funded adult education programs or to attend public secondary school without reimbursing the school system for the total, unsubsidized costs of education. The provision also limits attendance at a public secondary school to one year and prohibits transfer from a private secondary school to a public secondary school unless the reimbursement condition and one year limitation are applied.
As we understand it, Congress' intent was two-fold: (1) To put an end to the practice of F1 nonimmigrant students who entered or obtained status to attend private elementary, secondary or Intensive English Program (IEP) schools, transferring (or parachuting) over to a public elementary/secondary school or IEP adult education program; and (2) to stop the practice that resulted in aliens who were admitted for, or changed status to, that of an F1 student with the primary purpose of going to school in the U.S., from being subsidized by U.S. taxpayers through attendance at public schools and adult education programs.
Developments Since the Enactment of Section 214(l)
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Section 214(l) went into effect on November 30, 1996, a time when many foreign students had departed from the United States to celebrate end of the year holidays with their families abroad. Upon return to the United States in January to resume their studies, many unaccompanied minor children and others were found no longer to be admissible as nonimmigrant students. Many of these children had personal effects in the United States at the residences where they were living during the first semester of the academic year. On a case-by-case basis, INS deferred inspection to enable such aliens to enroll in a service-approved private elementary school in order to be eligible for admission to F1 status, considered parole of some of these aliens to allow them to complete the academic year, considered other appropriate visa classifications or allowed them to finalize their affairs in the United States.
Since enactment of the 214(l) provision, INS has learned of various situations which could not have been foreseen at the time the provision was drafted and debated. The following examples provide an illustration of some of the unintended consequences of the 214(l) provision:
Along the Alaska-Yukon and Alaska-British Columbia border there is often but one school serving remote communities on both sides of the border. After enactment of the 214(l) provision, Canadian students were no longer eligible to enter the United States to attend the local public elementary school even though the provincial government reimbursed the local school district in Alaska for the education costs of the Canadian students.
In Michigan, INS learned of the predicament befalling foreign (Canadian) students attending a private school which could no longer afford to operate as a private institution. When the school changed hands in the middle of the academic year and fell under the jurisdiction of the local school system, the Canadian students were no longer eligible to commute to the United States daily to go to school. Although the childrens' local government combined with their families were willing to continue paying for their education, under the new statute, they were not able to be accorded F1 status for purposes of attending a public elementary school. The INS granted parole to these ten students for the remainder of the 199697 school year, but the current law still requires that they no longer commute across the border when the 199798 school year begins in September.
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There are many ''Sister City'' arrangements between American cities and cities in foreign countries. One component of the sister city arrangements is a valuable exchange program for high school students enabling American youth to spend a year in a foreign high school while a student from abroad is spending a year in one of our high schools. No tuition is exchanged under these sister city arrangements. The 214(l) provision requires that a foreign student reimburse the total, unsubsidized costs of a public secondary education for the academic school year.
Finally, INS has learned of some public schools' tuition-supported Adult Education Programs which aliens are no longer eligible to receive F1 student visas to attend. Under the 214(l) provision, these tuition-supported programs are treated in the same manner as public Adult Education programs for which no tuition costs are reimbursed. To date, INS is acquainted with such programs in Utah and in Berkeley, California. INS continues to examine how these tuition-supported programs operate to determine whether adult students pay a fee for the direct costs only or both the direct and indirect costs of the adult education.
With regard to H.R. 1543 and H.R. 2172, the INS believes that there is a need to amend Section 214(l) to make allowances for exceptional circumstances which may arise which require special consideration. We believe, however, that instead of addressing each new circumstance with a new amendment to the statute, as with these two bills, it would be preferable to address all of these instances with one statutory change. We look forward to working with you and other interested parties, such as the Department of Education, to develop an appropriate solution.
Piecemeal solutions may also introduce new problem areas into the law. For example, H.R. 2172 would prohibit a school system from using federal funds to pay any cost associated with such enrollment. However, the question of whether federal funds are involved may not be easy to determine. For example, we are advised by the Department of Education that it administers programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 under which federal grants are available for ''school-wide'' support of a school's entire instructional program. Attempting to sort out federal from non-federal expenditures for particular students in these and other cases would pose a large, and largely fruitless, accounting and administrative burden on public schools that would not otherwise be necessary.
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We appreciate the opportunity to testify before you on this issue, and welcome any questions.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Ms. Bednarz. We appreciate your testimony.
Before we get to questions, if you will excuse us for just a minute, we are going to return and complete the markup on a bill that we started a few minutes ago.
[Whereupon, at 10:25 a.m., the subcommittee proceeded to other business.]
Mr. SMITH. We will now return, Ms. Bednarz, to questions for you. Thank you for your patience.
The gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Watt, is recognized for that purpose.
Mr. WATT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank Ms. Bednarz for her testimony. I think I understandI have a very important motion to vote on on the floor, so I'll try to be brief.
It seemed to me that the language of Mr. Frank's amendment or bill actually is pretty broad in the sense that it is not limited to any particular situation. What it does is give a local option. How would you do that differently? I notice you thought it wasn't broad enough. It was tailored too narrowly to one particular situation or set of situations. How would the INS propose that this be done as an alternative?
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Ms. BEDNARZ. Mr. Frank's bill is indeed broad, but it applies only to opening up the option for public elementary or secondary schools. It does not leave room for consideration of those publicly-funded adult education programs about which we have heard concerns from other constituents. Mr. Dellums' bill of course goes to that issue. So we find that it is limiting in that it does not address the situation of the publicly-funded adult education programs. Nor does it offer any relief from the one-year limitation on attendance at a public secondary school. We find that there may be meritorious situations which deserve some attention or some relief from that strict restriction on a one-year limitation if other conditions are satisfied and it is appropriate for attendance beyond one year.
Mr. WATT. I thought Mr. Frank's bill actually went further than one year. Does it not? I don't think there's a time limit in his.
Basically, your primary objection in terms of the breadth is that these two bills ought to be combined into one complete bill rather than dealing with it individually. Try to put them both together in some way.
Now how would the department or INS suggest addressing the cost concern, which I think is a major concern to try and figure out what's Federal funding and what's not Federal funding in local schools it seems to me would create a substantial amount of paperwork. How would you suggest we address that if we were drawing a bill?
Ms. BEDNARZ. We are very willing to continue working with the subcommittee and other interested parties, including the Department of Education to arrive at some appropriate solution to that that would not add any new burdens on public school systems and be more easily enforced.
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Mr. WATT. So, bottom line is you all just think this is a good idea but it needs to be more artfully drawn and carefully thought through and address all of the concerns that have been raised by the passage of the immigration language last time?
Ms. BEDNARZ. Yes. We do agree that the concept is one we would like to work further with you on.
Mr. SMITH. If the gentleman would yield to me just a minute.
Mr. WATT. I'll yield.
Mr. SMITH. I just want to ask you to clarify for me whether you endorse the bills as they are or whether you are more interested in getting at those narrow exceptions that you mentioned in your testimony, whether it be the Canada border or some other school district that seems to have an isolated and a specific problem.
Ms. BEDNARZ. What the service is interested in addressing is to address the exceptional hardships or circumstances which have come to our attention. We would like to see that done in one statutory vehicle as opposed to a piecemeal solution.
Mr. SMITH. Thanks, Ms. Bednarz, for that clarification.
The gentleman from California, Mr. Gallegly, is recognized.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GALLEGLY. I have no questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SMITH. The gentleman from California, Mr. Bono.
Mr. BONO. I have no questions.
Mr. SMITH. The gentleman from Utah, Mr. Cannon.
Mr. CANNON. I have no questions.
Mr. SMITH. Ms. Bednarz, you got off easy today, thanks to the bells.
I'm sorry, Zoe. I'm sorry, I'm looking to my right. The gentlewoman from California, Ms. Lofgren, gets extra time for questions.
Ms. LOFGREN. I just wanted to pose one question, and there may be a philosophical dispute here, but it seems to me that if we look to what we were trying to prevent last year, which was the phenomena of parachute kids, which is real, and which we have in California as well, and work back from that to prevent abuse, then the Frank bill would not be a problem if it were more narrowly crafted. For example, to specify which Federal programs, such as IDEA funds or title I funds, or something of that sort.
So the question I have for the department is whether some burden could be imposed or some scrutiny as to the living situation of the parachute kids which would prevent that phenomena from occurring, and allow school districts flexibility so that we're not micro-managing every school district in America.
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If a school district in Utah wants to do an exchange program for 2 years, why should we care about that if it's properly done? Do you think it's possible to add that level of scrutiny towards parachute kids, to prevent it through the department?
Ms. BEDNARZ. Yes. We do. We just believe we need to work with all of the interested parties and again, including the Department of Education to ensure both that it is as burdenless as possible on public schools, and also to ensure that the United States taxpayer is not responsible for subsidizing the cost of the F1 student. So yes, Congresswoman. We do believe it's possible. We just need to work on language.
Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Chairman, I think that's something that we ought to at least explore because the motivation last year, was valid. This is a real issue and does need to be addressed. Yet I think we could do something that is narrowly tailored towards the parachute kid problem which doesn't leave us, creating further problems with school districts who might want to do an exchange program or were recovering their costs from an adult ed. program or something of that nature. I would suggest that we might want to work with the authors to do that if there's interest on their part.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Ms. Lofgren.
If there are no further questions, the subcommittee will stand in recess for about 15 minutes while we vote. Then we will welcome the third panel.
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Mr. SMITH. The subcommittee will be in order, and we will proceed to our third panel.
We welcome four witnesses. Mr. Rodney Barker, member, Newton, Massachusetts School Committee; Ms. Cora Jckowski, ESL coordinator and foreign student advisor, Central High Community School, Granite School District, Salt Lake City, Utah; Mr. K. C. McAlpin, deputy director, Federation for American Immigration Reform; and Ms. Judy Judd Price, center director, ELS Language Centers.
Again, welcome, and, Mr. Barker, we will begin with you.
STATEMENT OF RODNEY BARKER, MEMBER, NEWTON, MASSACHUSETTS SCHOOL COMMITTEE
Mr. BARKER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. My name is Rodney M. Barker, and I live at 49 Woodcliff Road in Newton Highlands, Massachusetts. I'm appearing on behalf of the city of Newton School Committee. I have been a member of that committee for 4 years, having previously served 14 years on the board in the city of Newton. Incidentally, I'm also an immigration attorney, and you may hear a little vestige of an accent; I'm also an immigrant myself.
I'm speaking in favor of H.R. 2172, the bill presented by my Congressman, Barney Frank, to amend section 214(l) of the INA, which was enacted last fall. The law on F1 students presently requires payment of full tuition and limits a stay in an elementary or high school to one year. This amendment, in the form of the bill presented by Congressman Frank, would allow a local school authority to decide whether or not to charge fees and whether or not to limit the stay for one year.
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The issue here is the principle, as I would see it, of local choice. Local funds support the schools, and local elected officials, in my view, should have the power to decide whether or not it is appropriate to charge a student full fees or whether or not to allow the student to stay for more than one year.
Why is this important to us as the school committee of the city of Newton? Many current and future student exchange programs are in jeopardy. I will just mention three of themtwo that are presently continuing, and one we are planning for the future.
We have a student exchange program with a high school in Beijing. In that particular case, we are going to be able to bring those students in on J visas, because that is an ongoing program. It has more than five students in every year, and we have got approval from the USIA for that program. However, the J visa program would notis not appropriate for a lot of other programs. The reason for that is you have to have a minimum of five students for a J program. If you are approved, it is program-specific, which means that if you want to allow one or two students to come from another country, you can't bring them under the J approval that you obtained for the other program.
We have another program with China where students presently stay for a year or even 2 years, and in that case the J program would not be appropriate because the number of students is limited to two or three in every year.
A third program that we are hoping to institute is of the type mentioned, interestingly enough, by Ms. Bednarz of INS. We have a Sister City program, of which I happen to be the president, with a town in Nicaragua, San Juan del Sur. We have already sent two groups of Newton students to San Juan, and we would like to invite students from time to time to come to the Newton schools. However, if we have to charge them full fees, the whole program would be totally impossible because, I'm sure you understand, most of the students in this town in Nicaragua barely have enough to eat rather than the ability to pay $7,500 a year to come to the Newton schools.
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In our view, these exchange programs, are extremely valuable to United States students. We feel strongly that we would like to be able to make the decision ourselves as to whether or not to charge fees. The power that we would have, under Congressman Frank's bill to continue to charge fees or not charge fees to F1 students is very important to us.
I got statistics from the city of Newton yesterday that show that last year we had five students from other countries to whom we are charging fees. The year before we had nine and the year before that six. In other words, it is the policy of the city of Newton to charge fees, and it always has been, for F1 students, if such students are not part of an exchange program. We, as an elected school committee, feel that it is important for our U.S. students to have these young people come from foreign countries.
We do appreciate the intent of Congress in seeking to protect the United States taxpayers from exploitation by aliens seeking free education in our public schools. We applaud this intent and thank you. However, as it is presently written, the law restricts our ability to encourage small exchange programs that would not come under the J visa program. In our view, with the world becoming, more and more international in commerce, communications, and education we feel it extremely important for our young people to have contact with young people from other countries. If we're going to send young people to, say, Nicaragua to be received by their schools, I think it is only right that we should be able to bring some people up from Nicaragua to Newton.
The question of Federal funds was mentioned earlier, Mr. Chairman. In my experience, having been on the school committee for 4 years, we would have no problem at all, in separating out and being able to tell how many Federal funds we get, which in our case is very little, because we are a relatively affluent community.
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Under State regulations, our superintendent calculates every year the cost of giving education in the Newton schools, which is presently around $7,500. It would be very easy indeed to do a mathematical calculation and say ''X'' percent of that amount is Federal, which in our case is very, very small. It's only for very few special programs. I really don't think that will be a problem.
And, in summation, Mr. Chair, I feel that this bill protects the local taxpayer in that we can charge, and do, in fact, charge, fees to those persons who can afford it and wish to come to our schools, while giving flexibility to school committees to encourage important exchanges and programs if they deem them valuable to the children of our community. Therefore, I respectfully seek your support for Mr. Frank's bill. I'd be happy to answer any questions.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Barker.
Ms. Jckowski, if you don't mind, Congressman Ron Dellums has just arrived, and he was supposed to testify on his bill earlier today, but because of a conflict and being in a conference committee on the National Security Committee, he could not be here.
Oh, Ron, excuse me, I was looking for you over there.
So, I tell you what, if you don't mind, Mr. Barker, since you finished your testimony, if you could relinquish your chair for just 5 minutes, and we'll ask our colleague, Mr. Dellums, to come forward and testify.
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Mr. BARKER. And if you have any questions, I can come back?
Mr. SMITH. Absolutely. This isn't to forfeit your right to answer questions. [Laughter.]
Mr. BARKER. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Dellums, welcome, and we look forward to your testimony.
STATEMENT OF THE HON. RONALD V. DELLUMS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Mr. DELLUMS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. I'd like to thank you for this opportunity, and I feel somewhat self-conscious importuning the panel, but I'd like to thank Mr. Barker particularly for warming up the seat. [Laughter.]
Mr. Chairman, I would ask unanimous consent that the formal remarks that I've submitted to you appear at the appropriate in the record, and I would proceed in a slightly different
Mr. SMITH. Without objection, so ordered.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. DELLUMS. Thank you very much.
Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, let me come quickly to the purpose of what we introduced the bill H.R. 1543. It provides a technical correction to section 625 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act by allowing public adult education programs to join secondary schools in offering certain classes.
Let's look at the present problem. Mr. Chairman and Mr. Watt, the INS interprets section 625(A)(1) as prohibiting publicly-funded schools from serving/teaching foreign students; that is, students with F1 visas, even through the full cost of tuition, expenses, if it is borne by the students; in my humble opinion, it doesn't quite make sense. However, section 625(B)(1) provides an exemption to this rule only for public secondary schools for instructions not exceeding 12 months, when there is proof that the full unsubsidized cost is reimbursed. At present, public K-through-8 and public adult education may not issue 120 application forms to foreign students; only public 9 through 12, public junior colleges, universities, and private institutions make issue such forms.
Now let me for a moment go to the practical effects of this legislation on my congressional district. I have two school districts that are impacted by this rather peculiar restriction: the renown Academy of English as an International Language is operated by the Berkeley Unified School District and the Piedmont Adult School, operated by the Piedmont Unified School District. Since the passage of the reform bill, INS has advised each of these school districts that it could no longer issue I20s to aliens for F1 student visas. Both of these districts were stunned because they had operated as fee-based institutions at no costand I underscore for emphasis, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Watt, no costto the taxpayer.
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The principal of the Berkeley Adult School states, and I quote, that ''Adult education is reimbursed at a rate of $1,824 for one full-time citizen/legal resident student by the State of California. ESL students, English-as-second-language students, pay $2,700 in comparisonby September 1997, a year for full-time attendance. These adult schools serve a mixture of foreign students as well as citizens and legal immigrants who need English classes. This financial mixture enables these schools to expand their instruction by virtue of the tuition they pay.
Now the uneven effect of the law, I would like to comment to you. Section 625, which we are strongly recommending be corrected, establishes anomalies that cannot be explained. Right across the bay from us, for example, in San Francisco, they can continue to serve these students because their English-as-a-second-language program is offered by their publicly-supported community college system, whereas on our side can't be because it's adult education in a public education institution.
The impact on my district of section 625, which we are attempting to correct in the legislation 1543, would translate into the minimum loss in Berkeley of 11 teachers and their classes; Piedmont would lose 5 teachers.
The effect on other districts: We've been in close communication with other districts in California and Utah. As you I'm sure are aware, Senator Hatch, in his letter of May 15 of this year, to the Commissioner of INS, states that the adult education as a second language program in the Provo, Utah district charges F1 students $925 per quarter tuition, while citizens and legal residents pay $25. So they're already paying an extraordinary amount.
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It seems fairly clear that these foreign students do not use tax funds or tax-based resources without substantial reimbursement over and beyond the cost of their tuition. They pay full tuition, including overhead, and in the process create jobs for teachers, support staff, and make possible the full-time tuition for citizens and legal immigrants.
I wholeheartedly join Senators Hatch and Bennett and Congresspersons Hansen, Cannon, and Cook in stating that the underlying legislation that we are attempting to technically correct here intends to prevent foreign students from attending schools at our taxpayers' expense, but I also believe the Congress, in enacting the bill, did not intend to destroy effective programs that are financially self-sufficient. I'd like to hope that that was an unintended consequence rather than a purposeful act.
Mr. Chairman, as you are aware, my distinguished colleague to my immediate right, Ms. Jckowskiyou've permitted one witness on this billis more than competent and capable and experienced in this area, and can go into some substantive detail about these matters.
I would like to just make one last aside, and then I would yield. We've tried, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Watt, Mr. Cannon, and others, we've tried to ascertain the reasons, the thinking, which led into section 625, and have failed so far to find the authors. We've not had a time to reach to former Senator Simpson in his new home at Harvard University. However, if we analyzed the strange pattern of which levels of public schools, colleges, and universities may, and which levels may not, teach F1 students, it seems at best eccentric. Private schools, however, appear not to be restricted in any way.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I would simply like to close with this comment: I do not believe that it is our function to create a situation which may allow different pockets of opportunities and restrictions in such an arbitrary manner, and I respectfully urge my honorable colleagues here on the committee, on the subcommittee here, to consider making the technical corrections that we include in our bill to section 625 that would remedy this exceptional situation, because, as I said before, I would like to hope that this was an unintended consequence. I think that our bill goes to that point.
Finally, I've just received overnight a communication from Ms. Delane Easton, who is the State superintendent for public instruction in the State of California, in support of the efforts we're trying to make in this bill. It says, in part, that this is a step in the right direction to correct inequities against K through 12, adult schools, et cetera, et cetera, in this legislation.
And I thank you for your generosity.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Dellums follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF RONALD V. DELLUMS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Mr Chairman, thank you for this opportunity to present testimony in support of H.R. 1543, which proposes a technical correction to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as amended by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) which passed last year.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC One of the purposes of the IIRIRA was to prohibit the use of public funds to educate foreign students who are in this country on non-immigrant student visas. It needs to be said immediately that the proposal that I bring before you in no way undermines this purpose. The technical change would only allow public school districts to teach non-immigrant, foreign students, when the alien provides full reimbursement for such classes.
H.R. 1543 would amend Section 214(l)(1) of the INA as amended by section 625(a) of IIRIRA by striking ''or in a publicly funded adult education program'' and inserting ''or in a public adult education program'' after ''secondary school'', and by inserting ''or program'' after ''school'' each place it appears.
Presently, Section 625(a)(1) of IIRIRA precludes public elementary schools, public secondary schools, and publicly funded adult education programs from issuing I20's to aliens for F1 student visas. Section 625(b)(1) provides an exception to this rule allowing the issuance of I20's upon proof of reimbursement of the administering agency for the full, unsubsidized per capita cost of the program, and an F1 student status not exceeding 12 months. However, the INS limits this exception exclusively to public secondary schools. My bill would extend this exception to publicly funded adult education programs.
My interests in this matter came about when the reknowned Academy of English as an International Language (AEIL), operated by the Berkeley Unified School District was advised by the INS that it could no longer issue I20's to aliens for F1 student visas. The AEIL was stunned, because it had always operated as a fee based institution at no cost to the taxpayer.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Business Department of the Berkeley Unified School District has outlined the results of research into the last three years of expenditures by the English as an International Language (EIL) program. The report, which is attached as Addendum #1, indicates that the revenue generated was more than sufficient to cover all expenses for the program, such as salaries, materials, indirect cost to the District office, but also resulted in a small benefit for services to the Adult School, by providing additional clerical support for the entire program.
Adult Education is reimbursed at a rate of $1,824 for one full-time citizen, or legal resident student by the state of California. EIL students pay a tuition of $2,700 per year for full time attendance. These students, thus, pay an equal rate for classroom attendance as is the state reimbursement, plus a small additional charge for add-on expenses such as counseling and referral services. (Attachment #1)
Mayor Shirley Dean of Berkeley calculates that the monetary contribution of the approximate 200 students, with average living expenditures of $12,000 annually, pour about $2,400,000 into the local economy. The educational benefits and the international good-will that are gained are incalculable. All we need to do to appreciate the academic contribution by such programs is to think of the numbers of world leaders who have been educated in the United States and the generally positive attitudes developed and how these positive experiences redounds to our national benefit.
Senators Hatch and Bennett, joined by Congressmen Hansen, Cannon and Cook have written to Commissioner Doris Meissner of the INS requesting the INS to revise the interpretation of section 625(b)(1) and interim guideline number 2, to allow publicly-funded adult education programs to offer classes when ''. . . TUITION THAT IS EQUAL TO OR GREATER THAN THE FULL, UNSUBSIDIZED, PER CAPITA COST OF THE PROGRAM. . . . is paid. (Attachment #2)
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Additionally, the letter states that the Adult English as a Second Language (ESL) program of the Provo, Utah School District charges F1 students $925 per quarter tuition, while citizens and legal immigrants pay only $25 for the same program. The program pays the salaries of ten ESL teachers, the Director, and purchases computer equipment and other supplies for the program.
I wholeheartedly support Senator Hatch and Senator Bennett, and my Congressional colleagues in saying that IIRIRA intended to prevent foreign students from attending schools at our taxpayers' expense, but I also believe that Congress, in enacting the bill, did not intend to destroy effective programs that are financially self-sufficient.
I respectfully urge you to take the appropriate action to allow these functioning school districts to continue to offer these ESL classes to non-immigrant students at no expense to U.S. taxpayers.
Thank you for your courtesy in providing me this opportunity to address you today.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Dellums.
I don't have any questions, but I will recognize the gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Watt, for his.
Mr. WATT. I think I will ask my questions later because I know Mr. Dellums is on a very, very tight time schedule. I just want to welcome him here and thank him for offering this bill and for finding the time in his schedule today to come over and talk to us about it. Thank you, sir.
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Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Watt.
The gentleman from Indiana, Mr. Pease, is recognized.
Mr. PEASE. No questions.
Mr. WATT. The gentlewoman from California, Ms. Lofgren.
Ms. LOFGREN. I would just add that I think what you're trying to do is exactly the right thing. Before you came in, we had a discussion with the Immigration Service about perhaps consolidating Mr. Frank's bill and your own and then doing some finetuning. I wanted to mention that, but, clearly, you're on the right track, and I support the effort you're making. Thank you.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Ms. Lofgren. The gentleman from Utah, Mr. Cannon.
Mr. CANNON. I have no questions. I just wanted to say thank you for your bill and fine work on this legislation, which I appreciate and my district does as well.
Mr. DELLUMS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just one final comment.
Mr. SMITH. Yes.
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Mr. DELLUMS. I'd like to ask Ms. Lofgren and Mr. Pease to forgive me for tunnel vision. I didn't speak to them when I first began to testify. Thank you very much.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Dellums. We appreciate your stopping by.
Mr. DELLUMS. And thank you.
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Barker, welcome back.
Ms. Jckowski, we'll go to your testimony.
STATEMENT OF CORA LEE JCKOWSKI, ESL COORDINATOR AND FOREIGN STUDENT ADVISOR, CENTRAL HIGH COMMUNITY SCHOOL, GRANITE SCHOOL DISTRICT, SALT LAKE CITY, UT
Ms. JCKOWSKI. It's good to see a familiar face, Congressman Cannon.
My name is Cora Lee Jckowski, and I am from West Jordan, Utah. Today is, in fact, a State holiday in Utah. It's our Pioneer Day, a day on which we commemorate the pioneers' arrival of 1847 in the great Salt Lake Valley, and I think it's most appropriate that I, a descendant of very good pioneer stock myself, am here to discuss the concerns over this particular piece of legislation.
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The section of law that I have grave concerns about prohibits public adult education programs from continuing to issue I20s to F1 visas, something that I have spent the last 20-odd years of my life doing. Utah also has a lot of modern-day pioneers in a lot of different fields, also in the field of English as a second language, and I certainly consider myself one of those pioneers.
I've been teaching in or administering ESL programs for over 24 years. During that time, our ESL education programs in Utah have become model programs, as stated by a letter from Governor Michael Leavitt. We also have the full support of the Utah delegation in stating that the programs in Utah are, in fact, just that: model programs that alleviate all these national concerns that are going on in other areas.
Utah has had a law on the books since 1983 that prohibits any public monies from subsidizing any F1 students in any program. That was the underlying cause for this bill in the first place: We don't want taxpayers subsidizing foreign students, and I'm all for that.
Adult ESL courses in Utah are self-supporting primarily because of the high tuitions we charge to the foreign students, which then subsidize our courses for the refugees, residents, and citizens. And that is the key thing I want you to understand, if nothing else I say hits home: that they are subsidizing refugee, resident, and citizen programs.
Without these monies, most of the adult ESL programs in Utah, as well as the rest of the Nation, those that are run properly, and they can be run properly, they will be severely limited. In fact, many have already closed their doors.
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My ESL program at Central Community School charges our F1 students $2,800 per academic yearsthat's for nine monthswhereas we charge our residents $20 and our refugees even less. If our F1 monies are lost, this new legislation will force me to fire teachers; I would most likely lose my position, and it would force us, most importantly, to cut back our program from a 30-hour, intensive, all-day program to approximately four to six hours in the evening. Many will be forced to seek other employment, leaving careers that they have been deeply committed to, well-trained-for, and love.
But, most importantly, immigrantslegal, documented immigrantswill not be able to access valuable programs with sufficient staff, training, and class time to allow them to quickly learn English, and thereby assimilate into our culture and into our economic system.
Section 625(B)(1) spells disaster for very successful programs around the country. Because adult programs are generally where the ESL programs are taught, teaching documented immigrants to read, to write, and to speak English, they're really critical. Immigrants, refugees, and citizens benefit from these monies, as I've said. With the ongoing push that we're seeing nationally for English-only amendments throughout the country, it makes absolutely no sense to me why we want to eliminate model programs that are doing their job free of tax dollars. Rather, we should be looking at these model programs to develop other such programs and solve these problems across the Nation.
As a taxpayer myself, I'm obviously appalled at the abuse, and I'm aware of the abuse that has gone on. I have had students transfer from different parts of the country that have been appalled that I have the audacity to ask them to pay tuition, and I've said, ''I'm sorry, we do not use tax dollars in the State of Utah to educate foreign students. You must pay your way.''
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We do need enforcement, but let's not ''grind up the filet mignon into the hot dogs,'' as one INS official so aptly said to me. Let's see to it, instead, that the institutions that do not charge full and subsidized tuitions to F1 students, whether they're affiliated with universities, colleges, adult education programs, private institutions, let them be closed. Let the rest of us do our job and do it well, so that we can continue to progress toward full participation in our society, and that the immigrants as well as the foreign students will have access to viable programs.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Jckowski follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF CORA LEE JCKOWSKI, ESL COORDINATOR AND FOREIGN STUDENT ADVISOR, CENTRAL COMMUNITY SCHOOL, GRANITE SCHOOL DISTRICT, SALT LAKE CITY, UT
My name is Cora Lee Jckowski, of West Jordan, Utah. Today is a state holiday in Utah, Pioneer Day, a day on which we commemorate the pioneers' arrival in 1847 in the Great Salt Lake Valley. I feel it most appropriate that I, a descendant of good pioneer stock myself, am here on this day to express my concerns about a section of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), Section 625(B)(1). This section of the law prohibits public adult education programs from continuing to issue I20s for F1 student visas.
Utah also has modern-day pioneers in many fields. I am proud to consider myself a pioneer, for example, in the field of instruction of English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL). I have been teaching in and/or administering ESL programs for over 24 years. Our ESL public education programs in Utah are model programs, as stated by our governor, Michael Leavitt. The full Utah delegation is in support of my concerns regarding Section 625(B)(1), as well as several other Senators and Congressmen.
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Utah has had a law on the books since 1983 that disallows any public monies from subsidizing F1 students. That was the underlying cause for Section 625: to stop taxpayer monies from subsidizing foreign students. Adult ESL courses in Utah are self-supporting, primarily due to the high tuition charged foreign students, which subsidizes the courses for U.S. residents, refugees and citizens in need of English training, NOT the other way around. Without these monies from F1 students, most adult ESL programs in Utah, as well as the rest of the nation, will be closed or severely limited. In fact, many have already closed their doors.
My ESL program at Central Community School charges F1 students $2,800 for nine months of classes, whereas we charge residents only a $20 fee each quarter. If our F1 monies are lost, due to the new IIRIRA legislation, we will be forced to fire contracted teachers, and cut back our program from 30 hours of instruction per week, to possibly four to six hours per week. Many will be forced to seek other employment, leaving careers they have been deeply committed to, are well-trained for and that they love. But, most importantly, immigrants will not be able to access valuable programs with sufficient staff, training and class time to allow them to quickly learn English and thereby assimilate into our culture and economic system.
Section 625(B)(1) spells disaster for other very successful programs around the country. Because these adult education programs are generally where ESL courses are taught, teaching documented immigrants to read, write, speak English and adjust to our culture, they are critical. Immigrants, refugees and citizens benefit from the F1 monies. With the ongoing push for English-only amendments throughout the country, it makes no sense at all to eliminate model programs. Rather, we should use these models to develop other such programs across the country.
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As a taxpayer myself, I am appalled at the abuse that has taken place in some areas of the country. We DO need enforcement of the Immigration and Naturalization (INS) laws. But let's not ''grind up the filet mignon into the hot dogs,'' as one INS official so aptly said to me. Let's see to it that those institutions that DO NOT charge full unsubsidized tuition to F1 students, whether they are affiliated with universities, colleges or adult education programs, be closed by INS. I know this abuse has been found at the college and university level, and not only in adult education programs.
On the other hand, those institutions that DO charge full, unsubsidized tuition to foreign students should be allowed to continue to serve students and help them progress toward full participation in our work force and society.
The Utah delegation has signed and sent a letter to the Honorable Doris Meissner requesting an appropriate change to the interpretation of this language. At the same time, these offices are now in the process of working with the Members on last year's conference committee on IIRIRA to direct a similar request to the Attorney General and Secretary of State to address this issue.
Please allow us to continue to access these foreign monies from student visas. Otherwise, the current interpretation of Section 625(B)(1) will seriously affect the progress we are presently making in educating non-English speaking immigrants, refugees and citizens, as well as in offering excellent programs to foreign students.
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Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Ms. Jckowski.
STATEMENT OF K.C. McALPIN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, FEDERATION FOR AMERICAN IMMIGRATION REFORM
Mr. MCALPIN. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify on behalf of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, FAIR. My name is K. C. McAlpin, and I'm the deputy director of FAIR.
I'm testifying today in opposition to H.R. 2172, a bill introduced by Congressman Frank that seeks to overturn newly-enacted restrictions on the ability of nonimmigrant aliens to attend U.S. public schools.
Mr. Chairman, last year Congress passed an immigration reform bill that attempted to correct a long list of abuses in our immigration laws. Among those abuses was the phenomenon known as ''parachute kids.'' An article appearing in the December 31, 1996 edition of The Washington Post, which I have attached, referred to a UCLA study which estimated that there were as many as 40,000 parachute kids ages 8 to 18 on F1 visas in the United States from the country of Taiwan alone. The new law corrected this abuse by placing restrictions on the issuance of F1 visas, essentially barring the F1 visas for public elementary school students, and saying that at the secondary level you had to limit it to one year and fully reimburse for the unsubsidized cost of the education.
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Mr. Chairman, we believe strongly that these restrictions are in the public interest. America's limited public educational resources must be reserved for their intended purpose: the education of the children of American citizens and legal immigrants. To require American taxpayers to pay for the K-through-12 education of foreign students, who have no intention or permission to reside permanently in the United States, is simply wrong.
It's important to note that we are talking here about the children of relatively affluent foreigners. All applicants for F1 visas must demonstrate to the U.S. consular officials that they have the means to support themselves during their projected stay in the United States, including paying for their travel, tuition, and living expenses. These are people whose families can well afford the cost of a primary and secondary school education, but prior to the enactment of last year's reforms, their families passed that cost onto overburdened American taxpayers. In some cases, foreign students were issued F1 visas to study at a private school or academy and promptly transferred or enrolled in a public school, once they were admitted to the United States.
The bill under consideration here, H.R. 2172, would essentially strip the key reforms from last year's law. Under the bill, F1 students wishing to attend public elementary schools would simply have to present some credible evidence that a public school system wanted to enroll them. The restrictions on F1 students wishing to attend public secondary schools would be eliminated and replaced by a completely unenforceable bar on the use of Federal funds to pay for the education of such students.
Mr. Chairman, let me address a couple of problems with this bill. The average per-pupil expenditure for public elementary and secondary school education in the United States is about $6,500 a year. About 7 percent of that cost is funded by Federal taxpayers; 45 percent comes from State government, and 45 percent is paid by local taxpayers. By explicitly opening the way for F1 visa-holders to attend public elementary schools, H.R. 2172 would revert to the status quo ante. The entire cost of a nonimmigrant child's elementary school education would be borne by American taxpayers.
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The credible evidence required to show a school system's desire to enroll such students might consist of nothing more than the form signature of a local school system bureaucrat. This invites the possibility of favoritism and abuse, and even graft. Even if the evidence presented was a resolution passed unanimously by the local school board, Congress was correct in denying local officials the power to appropriate the use of State and Federal funds for purposes other than for which they were intended.
At the secondary education level, the bill tries to address the issue of spending Federal funds by stipulating that the F1 visa-holder could enroll in a public school only if no Federal funds were spent for the student's education. There are several things wrong with this approach.
First, it is futile to attempt to restrict the use of Federal educational dollars in this way. Money is the most fungible of all resources, and Federal funds theoretically not spent in one student's education will be easily diverted to replace State and local funds in other uses. This would amount to nothing more than an exercise in bookkeeping.
Second, this bill bars only the use of Federal money to educate parachute students, despite the fact that 90 percent of the cost of education is borne by State and local taxpayers. The point is not to avoid having the Federal Government pay the cost of this education; the point is to prevent the American taxpayer from having to pay for it.
Third, we object to eliminating the bar on the length of an F1 visa student's enrollment to an aggregate of 12 months. This provision prevents nonimmigrant students from obtaining their entire education in U.S. public schools, regardless of whether they reimburse the schools for the entire cost. We believe U.S. public schools should exist for the purpose of providing publicly-funded education for the children of U.S. citizens and legal immigrants, and not for any other purpose.
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In closing, Mr. Chairman, let me make these observations: I assure you that FAIR and FAIR's membership is very sympathetic to the educational needs of children, regardless of their nationality, but providing for the educational needs of foreign students is the responsibility of foreign governments and foreign taxpayers, and not taxpayers in the U.S. U.S. taxpayers are already overwhelmed with the demands of providing a decent public education for our own children, and that must remain our goal.
Thank you for the opportunity to present our views on this bill.
[The prepared statement of Mr. McAlpin follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF K.C. MCALPIN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, FEDERATION FOR AMERICAN IMMIGRATION REFORM
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify on behalf of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). FAIR is a national, non-profit public interest organization working to end illegal immigration and to reform our immigration laws in the national interest. My name is K.C. McAlpin and I am the deputy director of FAIR.
I am testifying today in opposition to H.R. 2172, a bill introduced by Congressman Frank that seeks to overturn newly enacted restrictions on the ability of nonimmigrant aliens to attend U.S. public schools.
Mr. Chairman, last year Congress passed an immigration reform bill that attempted to correct a long list of abuses in our immigration laws. Among those abuses was the phenomenon known as ''parachute kids.'' This term describes nonimmigrant foreign students at the K12 level who are issued F1 visas to study at private or parochial schools in the United States, and who are later found to be enrolled in the public schools. An article appearing in the December 31, 1996 edition of the Washington Post [attached], referred to a UCLA study which estimated there were as many as 40,000 parachute kids ages 8 to 18 on F1 visas in the United States from the country of Taiwan alone.(see footnote 1)
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The new law corrected this abuse by placing restrictions on the issuance of F1 visas. It says that they cannot be issued to students enrolling in public schools at the elementary level, and permits them to be issued to students enrolling in public schools at the secondary level only if the total period of planned study is less than one year and the student reimburses the school for the full, unsubsidized cost of the student's education.
Mr. Chairman, we believe strongly that these restrictions are in the public interest. America's limited public educational resources must be reserved for their intended purpose: the education of the children of American citizens and legal immigrants. To require American taxpayers to pay for the K12 education of foreign students who have no intention or permission to reside permanently in the United States is simply wrong.
It's important to note that we are talking here about the children of relatively affluent foreigners. All applicants for F1 visas must demonstrate to U.S. consular officials that they have the means to support themselves during their projected stay in the United States, including paying for their travel, tuition, and living expenses. These are people whose families can well afford the cost of a primary and secondary school education. But prior to the enactment of last year's reforms, their families passed that cost on to the overburdened American taxpayer. In some cases foreign students were issued F1 visas to study at a private school or academy, and promptly transferred or enrolled in a public school once they were admitted to the United States.
The bill under consideration here, H.R. 2172, would essentially strip the key reforms from last year's law. Under the bill F1 students wishing to attend public elementary schools would simply have to present some ''credible evidence'' that a public school system wanted to enroll them. The restrictions on F1 students wishing to attend public secondary schools would be eliminated and replaced by a completely unenforceable bar on the use of federal funds to pay for the education of such students.
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Mr. Chairman, let me address several problems with this bill. The average per pupil expenditure for public elementary and secondary school education in the United States is about $6,500 a year. About 7 percent ($455) of that cost is funded by federal taxpayers, 45 percent comes from state government ($2,940), and 45 percent ($2,930) is paid by local taxpayers.(see footnote 2)
By explicitly opening the way for F1 visa holders to attend public elementary schools, H.R. 2172 would revert to the status quo ante. The entire cost of a nonimmigrant child's elementary school education would be borne by American taxpayers. The ''credible evidence'' required to show a school system's desire to enroll such students might consist of nothing more than the form signature of a local school system bureaucrat. This invites the possibility of favoritism and abuse, and even graft. Even if the evidence presented was a resolution passed unanimously by the local school board, Congress was correct in denying local officials the power to appropriate the use of state and federal funds for purposes other than that for which they are intended.
At the secondary education level the bill tries to address the issue of spending federal funds by stipulating that an F1 visa holder could enroll in a public school only if no federal funds were spent for the student's education. There are several things wrong with this approach. First, it is futile to attempt to restrict the use of federal educational dollars in this way. Money is the most fungible of all resources, and federal funds theoretically not spent in one student's education will be easily diverted to replace state and local funds in other uses. This would amount to nothing more than an exercise in bookkeeping.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Second, this bill bars only the use of federal money to educate ''parachute'' students, despite the fact that 90 percent of the cost of education is borne by state and local taxpayers. The point is not to avoid having the federal government pay the cost of this education, the point is to prevent the American taxpayer from having to pay for it. To adopt the narrow approach implicit in this bill, that only federal funds should be an issue, is to invite the continued abuse of local and state funds. By way of analogy, should the federal government limit its bar against legal immigrants becoming a public charge to only those immigrants who become dependent on federal welfare programs? The attempt to draw such a distinction in the case of nonimmigrant use of public school funds is not only unworkable, it is absurd.
Third, we object to eliminating the bar on the length of a F1 visa student's enrollment to an aggregate of twelve months. This provision prevents non-immigrant students from obtaining their entire education in U.S. public schools regardless of whether they reimburse schools for the entire cost. We believe U.S. public schools should exist for the purpose of providing publicly funded education for the children of U.S. citizens and legal immigrants, and not for any other purpose.
In closing Mr. Chairman, let me make a few observations. I assure you that FAIR and FAIR's membership is very sympathetic to the educational needs of children regardless of their nationality. But providing for the educational needs of foreign students is the responsibility of foreign governments and foreign taxpayers and not taxpayers in the U.S. Do not be swayed by individual cases about exceptionally meritorious F1 students regardless of how appealing they may seem. U.S. taxpayers are already overwhelmed with the demands of providing a decent public education for our own children and that must remain our goal.
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On a related subject, the Washington Post article mentioned earlier reported the case of a woman who had tried to enroll the son of a Lithuanian friend in a public high school in California. The woman was upset to learn that she would have to pay $2,000 a semester in tuition because of the newly enacted law. She was angry, however, not because of the tuition charge, but because she knew that although she was being asked to pay tuition for her foreign friend's son, the same school system is forced by the federal government to allow illegal alien children to attend for free.
We understand her anger and frustration over such an ''Alice In Wonderland'' situation . The story illustrates the injustice and absurdity of continuing to allow illegal aliens to receive a free public education at taxpayer expense. The solution is to enact the provision contained in the immigration reform legislation that originally passed the House last year but that was unwisely dropped from the final bill due to adamant opposition from the Administration. That is, Congress should enact legislation that bars illegal aliens from enrolling in public schools.
Thank you for the opportunity to present our views on this bill.
INSERT OFFSET RING FOLIOS 16 HERE
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. McAlpin.
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSTATEMENT OF JUDY JUDD PRICE, CENTER DIRECTOR, ELS LANGUAGE CENTERS
Ms. PRICE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I appreciate being asked to be here today to speak to you. I have written testimony that I've already submitted from ELS Language Centers, whom I'm representing. And, in addition, I'd like to put to public record a letter from the president of the American Association of Intensive English Programs.
Mr. SMITH. Without objection, we'll put those documents in the record, as well as the additional testimony of any other witness today. Thank you.
Ms. PRICE. Thank you very much. And I'm not going to read my written testimony, but I do have remarks that I'd like to make to you.
As I said, I'm representing ELS Language Centers. We are a 36-year-old company with 25 schools in 16 States. The American Association of Intensive English Programs, which I've referred to, has 245 member programs in 39 States.
We support section 625 of the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, which you passed into public law, and we are, therefore, in opposition to H.R. 1543. Current law supports the public interest by recognizing that there are two distinct groups, two populations, which are served by English-as-a-second-language schools at the post-secondary level. There are the immigrant population who resides in this country, who are taxpayers and future taxpayers, and there are the nonimmigrants who are here for a specified purpose and for a limited period of time. For the last 20 years, I've directed English programs for nonimmigrant students, first in Florida and now in California, and I know that the law that you passed in 1996 set a much-needed enforceable standard.
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The immigrant population needs to learn basic life skills. They study about how to read the newspaper to find a job, how to fill out a job application form. The nonimmigrant population, the F1 students, which my school serves, are here to learn English in order to attend universities in this country. They need to learn English that's appropriate for an academic setting. So the purpose of the two schools is not the same, and it's not in the public interest to combine them and put them in the same school. And I'd like to give you three reasons why it's not in the public interest.
First, the current law protects the taxpayer. Prior to the current law, the adult education school in Pinellas County, Florida charged $50 tuition per year for nonimmigrant students who transferred to that program$50 per year. And, consistently, the school officials there told me that that covered all of the necessary costs. If we change the law, who will ensure that nonimmigrants pay the full cost? Who will audit this and provide oversight? We need to charge not just the direct cost, the teachers' salaries, the textbooks that are provided to students, but all of those other clerical and administrative support services related to the physical plant and the maintenance of that, the legal fees, the employee benefits packages, and including some staff time that would be necessary to prepare and mail Federal documents which are only necessary if you serve the nonimmigrant population. So ''Who will provide oversight?'' is one of our questions.
The second reason we believe that changing the law is not in the public interest is that the current law protects the local community. When nonimmigrant students are added to the class rolls in an adult education school, one of three things must happen: Either local residents are displaced from their rightful seats in the classroom or the class size is unnecessarily increased, and we know that learning is decreased, or additional classesand, therefore, additional costsare created, and perhaps even new schools are built.
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In addition, nonimmigrant students require some services that the immigrant population does not require, such as housing assistance and also the guarantee of a major medical insurance program which would cover major medical expenses, as well as, when necessary, the repatriation of remains to the home country. These are essential services when dealing with nonimmigrant F1 students. They are required for all members of the American Association of Intensive English Programs. Who will ensure that these services and benefits are available to the nonimmigrants in adult education schools, and who will pay for it?
The third reason that the current law protects the public interest is that it protects the American economy. The ELS Language Centers spends $1 million annually in recruiting overseas, promoting our program, bringing students into this country for study. Since adult education schools do not typically advertise overseas, the question is: What is their source of students? And in many cases in many States, it's schools like mine on campuses across the country. If you change the law, adult education schools will invite our students to transfer to their programsoften at a very low fee.
Mr. Chairman, prior to the enactment of the 1996 immigration law, repeated contact over a 20-year period with local school districts and State government officials did not bring about needed reform. The problems were solved only when you passed current law. You created an enforceable standard and safeguarded the American public. I urge you to keep section 625 intact.
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PREPARED(see footnote 3) Statement of Judy Judd Price, Director of ELS Language Centers, Redlands, California
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, the following testimony is submitted on behalf of ELS Language Centers. We are a 36 year old company that provides English language instruction to foreign students. We opened our first Language Center here in Washington D.C. in 1961. Since then we have grown nationwide to 25 Language Centers and over 14,000 annual student enrollments in 16 states.
First, we want to take this opportunity to thank you, Mr. Chairman, and all the Members of this Subcommittee for passing the sweeping legislation in September of 1996, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, or (IIRAIRA). This bill that went on to become law acts as a safeguard for the interests of the American people. It protects us from errors that have occurred in varying proportions throughout the United States for at least the past twenty years. The federal legislation you passed in September, 1996 was necessary because the states did not correct these errors in a uniform fashion. It is also for this reason that reversal of portions of this legislation, which you worked so hard to put into law, would be deleterious toward protecting the American public from uneven, unmanaged and unenforceable amendments. Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, passage of H.R. 1543 would thwart the best interests of the American public.
The IIRAIRA legislation you passed in September, 1996 primarily ensures that the American people will be protected from violations of immigration regulations. Section 625 of this immigration legislation prohibits publicly funded adult education programs from enrolling foreign students. This is right and correct. Taxpayer supported programs for the local immigrant community, should not be utilized by foreign students. Not only is it an unnecessary and unwarranted cost to the taxpayer, but the foreign student is likely to take a seat from a legal immigrant for whom these programs were originally organized.
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The mission of adult education programs is to serve the resident population. If adult education programs can issue immigration documents (the form I20) for English as a Second Language( ESL) programs, can they also issue I20s for remedial math, literacy, and GED prep? The whole idea is ludicrous. The mission of adult education is to educate people living and working in the community so they can be better contributors to society.
The following points further stress this issue:
Most adult education ESL programs teach basic English and survival skills plus citizenship and tips on getting a job. ESL programs for international students have a different focus. Who will these programs serve?
Adult education programs are often crowded meaning that international students are taking the place of refugees and citizens for whom the program was designed in the first place. Some programs have very large classes; others have waiting lists. Wouldn't the classes be smaller and the waiting lists diminished if international students were not included in the rolls?
Secondly, the immigration legislation passed in September, 1996 puts an enforceable standard into law. H.R. 1543 by contrast is unenforceable. The bill states that the foreign student will justify his/her existence in an adult education program by paying the cost of his/her education in the form of the ''full, unsubsidized cost of tuition.'' Who will manage the assessment of this ''tuition'' so that it truly reflects the cost of educating this non-immigrant? In truth, the full, unsubsidized cost of tuition is not simply the educational cost of providing instructional hours. We must also take into consideration that the taxpayers have supported city schools through bond measures to provide infrastructure in classroom buildings, maintenance costs, supplies and the like. A myriad of other costs through the years such as utilities, repairs and the costs of the administrative structures are built into the overhead costs of publicly funded programs. While in some states these costs may be rather well-defined, these are the exception rather than the rule. Further points to consider are:
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Accurate accounting for charging full cost of adult education programs would have to include not just the teachers' salaries but the overhead: the cost of preparing I20's, postage, secretarial help and the cost for allocating classroom space to adult-education-international-student programs as opposed to other publicly sponsored programs. For example, does the school district have to build a new public school because the old school has so many classrooms being used for teaching international students ESL?
We know from the standards we have established for the American Association of Intensive English Programs member programs that information on housing, advising, field trips and other such programs are vital to providing a good program. Will adult education programs be required to provide these services and if so will they become part of the full cost? And will providing these services and programs detract from the adult education mission of preparing community-based people to succeed?
In most states, the amount of tuition charged will be left in the hands of those whose programs traditionally have been taxpayer subsidized. It is a fundamental contradiction to allow non-immigrant students to take advantage of these public monies and to do so in an unregulated, unenforceable fashion. The immigration legislation you passed in September, 1996 currently protects the American taxpayer. This governmental protection would be undermined by the passage of H.R. 1543.
Thirdly, the immigration legislation of 1996 protects the American economy. Business in the United States is bolstered when we define the boundaries of fair competition. ELS Language Centers spends over 1 million dollars a year marketing overseas and recruiting foreign students to come to the United States. Publicly funded adult education programs wish to receive students transferring from private intensive English programs such as ours. Publicly funded adult education programs undermine our efforts to maximize the revenue that can be derived from the education of foreign students in the U.S. H.R. 1543 harms the American economy, by offering a taxpayer supported substitute for private intensive English programs. It competes unfairly.
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Fourthly, the immigration legislation spells out stiff penalties for violators of American immigration practices. The preconceived intent of a foreigner coming into the United States is a central doctrine when ascertaining the motives of non-immigrant foreign students. The documents that accept a foreign student into a U.S. educational institution state clearly they must have their financial support fully in place before they are allowed to apply for a foreign student visa. Foreign students must demonstrate to the visa officer that they have sufficient funds to support themselves without working in the U.S., as per the tuition and living expenses stipulated by the admitting school. If the student transfers to an adult school, after they have entered the U.S., then the student has misrepresented their intent to the visa officer.
Over the past nineteen years of operating an ELS Language Center in Pinellas County, Florida, I documented the names and ages of students that left the program they were recruited for. These were all adults from countries that were not ''poor.'' The immigration legislation you passed prevented non-immigrants from enrolling in programs not intended to educate them. The legislation does the correct thing. H.R. 1543 promotes the wrong thing.
Fifthly, the immigration legislation ensures these publicly funded adult education programs will continue to serve the population they were meant for. Citizens, refugees and new immigrants are whom these programs serve. The foreign student coming here to study is typically after academic pursuits. Almost half of our students go on to college, while the rest study for professional or personal growth. By nature, foreign students should not work while pursuing their studies. Publicly funded adult education programs have a specialized curriculum pointed toward vocational and so-called ''life-skills.'' While it is true that all foreigners need to understand how to use the post office, go to the bank and so on, it is not the main focus of their study. Publicly funded adult school programs' curriculum is focused on these issues. A fair proportion of the programs are at night to facilitate the working public. Foreign students by contrast enter the country to study in intensive programs that operate during typical student hours and in most cases, to prepare them for academic pursuits at universities. Publicly funded programs and those intended for foreign students can and should remain distinct. The legislation you passed safeguards this. H.R. 1543 does not.
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While it was not my intention to speak on behalf of other witnesses, we have received the support of the 245 group membership of the American Association of Intensive English Programs. Together they along with us support the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, especially Section 625 that H.R. 1543 seeks to take away. Granted this organization is not as widespread as publicly funded adult education programs, but it is broad-based and encompasses university programs as well as private programs such as ours. All three of the past presidents of this organization as well as the current president support the 1996 legislation. This legislation provides the most for the American people and, we hope, continues to be, the law of the land.
MA, Higher Education, Northern Kentucky University, 1976 BA, Education, Marshall University, 1969
Center Director, ELS Language Centers, University of Redlands, Redlands, California, 1996 to present. Responsible for coordinating with University staff and faculty regarding student services and special interest classes for international students learning English as a second language, ensuring the delivery of services to students, promoting the Center to counseling centers overseas, maintaining operational and capital budgets, and supervising staff.
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Center Director, ELS Language Centers, Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Florida, 19781996
AAIEP American Association of Intensive English Program, Vice-president for Advocacy and member of the Executive Board, 19941996, Newsletter Editor, 19931994
NAFSA: Association of International Educators, Presenter, national conferences, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, Curriculum development, Professional Development Program, ATESL, 199698, Chair, VIP and International Guests committee, national conference, 1994, Chair-elect, chair, and past-chair, Region VII, 199194, Florida representative to the Region VII Team, 1981 and 1984, Presenter, Region VII Conference, 1996, 1995, 1984, Co-chair, Local Arrangements, Regional conference, 1980
TESOL Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Accreditation Advisory Committee (Board appointed), 19951998, Presenter, national conferences, 1997 and 1996, President, Sunshine State TESOL, 1980, Chair, Local Arrangements, State TESOL conference, 1979
Judy Judd Price, Center Director, ELS Language Centers Language Centers, University of Redlands, Redlands, California 92373, Tel: 9093355357, Fax: 9093355358, Voice: 9093355359 email@example.com
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Ms. Price.
Let me direct my initial questions toward you, and then we'll see how far I can get before we have to break for about 15 minutes to take a vote.
I gather one of your points is that public schools should be reserved for immigrants who are trying to assimilate, not for nonimmigrants; is that right?
Ms. PRICE. Yes, sir, that's our understanding, that the reason that adult education schools exist is to serve the local population; that that's their mission. It's an important mission, and we support it. Refugees, rather than aliens, immigrants who will be taxpayers, if they're not already, benefit from publicly-funded education, and our community benefits as these people become better able to support themselves and their children, and contribute to our society.
Mr. SMITH. Another point you made, I think, is that perhaps the language in some of the bills we're considering is not strict enough to ensure that the school districts are going to be reimbursed for the full cost of the education. You mentioned $50 as one example. Surely, that does not cover the full cost of a semester
Ms. PRICE. Yes, sir, I'd like to be able to operate my program for that amount. There's obviously something there to learn about budgeting.
Yes, we have a concern. Obviously, there are exceptions. The State of Utah took care of it, evidently, but we know that there are other States where that hasn't been the case, and working with the local school districts and State governments hasn't been effective. So we've turned to the Federal Government looking for this necessary enforcement.
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Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Ms. Price.
Mr. McAlpin, you mentioned in your prepared testimony that, according to one source, an average of 7 percent of the cost of education is funded by Federal taxpayers; 45 percent is contributed by State taxpayers; and 45 percent is paid by local taxpayers. Is there any way to determine whether or not there is Federal funding involved, and how much is involved, when it comes to educating individuals in public schools?
Mr. MCALPIN. That's an average across the country on an annual basis, and I think it varies so much district by district that it would be different in every case. But, I mean, it would be an analysis necessary to do that.
Mr. SMITH. And over the half the cost, according to this analysis, is not paid for by local taxpayers; is that correct?
Mr. MCALPIN. That's correct.
Mr. SMITH. OK. Another quick question; in one bill we're consideringI think it's Mr. Frank's bill, H.R. 2172he uses the phrase, ''credible evidence of a local school system's desire to enroll students.'' How would we obtain that ''credible evidence?''
Mr. MCALPIN. Well, it might be just the same thing, the I20 form that's being used right now that a local school has to sign in order to get an F1 visa, but it's unspecified, and that's one of the concerns that we have that's subject to abuse, is what would constitute credible evidence. But even if they were, as we said, to pass a resolution at the school board level, we don't think it's appropriate for the local school board to appropriate funds from the Federal and State level that were not intended necessarily for that purpose.
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Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. McAlpin.
Ms. Jckowski, in Mr. Dellums' bill, you changed the current language that's in the law from ''publicly-funded adult education'' to ''public adult education.''
Ms. JCKOWSKI. Right.
Mr. SMITH. That is a major, and not insignificant, change. Would you tell us why you did so?
Ms. JCKOWSKI. Because we have not, because of the law we've had on the books since 1983, been able to access any Federal monies. It is very clear to me, since I run my own budget, where the money goes and where it comes from. Without that F1 monies, tuitionsand, as you can see, $20 versus $2,800, it's very clear who subsidizes whom. Those F1 monies are what keep me going. I buy computers for our high school completion program with F1 monies, et cetera. So we do not use Federal or State monies.
Mr. SMITH. We may revisit that issue, if we progress with this bill.
Let me ask my last question of Mr. Barker. In regard to the J visa program, which provides for exchange students, which is where some of the alleged burdens occur: Why wouldn't we change the J visa program to accommodate more exchange students, rather than changing the F visa program?
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Mr. BARKER. I wasn't asking to change the J visa program. I was saying the J visa program is a good program for established exchanges where you have at least five students. It does not meet the problems that we have with other students on exchanges.
Mr. SMITH. OK, thank you, Mr. Barker.
I want to recognize Mr. Watt and see if we can't get in a few more questions before we go vote.
Mr. WATT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I apologize to the committee and this panel; I may not be able to come back after this vote because I have a conflict. So I appreciate especially the opportunity to ask questions before we leave.
Mr. McAlpin, I understand the technical difficulty of determining what is Federal and what is State and local in the educational context, or in any context, although there seems to be a growing number of instances, with the new majority, where we have prohibited Federal funds from being used for different purposes at the local level. Without specifying any kind of mechanism for determining how you do that, we seem to have a fascination with it and with this bill. But let me accept that proposition, and I do think that is a serious proposition.
But the second proposition you advanced is more troubling to me, which is that the Federal Government has an obligation to protect the State and local governments from making stupid decisions about whether to fund or not to fund. That seems to me to be extremely paternalistic and completely inconsistent with our whole States' rights notion that is inherent in our constitutional form of government. I mean, I understand what you're saying, and I just absolutely disagree with you. I want to make it clear that I heard what you said, and while I accept part of what you said, I think if you're saying that the Federal Government somehow has an obligation to tell the States and local governments not to use their funds for this purpose, I think that's wrong.
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Mr. MCALPIN. Well, first of all, I'd just like to point out that this is athat immigration and the administration of these programs is a Federal responsibility, and in this case, managed in the way that it was previous to the new law, resulted in enormous
Mr. WATT. Yes, we had thought a number of things that were Federal obligations which we have backed away from.
Mr. MCALPIN. Right.
Mr. WATT [continuing]. And said that they were States' rights, and the Supreme Court is identifying more and more of them, in our federal form of government that we never even thought existed. I would grant you that. So this notion that we are the Big Brothers here, that is the Federal Government is the Big Brother, and we can impose our will on State and local governmentsI tell you, you are completely out of step with my colleagues over here, and you're completely out of step with me because I'm the principal defender of the States' Right Caucus. [Laughter.]
And my colleagues will tell you that.
Mr. SMITH. I'm glad to recognize that. We'll have occasion, I'm sure, to remind Mr. Watt of his States' Rights position. [Laughter.]
I appreciate that.
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Mr. WATT. I keep reminding you of it.
Mr. SMITH. Yes.
Mr. WATT. You haven't had the occasion yet to remind me of it. [Laughter.]
Mr. SMITH. Fair enough.
The committee will stand in recess, and we'll be back in about 15 minutes. And I'd like, if we could, to return to the panelists who are here for additional questions.
Mr. SMITH. The Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims will be in order.
The gentleman from Utah, Mr. Cannon, is recognized, after which the gentlewoman from California, Ms. Lofgren, will be recognized. I will need to excuse myself in about 3 minutes, but I'm sure we will be able to get to everybody's questions and answers. We are expecting another vote in about 15 or 20 minutes, and I would like to get to the last panel and have them answer questions, so that we can adjourn after that and before the next vote.
The gentleman from Utah.
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Mr. CANNON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to especially welcome Ms. Jckowski here from Utah.
I apologize for having to leave for that vote, and we were right in the middle of Mr. Watt's question, which was actually the question I wanted to ask you, Mr. McAlpin. Would you mind just summarizing your response, which is: Why should the Federal Government be telling States what to do in this case?
Mr. MCALPIN. Well, first of all, as I tried to point out, immigration, of course, is a Federal responsibility, and here we're running a program that is going tothat is sort of, in a sense, opens the door for an unfunded mandate on State and local taxpayers that the Federal Government sets the rules for in nonimmigrant visas. So that's the point and the issue. It's sort of like the Federal Government defines public charge, that an alien, legal or illegal, canI mean, a legal alien can be deported if they become a public charge; they don't specify that it's only for a public charge that involves the use of Federal funds in a federally-funded benefit program; it is welfare. This is, I think, an apt analogy.
Mr. CANNON. Well, I understood that in this regard you are fairly similar, I would think, you and Ms. Price, who is concerned about competition that is subsidized, that is subsidized by States, something that doesn't happen in Utah because we have a State law. In effect, you were not vigorouslywhen Mrs. Price was talking about thatwould you like to talk about that, Ms. Jckowski, and do other States have similar laws or is Utah unique in this regard?
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Ms. JCKOWSKI. I think Utah's been unique as far as the first State to do so. California's law, I believe, went into effect in 1986. Anyone want to help me with that? But we are aware that some other States have come onboard with similar laws. Right now, I am aware of about four different States where that has been common practice for some time to be charging full, unsubsidized tuitions.
One thing that I'm not sure about other States, but in Utahit might be a model for other States to considerwe have separate funding for adult education that must be, by State law, totally separated from K12 education funding. So that eliminates lots of paperwork, lots of hassles, as we were talking aboutwell, how do we know what money goes where? The reports that we turn in, it's quite simple to have I20 rolls and refugee-resident citizen rolls separate, which is exactly what we do. Then we eliminate those rolls from our S3 State report that comes to the central level, so we are not being reimbursed for any of those students.
On the other hand, we are using buildings in the evenings and the afternoons. We're making better use of things that are already there. We pay custodian services. All those secondary costs we are aware of, and we have to make up for, and as directors of programs, we know what our budgets are, and we know if we don't make enough money, we're going to have to let teachers go, et cetera. So we watch it like watchdogs because it is, in fact, our bread and butter, too.
Mr. CANNON. I hate unfunded mandates, but it seems to me that Utah is a great model for deferring that. In other words, this is not truly a mandate. It's a context in which States can spend more money, as they may choose or may not have actually a conscious process.
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Earlier you were saying, Mr. McAlpin, thatI think you said that it was wrong to allow kids to be educated who have no intent to stay here. Now, then, you gave some compelling substantiation for that. Let me just say that there are also some compelling reasons to let peoplefor it not being wrong to let children be educated here who are notwho don't have an intent to stay. Personally, while they're here, they spend money, even if they don'teven if they're not taxpayers, their parents are supporting them and they're spending money in the economy. They're paying, if they own or rent an apartment, effectively, they're paying property tax. Of course, I don't have the numbers on the top of my head, but I think it would be substantial contributions.
More importantly, I like to think of America as ''a shining city on a hill,'' to quote a former President. But we have something that the rest of the world is trying to emulate right now, and why not help those who have the money and who have the influence in their own countries develop a rapport with America, and an understanding of America, by learning English and by enjoying the culture?
Mr. MCALPIN. If I could, Mr. Cannon, I just want to point out that the student exchange programs that run throughforeign exchange programsthrough the J program, that it seems to us that there's certainly great benefits to those kinds of exchange programs for American kids and schools, and we would be very supportive of that, and if there's problems with it because of the limits some school districts have, that you have to have five kids, but you can pool your resources and participate in programs, there may be ways around to solve some of these cases that provide that enrichment for American kids. What we're concerned about is people taking advantage of the American taxpayers to get their kids educated in the United States at exclusive school districts.
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Mr. CANNON. Exactly. I recognize that concern. I just want to suggest there is an alternative way to look at it, and probably a local level to control that on.
Ms. LOFGREN. Well, we're on our own, Chris. [Laughter.]
Mr. BARKER. I wondered if I could comment, Mr. Cannon, on youroh, you're having to leave?
Mr. CANNON. Go ahead.
Ms. LOFGREN. I'll wait.
Mr. CANNON. Do you mind if Mr. Barkerthat way we don't havewe avoid Mr. Dellums' problem of side vision. While you're coming, Ms. Lofgren, perhaps we could allow Mr. Barker to go ahead and make a comment?
Mr. BARKER. I would just like to comment on two points. One is this question of an unfunded mandate. This is exactly what it is not. There's no mandate from the Federal Government that we have to accept students in the public schools. It's entirely our own choice. It's the school district that signs the I20. The Federal Government is not mandating that we take the student. So I don't understand that reference in this context at all.
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And to get back to my fundamental point, all we're asking is that the local people who payand in our case, probably 90 percent of the school expenses, (not 45%; I don't know where this has come from) have the choice of whether or not to change fees. And we do, properly charge students who are coming here just because their parents can afford to send them to be educated in the United States.
And I agree with you, Mr. Cannon, that the more foreign students that we have who are paying their way or on exchange programs, the better, because they go back to their countries understanding this country a great deal betterand to the benefit of all of us. But it's not an unfunded mandate.
Mr. CANNON. Thank you, Mr. Barker.
Mr. BARKER. Thank you, Mr. Cannon.
Mr. CANNON. The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from California for 5 minutes.
Ms. LOFGREN. Thank you, Chris.
There has been talk of coup all week here, and we didn't know we'd have a bipartisan coup right here in our committee. [Laughter.]
Mr. CANNON. Nor so low, so high, so fast. [Laughter.]
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Ms. LOFGREN. I just want to make a couple of observations and then maybe a question for the school people, in particular.
As I said earlier, the issue of parachute kids is a real one, but it seems to me, having had this in my own community, that the payment of tuition doesn't solve the problem of the parachute kids. In fact, paying tuition and, you know, the wealthy families that are sending kids in, hiring a nanny even, you've still got kids that are living, basically, unsupervised, it's not healthy for them and it's not healthy for a community.
I'm not prepared to do it this moment, but I think what we need to do to address the issue of parachute kids is not financial, although, clearly, I don't object, and believe that parents should pay the tuition in such cases, unless a school district decides otherwise, but a level of inquiry by the INS as to the actual home situation: If it's an aunt, is it really the aunt? I mean, maybe these parents need to pay for an investigator, and we need to prove that it's a manageable situation, that isn't burdensome to a community.
As with Mr. Cannon, I believe there is benefit in learning about each other around the world. I remember back when I was in high school, the students that were there from other countries, there were, I think, three in the 3 years I was in high school. One was a young woman who became a good friend of mine, who was from Laos. There was a young man who was from the Netherlands, and there was a young girl from South Africa. They weren't on exchange programs in the J program, but they learned something about us and we learned something about them. It was a very positive experience, and one that we should not unintentionally disrupt.
Page 80 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The final thing I'd like to say, maybe for Mr. Barker, is that, if we act so that we allow you to decide in what cases you want to allow an F2 student in your school district, do you believe that through the vehicle of the I20 you could make that judgment and charge some and decide you don't want to charge the two other students that you think would benefit your school system? Is that something you could handle?
Mr. BARKER. Yes, I think it is, and it's something we have handled, because what our superintendent does. If he's about to issue an I20 or would like to, he comes to the school committee, and he says, ''My recommendation is . . .'' We then charge 100 percent or 50 percent, or whatever, and he gives us reasons. He has done investigations and asked the family to disclose their income and the reasons why they wish their child to come into the schools. I have voted on a number of these cases. Some I voted for, and some I said, no, I think they should be charged full. Others, because of mitigating circumstances, we've allowed to come in at, say, 50 percent. But the answer is, yes, it's a few phone calls, and ''Please send me a financial statement.''
I agree there can be fraud, but, I mean, you can't make laws that forbid a school to have an F1 student because there is fraud in the world. If we did that, you'd never issue a green card, because there are some fraudulent green cards. So my answer to your question is, yes, we dowe can and we do.
Ms. LOFGREN. Finally, I'd just like to say I've neverI've only been in the Congress now 30, I guess 32, months, but in those 32 months I have never heard the argument that we can't use Federal funding for the schools as a hook; you know, we couldn't track Federal money. I mean, the Congress has passed measures saying, you can't do any teaching of sexuality with Federal funds
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Mr. BARKER. Exactly.
Ms. LOFGREN [continuing]. And no one has ever said that, you can't do it it doesn't work. I just don't buy that. I'm not worried about graft at the grammar school. [Laughter.]
I would finally point out that theI was in local government for many years before I was elected to Congress, and people used to tell me all the time: Government should act like a business. And I believe that's true. And we try to do that; in California there is no taxing authority at a local level, absent votes of the people, and we were prudent. But when we did act like a business and actually turn a small return, invariably somebody would gripe, and I believe that's what's happening on the adult education issue today.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. CANNON. Thank you.
Ms. PRICE. Mr. Chairman.
Mr. CANNON. We appreciate the panel. Ms. Price, I would be happy to recognize you, but we have aI have a problem elsewhere, too, and we have another panel that we're going to have to hear. If you don't mind, perhaps you could submit something
Page 82 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. PRICE. I do; I have documents to submit to the written record. Thank you.
Mr. CANNON. That would be fine. Without objection.
Mr. CANNON. And we want to thank the panel. It was very interesting and enlightening, and we appreciate your insights. Thank you very much.
Ms. JCKOWSKI. Mr. Cannon, may I also enterI have student letters, organizations, from different universities' letters, and also teacher letters that I would like to enter.
Mr. CANNON. Without objection, you'll have 14 days to do that. All the panelists may. Thank you.
Mr. BARKER. And thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the courtesy.
Mr. CANNON. That's stretching it a little bit, but you're welcome. [Laughter.]
Mr. BARKER. No, no. We all appreciate it.
Mr. CANNON. Is Mr. Dannenfelser here? Thank you, Mr. Dannenfelser. I appreciate your appearance here and willingness to testify.
Page 83 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSTATEMENT OF MARTIN J. DANNENFELSER, JR., ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR GOVERNMENT RELATIONS, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL
Mr. DANNENFELSER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to commend you on your rapid ascension to a greater position of authority with the committee here.
Mr. Chairman, last December, President Clinton invited General Chi Hoatian, China's defense minister, to the White House. The general blandly told Americans that no one was killed in Tiananmen Square in 1989. He was given full military honors at the Pentagon, including a 19-gun salute. But in 1989, General Chi employed many more than 19 guns in his brutal suppression of the student democracy movement in Tiananmen Square, at the heart of Beijing. As the whole world watched, People's Liberation Army soldiers gunned down the unarmed Chinese people the general called ''hooligans.'' Although these brave students, marching peacefully, were not victims of religious persecution, their example highlights the brutality of the Beijing regime, a regime which exterminated thousands of peaceful students and then denied that a single person died in the event and the aftermath. This is the situation we are facing with religious persecution in China.
On January 30, 1997, our State Department released its annual human rights report, which indicted communist authorities for stepping-up their efforts to silence dissidents. The report also concluded that all previously-known dissidents had been effectively silenced by jail, torture, or exile. The response of China's government was to accuse the United States of distorting the facts and of being a ''money-bag democracy.''
Page 84 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And just recently, after religious freedom advocates denounced China for being the No. 1 aggressor against religious believers in the world, China's Religious Affairs Bureau Chief, Comrade Ye Xiaowen, claimed that there is no underground church movement in China, nor is there any form of religious persecution sponsored by the government. In fact, Mr. Ye, a nonbeliever, suggests that this is ''a golden period in China for religious people.'' And yet, the State Department just released a report this week confirming that the communist Chinese government has launched a campaign to crack down and eliminate all religious activity in China. The report even observes that, ''Communist Party officials state that party membership and religious belief are incompatible.''
Coming this fall, we are faced with yet another experience with China's regime, the visit of President Jiang Zemin. In the traditions of diplomacy, President Jiang Zemin will be extended the red-carpet treatment at American taxpayers' expense. American families are being asked to herald the visit of a man who is responsible for the implementation of a ''new wave'' of religious persecution sweeping across China.
In 1994, Mr. Jiang issued orders calling for the increased crackdown on unregistered churches in China. According to The New York Times, he also began preaching that social stability is of paramount importance to the party's survival and must be preserved at all costseven crushing political and religious groups whose activities could serve as a vehicle to challenge the government's legitimacy. To further this goal, the Communist Party has instituted reforms that ban house churches, incriminate religious leaders, and use military means when necessary to block unregistered gatherings of worship.
This intensified crackdown was documented on March 4, 1997, when Vice President Gore was preparing to visit China. Agents from the Shanghai Public Security Bureau invaded and ransacked the apartment of Bishop Fan Zhongliang, the Coadjutor Roman Catholic Bishop of Shanghai. Bishop Fan was targeted because all religious activity and expression outside the system of state-controlled ''churches'' is banned or restricted as part of the government's campaign against religion.
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This act of terrorism was plainly orchestrated in an effort to intimidate Catholics and other Christians in the period leading up to Holy Week and Easter. Chinese authorities engaged in a similar crackdown last December, targeting Catholics and Protestants in a campaign designed to prevent any observance of Christmas.
Protestants are arrested and tortured for holding prayer meetings, preaching, and distributing Bibles without state approval. Roman Catholic priests and bishops are imprisoned for celebrating Mass without official authorization. Many priests who reject membership in this so-called ''patriotic'' church have been abducted and sent to government-sponsored labor camps. Medical attention has been denied and withheld from these priests, even when desperately needed. Amnesty International has even reported several cases of Christian Chinese women being hung by their thumbs from wires and beaten with heavy rods, denied food and water, and shocked with electric probes. This systematic persecution threatens an estimated 70 million religious believers of all denominations throughout China.
Only last September, Premier Li Peng said that Chinese government departments must ''step up the control of religious affairs'' and that religion ''should serve the aims of socialism.'' Just six months later, Vice President Gore toasted Li Peng while visiting China.
But through this entire series of episodes, U.S. policymakers have failed to sufficiently respond to China's systematic abuse of religious believers. This silence has emboldened Communist Party authorities at all levels to continue persecuting religious believers in China. These same officials have subsequently been hosted by our government and granted the subsidies of American taxpayers.
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Mr. Chairman, denying visas to these offenders and withholding travel subsidies sends an important message to the Beijing regime and other governments which seek to employ tyranny against religious believers. Mr. Gilman's legislation gives the United States the chance to stand on the side of Chinese citizens struggling for the freedom to worship according to the dictates of their own conscious, and their cause is one on which America should never falter.
And I'm happy to answer your questions.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Dannenfelser follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF MARTIN J. DANNENFELSER, JR., ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR GOVERNMENT RELATIONS, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL
Last December, President Clinton invited General Chi Hoatian, China's defense minister, to the White House. The general blandly told Americans that no one was killed in Tiananmen Square in 1989. He was given full military honors at the Pentagon, including a nineteen-gun salute. But in 1989, General Chi employed many more than nineteen guns in his brutal suppression of the student democracy movement in Tiananmen Square, at the heart of Beijing. As the whole world watched, People's Liberation Army soldiers gunned down the unarmed Chinese people the general called ''hooligans.'' Although these brave students marching peacefully were not victims of religious persecution their example highlights the brutality of the Beijing regime, a regime which exterminated thousands of peaceful students and then denied that a single person died in the event and the aftermath. This is the situation we are facing with religious persecution in China.
Page 87 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC On January 30, 1997, our State Department released its annual human rights report, which indicted Communist authorities for stepping up their efforts to silence dissidents. The report also concluded that all previously known dissidents had been effectively silenced by jail, torture, or exile. The response of China's government was to accuse the United States of distorting the facts and of being a ''money bag democracy.''
And just recently, after religious freedom advocates denounced China for being the number one aggressor against religious believers in the world, China's Religious Affairs Bureau Chief, Comrade Ye Xiaowen, claimed that there is no underground church movement in China, nor is there any form of religious persecution sponsored by the Government. In fact, Mr. Ye, a nonbeliever, suggests this is, ''a golden period in China for religious people.'' And yet, the State Department just released a report this week confirming that the Communist Chinese government has launched a campaign to crack down and eliminate all free religious activity in China. The report even observes that ''Communist Party officials state that party membership and religious belief are incompatible.''
Coming this fall we are faced with yet another experience with China's regime, the visit of President Jiang Zemin. In the traditions of diplomacy, President Zemin will be extended the red-carpet treatment at American taxpayers' expense. American families are being asked to herald the visit of a man who is responsible for the implementation of a ''new wave'' of religious persecution sweeping across China.
In 1994, Mr. Zemin, issued orders calling for the increased crackdown on unregistered churches in China. According to The New York Times, he also began preaching that ''social stability'' is of paramount importance to the party's survival and must be preserved at all costseven crushing political and religious groups whose activities could serve as a vehicle to challenge the Government's legitimacy. To further this goal, the Communist Party has instituted reforms that ban house churches, incriminate religious leaders, and use military means when necessary to block unregistered gatherings of worship.
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This intensified crackdown was documented on March 4, 1997 when Vice-President Al Gore was preparing to visit China. Agents from the Shanghai Public Security Bureau invaded and ransacked the apartment of Bishop Fan Zhongliang, S.J., the Coadjutor Roman Catholic Bishop of Shanghai. Bishop Fan was targeted because all religious activity and expression outside the system of state-controlled ''churches'' is banned or restricted as part of the government's campaign against religion.
This act of terrorism was plainly orchestrated in an effort to intimidate Catholics and other Christians in the period leading up to Holy Week and Easter. Chinese authorities engaged in a similar crackdown last December, targeting Catholics and Protestants in a campaign designed to prevent any observance of Christmas.
Protestants are arrested and tortured for holding prayer meetings, preaching, and distributing Bibles without state approval. Roman Catholic priests and bishops are imprisoned for celebrating mass without official authorization. Many priests who reject membership in the ''patriotic'' church have been abducted and sent to government-sponsored labor camps. Medical attention has been withheld from these priests, even when desperately needed. Amnesty International has even reported several cases of Christian Chinese women being hung by their thumbs from wires and beaten with heavy rods, denied food and water, and shocked with electric probes. This systematic persecution threatens an estimated 70 million religious believers of all denominations throughout China.
Only last September, Premier Li Peng said that Chinese government departments must ''step up the control of religious affairs'' and that religion ''should serve the aims of socialism.'' Just six months later Vice President Gore toasted Li Peng while visiting China.
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But through this entire series of episodes, U.S. policy makers have failed to sufficiently respond to China's systematic abuse of religious believers. This silence has emboldened Communist Party authorities at all levels to continue persecuting religious believers in China. These same officials have subsequently been hosted by our government and granted the subsidies of American taxpayers.
In the words of New York Times columnist A. M. Rosenthal, ''. . . President Clinton is the prisoner of Beijing. He has not and will not tell the truth about stepped up Chinese repression . . . [and] he would have to admit the failure of his appeasement policies and for this he has neither the will or the courage.'' Where the president and his executive branch fail to take meaningful steps to address religious persecution, it falls to Congress to take serious action. The passage of legislation, such as this measure proposed by Congressman Gilman, can begin to give hope to those Chinese citizens who struggle to practice their faith in the midst of the regime's oppression.
Admission into the company of civilized nations entails certain responsibilities, the most basic being the practice of civilized behavior. How can a nation that is the leader of the ''free world'' admit into its ranks, a government which embodies the very essence of tyranny?
Family Research Council is unwilling that the American flag should lend comfort to those resting precariously on the bed of tyranny. Should we not always make it clear that our prayers and policies are on the side of those struggling for freedom against the tanks of tyranny? By the extension of visas and diplomatic welcomings, America is lending her stamp of legitimacy to rulers who offend our basic instincts about freedom.
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Denying visas to these offenders and withholding travel subsidies sends an important message to the Beijing regime and other governments which seek to employ tyranny against religious believers. This legislation gives the United States the chance to stand on the side of Chinese citizens struggling for the freedom to worship according to the dictates of their own conscience. And their cause is one on which America should never falter.
Mr. CANNON. Thank you very much. I appreciate your willingness to appear and your testimony. I have no questions at this time.
Ms. LOFGREN. The only question I guess I have iswell, the only part of this bill we have jurisdiction over is the visa issuance part, obviously, not the other provisions. I understand the motive for this, and I think there's some merit to it. I am concerned, however, about how the definitions sectionhow we would say, for example, if the leader of China wanted to come over and meet with the leaders of Congress; that might produce a positive result, one would hope, because I share the concern about persecution, including religious persecution. I would add that the situation with Buddhists is at least as severe, perhaps even worse in some cases, than what you've described with the persecution of Christians. But it seems to me there ought to be some leeway or some ability to facilitate travel or communication in cases where it would lead to improvement.
I'm also concerned that, for example, you had an individual who's employed by the Chinese government, which is almost everybody who's employed because of their communistic system, because the Chinese government itself is involved in repressionI'm just trying to figure out how far the trail goes. I'm not sure that we can answer that today, but I did want to mention that I think those questions are out there and need to be sorted through. I thank the witness for his testimony.
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Mr. DANNENFELSER. Thank you.
Mr. CANNON. Thank you. The gentlewoman from California yields back her time.
Unless there's other business, the subcommittee stands adjourned. Thank you.
[Whereupon, at 12:25 p.m., the subcommittee adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X S
Material Submitted for the Hearing Record
Appendix 1.Letter dated July 23, 1997, from Delaine Eastin, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Hon. LAMAR SMITH, Chair
House Immigration and Claims Subcommittee
DEAR CHAIRMAN SMITH: As California's State Superintendent of Public Instruction, I want to voice my support for H.R. 1543. The bill would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to permit certain nonimmigrant aliens to study in publicly funded adult education programs if the alien provides reimbursement for such study.
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Publicly funded adult education programs were omitted as a provider of education services for certain nonimmigrant aliens by the Illegal Immigration reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. These adult education programs were providing a service of value for which these aliens were willing to pay. Community colleges can provide education services to certain nonimmigrant aliens and were not affected by the 1996 law. In California, K12 adult schools provide more than 70 percent of all adult education services in the state, with community colleges providing the remainder. Fairness dictates that K12 adult schools should be allowed to provide the same adult education services to nonimmigrant aliens as do the community colleges.
H.R. 1543 is a step in the right direction to correct inequities against K12 adult schools in the Immigration and Nationality Act. I hope you will give it every consideration. If I can be of any assistance in this matter, please contact me or have your staff contact Henry Der, Deputy Superintendent for External Affairs Branch, at (916) 6575360.
|State Superintendent of Public Instruction.|
cc: Hon. Ronald V. Dellums.
Hon. Elton Gallegly.
Hon. Sonny Bono.
Page 93 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Hon. Howard L. Berman.
Hon. Zoe Lofgren.
Appendix 2.Prepared statement from Stanley F. Pickett, President, American Language Academy, Rockville, Maryland
July 24, 1997
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, the American Language Academy (ALA) wishes to take this opportunity to present our views for the record pursuant to your hearing on July 24, 1997, regarding H.R. 1543. The American Language Academy was founded in 1970 in Washington, D.C., to provide intensive English language instruction to foreign students in the United States. We now operate fifteen language programs at universities, colleges, and boarding schools in 12 states around the U.S., and we pay taxes on the income from those program operations.
One bill before this SubcommitteeH.R. 1543contains provisions which will damage a thoroughly debated and thoughtfully written section of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996Section 625 of that Act.
The proposed provisions would remove restrictions which currently prohibit the enrollment of nonimmigrant F1 students in publicly funded adult education programs and thereby enable their enrollment.
Publicly funded adult education programs serve a valuable purpose in the education of citizens and legal immigrants. Such programs have a legaland perhaps even a moralmandate to provide education which will advance the knowledge, skills, and earningand therefore tax-payingpower of citizens and legal immigrants who may lack the resources to find their own education. By their uncoerced initiative, those citizens and legal immigrants undertake to sacrifice time and effortoften in addition to meeting the demands of full-time work and family obligationsto increase their knowledge and build their skills, which in turn enable them to increase their incomes and become more productive members of American society. By that production, American benefits from the contribution of better work and additional taxes which repay the commitment society has made to their education. Publicly funded adult education programs are a foundation coil in the upward spiral of a higher-skilled and more productive society.
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However, non-immigrant F1 students are granted visas to study in the United States only after demonstrating that they have the funds to cover the costs of studying and living in the United States they will not become a public charge, and they will return home after completing their study. They constitute an American export: they bring their money from abroad to pay for their study and living expenses while here. They are an export market which other countries compete energetically against us to acquire. They do not pay American taxes. They are not permitted to take employment, except very limitedly and under the tightest of constraints.
It would be wrong to make U.S. taxpayers subsidize the education of foreign non-taxpayers who have sworn as a condition of entry that they have the money necessary to study here.
It would be wrong to give to non-taxpaying non-immigrants the classroom seats rightfully belonging to hard-working, taxpaying citizens and legal immigrants.
It would be wrong to spend tax money to enable non-taxpayers to depart tax-paying private education programs for which they were granted visas and thereby lose tax revenue from those programsin other words, to spend tax money for the direct result of losing tax revenue.
Further, the proposed provision to allow non-immigrant F1 students to enroll in publicly funded adult education programs on condition that such students pay the full, unsubsidized cost of instruction attempts to give ominously misleading reassurance to the Congress and the U.S. taxpayer. For who will stipulate the accounting procedures to be used to calculate that cost? Accounting procedures in educational institutions vary widely: the resulting necessary regulations to equalize them would create a cat's cradle of strictures both expensive to monitor and impossible to regulate.
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Section 625 presents a clean classification which serves best the people who need it most: taxpaying U.S. citizens and legal immigrants. We respectfully request and urge that Congress retain unchanged Section 625 of the current law.
Appendix 3.Additional information submitted for the hearing record by Cora Jckowski, ESL Coordinator and Foreign Student Advisor, Central High Community School, Granite School District, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Congressman CHRIS CANNON,
|Provo City School District,|
|Provo, UT, March 18, 1997.|
DEAR CONGRESSMAN CANNON: The Provo City School District Board of Education, are highly concerned with the possibility our Adult Education Intensive English as a Second Language (ESL) Program may be prevented from accepting I20 students. Yet, we understand the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 may be interpreted in such a way as to prevent public school adult education staffs from issuing I20s. Provo School District's program was the first in the nation to receive permission from the Office of Immigration to function as a post-secondary, college-preparation, ESL program in a public school system. Our program received permission in 1983 to issue I20s and has steadily grown into a reputable entity that has become a model for other states to follow. It has always been and is now a totally self-supporting program.
The Utah Legislature enacted a law in 1983 to require all school district to charge non-permanent resident students to pay tuitions equal to allocations received for each permanent resident and citizen. As a state, Utah has been national leader in this area.
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It would be a great loss of revenue to our other adult education program to withdraw the option to issue I20s. They would not be able to financially support our trained, competent, experienced ESL staff.
The discontinuance of our Intensive ESL program would be a huge loss to not only individual Limited English Proficient (LEP) students, but would have a most negative impact on the local university and the community as a whole. Most importantly, this program enhances family structure by placing parents in the language leadership role in their homes.
Accordingly, we urge you to contact Mori Berez with the INS, appointed to interpret the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to insure that Provo School District be allowed to continue to offer I20 students the English instruction they so desperately need.
|Gerald R. Williams, President,|
|Provo City School District Board of Education.|
Date: March 21, 1997
To: Richard Gomez, Coordinator Equity Section
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From: Carol Lear, Specialist School Law and Legislation
Subject: Non-resident post-secondary students
We spoke recently about the eligibility standards for adult education programs sponsored by the public schools. Students over the age of 18, usually called adult education students, may only be served by Utah's various school districts consistent with Utah Code Section 53A15404:
(2) Eligible nonresidents of the state shall be charged tuition at least equal to that charged nonresident students for similar classes at a local or nearby state college or university, unless waived in whole or in part by the local school board in an open meeting.
F1 students are, by their own admission, visitors to the United States and to Utah. They do not intend to establish residency in the state nor do they present the necessary indicia of residents to qualify them for free public education programs such as adult education funding.
RE: Interpretation of HR 3610/P.L. 104208 section 625, 214(l)
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: I am an English as a Second Language teacher in Granite School District's intensive adult ESL program. Prior to coming to work for Granite District, I taught part-time in Salt Lake Community High School's ESL program while earning an M.A in Linguistics/TESOL from the University of Utah. In 1990, I moved to Tokyo, Japan, where I spent two years on the English Faculty at Asia University. At the same time, I taught English part-time at Tokyo University of Art and Design and ACE Center English Language School. I came back to the United States in the spring of 1992, and taught two quarters at the English Language Institute at the Universe of Utah. In September of 1992, I began working fill-time at Central Community School in the Granite School District.
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Central Community School serves a very unique function in the Salt Lake area. It provides English language instruction to a wide variety of adults from all over the world, with very different backgrounds. Students in our program include refugees, residents, immigrants, U.S. citizens, and F1 student visas. Our program is intensive, with students in class for 27 hours a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and morning classes on Fridays. Students stay with the same class for three and one half hour blocks in the morning, and two and one-half hour blocks in the afternoons. This intensive amount of tune helps the teachers monitor the F1 students, making sure that they adhere to our strict attendance policy. It also helps students and teachers to form strong bonds and lasting friendships. Students use English both in and out of class, and develop stills in English much more rapidly than they would be able to in a less intensive situation. This kind of intensive exposure to English is not available in any other program in this area.
Another unique aspect of our program is the mix of students. Residents, refugees, and citizens are charged a minimal fee to use our program, which allows people who are struggling to make ends meet to learn English. F1 students, who receive no public subsidy, are charged a much higher tuition. Though they may occasionally complain about the higher tuition that they must pay, they understand that it is because they are nonpermanent residents of the U.S., and therefore cannot get a subsidy. They still want to attend our program, however, because of the strict academic policies to which they are held. This program provides college and TOEFL preparation for our students. In addition, many students transfer here from other programs in the area, because we offer a more basic beginning class than is offered at the University of Utah. Our program at Central is as academically demanding as some Universities where I have taught. Students receive grades and are tested regularly to help us monitor their improvement, and daily homework assignments are given. The inclusion of F1 student visas helps us to maintain the high academic standards that our students have come to expect.
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In my opinion, this program is one of the best in the state. We help F1 students improve their English skills so that they may study at a university here or return to their countries and find a better job. We also help residents, refugees, U.S. citizens, and immigrants achieve their goals of learning more English to improve their lives in this country. Without the tuition of the F1 students, this would probably not be possible. Our program has always strictly abided by all state and federal regulations. Without the inclusion of F1 student visas, many of the things that make our program unique and beneficial to the community will be diminished.
To: Representative Chris Cannon
RE: HR 3610/P.L. 104208 s. 625, 214(l)
DEAR SIR, I am an ESL instructor with an outstanding community education program in Granite District. I have many years experience, an M.A. and am certified to teach English as a Second Language (TESOL certificate). I am certified to teach high school in Utah. I taught TOEFL preparation for four years at the University of Utah before coming to Central High School in Granite.
I am concerned that some very good ESL programs, including our own, will be severely cut back or closed as a result of a recent interpretation of the above law. Our program is now forbidden to sign F1 visas for overseas students. This means they cannot enter the country to attend our school. The overseas students, far from being a burden on U.S. taxpayers, help subsidize the cost of our resident students.
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Our school, a publicly funded LEA, strictly follows all regulations. It does not give foreign students an education at our citizens expense. Also, we reach a segment of the populationadult refugees and immigrantswhose language needs are imminent but who cannot be served by K12 public schools because they exceed age 18.
Our school has acquired a reputation of language, excellence and success over 18 years. As a TOEFL preparation teacher, I know our students score better on their practice tests than do my former overseas university students. They speak better, write better, and have a stronger sense of grammar. This is because our program is more intensive, better coordinated and better able to meet students needs.
The above law is, no doubt, intended to stop exploitation of tax dollars by overseas students. Our school is not an offender. Please take the needed action to see this damaging law is rescinded.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: I have recently heard that Congress is considering a bill which would prevent the issuing of I20's to foreign students intending to learn English in community schools. I cannot understand the logic of such a bill or what the country would intend to accomplish by enacting such a law. As an ESL teacher who has been teaching in the community programs for many years now, I am very concerned about this proposed law for a variety of reasons. Since a great number of ESL teachers are working in the community education program, this law would put us all out of work, causing mass unemployment in the ESL field, not to mention the possible obliteration of an entire field of study. Why would anyone want to take ESL classes any more if all the jobs were on the university level or overseas?
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Regarding the foreign students themselves, they would suffer a huge loss. The community schools offer unique opportunities not provided by typical university ESL programs. For example, our school here in Provo allows students to enroll in late afternoon and night classes. Furthermore, I've taught students who have formed strong bonds of friendship with other ethnic groups, and many, I'm sure, return to their own countries with warm regards towards the U.S.A. This in turn fosters a good will that can only benefit the world. It is simply un-American to deny freedom of choice to all people, whether living temporarily or permanently within the borders of this great nation, especially in the universally important area of education.
Finally, the U.S.A. would miss out on the revenue that having these people here inevitably brings. Perhaps I have not understood exactly what this new bill intends to do; however, if it is true that all the community schools would be eliminated from the educational options of future ESL students getting I20's, then I must strongly object, and I hope that you, as my representative, can see the extreme folly in passing such a bill.
|Murray, UT, March 24, 1997.|
RE: Interpretation of HR 3610/P.L. 104208, Section 625, 214(l).
Page 102 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: I have been teaching English as a Second Language for Granite School District since August of 1993 on a full-time basis. Before that, I had been teaching for Richardson School District in Dallas, Texas on a part-time basis. I received my B.S. degree in education from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. After that I earned an endorsement in English as a Second Language from the University of Texas in Dallas. Teaching is a fulfilling and rewarding career.
Granit School District's Community Education for teaching English as a second language to adults is an exceptional and unique program. It serves legal immigrants from all over the world regardless of color, race, economic status or level of education. They are refugees, residents, citizens and visitors. These adults come to the U.S. for a variety of reasons but all have one thing in common, a desire to learn English. Our program unifies these students of English by teaching them intensively. The classes are in three and one-half hour blocks of time in which the students learn and practice all fundamental skills of English. Class time for full-time students totals 27 hours a week. Because of this amount of time, students from relationships in which communication, via the English language, is fostered. This is what makes our program so unique and practical. Other programs offer shorter amounts of time with less opportunity for implementation of skills learned in classes.
Our program has worked closely with other educational institutions. One of the goals for many of the F1 student visas is to attend a college or university in the United States. We facilitate this goal by preparing them to pass English entrance examinations to there institutions such as the Michigan and TOEFL.
One of the reasons our program is so successful is the mixture of students. This is possible because of the funding we receive. We are a locally funded institution. It is subsidized by the tuitions paid by the F1 students visas. Because of these tuitions, students of other statuses are able to participate in a program that not only prepares adults for further education but also for jobs and life in these United States. Without these student visas, all students would be affected. These other students specifically are refugees, residents and citizens of the U.S. It is my opinion that not allowing F1 visas to participate in our school would be retrogressive and contrary to the very goals that our government has for educating our immigrants.
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I appreciate the opportunity to express my concerns for an institution that is exceptional, unique and doing much good. It is also my hope that through communications such as this we will be able to continue to function and contribute a very necessary service.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN, I have been an ESL teacher for 24 years and have taught in different schools and in many types of programs. For the past fifteen years I have taught in the Provo School District IESL program and I honestly believe this is one of the best structured programs I have seen and one that is a real asset to the community it serves.
The I20 program that is run here is totally self-supporting, no public funds are used to subsidize it, quite on the contrary, it contributes financially to the public school district it is affiliated with.
It also offers the opportunity to naturalized citizens and legal residents to achieve higher educational goals by offering them an academically oriented English program for a fraction of the price they would have to pay elsewhere.
Because of its unique features, this program is in a way quite different from the ESL programs in the area. It is a college oriented program and designed to teach heavily to the TOEFL which is the English exam required of foreign students for college admission. It also incorporates college text materials to better prepare the student for the journey ahead. And because of the way this program is structured the average student only stays one or two quarters (36 months) before entering an American university.
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Moreover, this program does not ignore the teaching of American culture, which is often left out in other programs, to help the student adjust more easily to the American School system.
The great majority of our I20 student body is formed by highly educated students with very definite goals seeking to do graduate work. And the high level of success achieved by those students can speak for the validity of this program.
It is for this reason that I believe that this attempt by Congress to prevent programs like ours to issue I20's is not only an unfair policy but also a determent to the international student population. As my state representative, I request that you to help put a stop to this proposal.
|Sheila M. Johnson, IESL Teacher, |
|Community Education, Provo School District.|
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN, I am writing concerning the immigration law which prevents issuing I20 visas to full-time foreign students who wish to attend ESL programs in the public schools' adult education programs. I strongly oppose this law.
Page 105 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I am an English as a second language (ESL) instructor at the Provo School District English Language School, located in Provo, Utah. I have been teaching ESL for eight years in academic programs at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), and Brigham Young University, and conversation programs at the University of Central Florida and at UC San Diego.
The full-time students who enroll in our program are excellent students, highly educated in their own countries, with definite goals and directions. The average stay of the students is one or two quarters, or 36 months, before they enter the university system. The I20 program here is equal in quality to any of those that I taught at the universities; the students are prepared to enter the university by a rigorous curriculum which includes college textbooks, and instruction in American culture and academic customs. In addition, this program is completely supported financially by student tuition; public funds are not required.
The I20 programs benefit the community by bringing in people who increase the business in the local area, and by assisting the schools by making available their technology, i.e., computers, televisions and VCRs, to the junior high and high school students during the day.
For these reasons, the I20 visas should not be restricted to those full-time foreign students who attend university ESL programs. As my representative, I request that you do all within your power to have this restriction eliminated. Since Utah is regarded as one of the pioneers in the field of ESL instruction, it would be beneficial for the legislators to examine its system as an example for future changes.
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|Elizabeth De Tomasi, ESL Instructor,|
|Provo High School English Language School.|
Appendix 4.Additional information submitted for the hearing record by Judy Judd Price, Center Director, ELS Language Centers.
Mr. JIM WILON,
|ELS Language Centers,|
|Culver City, CA, August 1, 1997.|
Congressional Staff to
Hon. LAMAR S. SMITH, TEXAS
House of Representatives
Committee on the Judiciary
Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims
re: H.R. 1543
DEAR JIM: Pursuant to previous discussion, enclosed please find additional documents to support testimony given during the legislative hearing held July 24, 1997 for the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims on H.R. 1543 and H.R. 2172. (Though these additional documents are relevant to both bills, we were requested to submit testimony only toward H.R. 1543).
Page 107 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We kindly request that these documents be placed into the public record.
For any further assistance we can offer you or your staff, please contact us at the following telephone numbers or fax numbers:
A. Eric Johnson: tel: (310) 3424171, fax: (310) 3424177;
Judy Judd Price: tel: (909) 3355357, fax: (909) 3355358;
Don Baker: tel: (317) 6375600, fax: (317) 6375603;
|A. Eric Johnson,|
|Director of Government Regulations.|
FOR SUBMISSION INTO THE PUBLIC RECORD
See Attached ''I20'' Forms.
These forms are sent by a school authorized to admit F1 visa students to a prospective student once he or she has made a written application to the school.
These particular I20 forms are an arrogant display of the waste of taxpayer funds.
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Note line #7. While the school claims the tuition is only $50.00 to educate the student, the living expenses range from $3,600.00 to $12,000.00.
It is obvious that:
(1) Students attending these classes are not normal community residents that are not rich.
(2) The tuition amounts suggest considerable taxpayer subsidization of the student.
Note that these I20s represent two different school systems in the state of Florida:
(1) Tomlinson Adult Learning Center in Pinellas County.
(2) Hillsborough County Adult High School in Hillsborough County.
Notice also line #3.c. of the I20.
In each case, the student transferred to the publicly funded adult education program after being recruited initially to attend a proprietary school, in these cases, ELS Language Centers.
INSERT OFFSET RING FOLIOS 17 TO 21 HERE
Page 109 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCFOR SUBMISSION INTO THE PUBLIC RECORD
Attached are newspaper articles showing public debate of the issue of F1 student enrollment in taxpayer supported public adult education programs.
Please note this debate has occurred for many years (at least 10) while these specific articles are dated in the past five years.
Each of the two articles were written by staff reporters in different communities of the United States.
INSERT OFFSET RING FOLIOS 22 TO 23 HERE
FOR SUBMISSION INTO THE PUBLIC RECORD
Attached is a letter from Dennis L. Jones, Member of the Florida House of Representatives.
The date of the letter, September 30, 1992, shows the public debate has been occurring for quite some time over this issue.
It is the opinion of this legislator that publicly funded adult education programs' practices of charging a nominal fee may constitute a violation of legislative intent.
This practice was halted by the recent immigration legislation resulting in Section 214(l) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
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J. HOWARD HINESLEY, Ed.D., Superintendent,
|Florida House of Representatives,|
|Seminole, FL, September 30, 1992.|
Pinellas County Schools, Largo, FL.
DEAR DR. HINESLEY: It has been brought to my attention that one or more public adult education programs in area vocational technical centers are engaged in recruiting and enrolling foreign nationals in language training programs.
The practice is to recruit these students by advertising in foreign countries and using the I20 student visa process or recruiting them from private sector programs in this country. They are charging what amounts to be a nominal fee, $50, for one or more of these programs.
If these activities are indeed being carried on, they may constitute a violation of legislative intent and state educational funding policy.
Therefore, I have requested, through the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee, that the auditor general include in the educational audit a review of these practices. The purpose of the review is to determine if any such violations have occurred.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call.
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|Dennis L. Jones, Member,|
|Florida House of Representatives.|
FOR SUBMISSION INTO THE PUBLIC RECORD
Attached is a letter of support from the 245 member institutions of the American Association of Intensive English Programs.
MEMBERS, SUBCOMMITTEE ON IMMIGRATION AND CLAIMS,
|American Association of Intensive English Programs|
|Philadelphia, PA, July 22, 1997.|
Committee on the Judiciary,
Congress of the United States,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
RE: H.R. 1543
As '97/'98 President of the American Association of Intensive English Programs (AAIEP), I am writing on behalf of our membership to voice our support for Section 625 of the Immigration and Nationality act which does not permit nonimmigrant aliens to study in publicly funded adult education programs.
AAIEP represents 245 individual Intensive English programs from 39 states. Nearly 100 of our member programs are operated by US public and private colleges and universities. Many other proprietary programs, both for-profit and not-for-profit, operate on college and university campuses in collaborative relationships. Our member programs meet standards for both academic quality and for the delivery of comprehensive student services to our nonimmigrant student populations. None of our programs, whether University-based or proprietary, receive public funds. In addition, our member programs invest heavily in the recruitment of qualified students from overseas through extensive travel and promotion worldwide.
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It has been the position of AAIEP for several years that publicly funded adult schools have a mission that differs substantially from that of Intensive English Programs. Our students do not intend to live in the United States and are here to further their educations so that they may return to their home countries and contribute there. the mission of Adult Schools is to provide basic, vocational, English instruction so that these immigrants may obtain employment in the United States and become contributing members of this society.
On behalf of our membership and AAIEP Past Presidents, Mary Reeves, '96/'97, Rhona Genzel '95/'96 and Bob Pesek '94/'95, I urge the committee not to amend Section 625 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Publicly funded adult schools should only be serving the needs of our large immigrant populations throughout the country.
|Cindy Barnes Ochoa,|
|'97/'98 AAIEP President.|
EXCLUSIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES OF CERTAIN OFFICIALS FROM THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT INVOLVED IN THE PERSECUTION OF RELIGIOUS BELIEVERS; AND ISSUE OF ELIGIBILITY FOR STUDENT VISAS
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IMMIGRATION AND CLAIMS
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS
H.R. 967, H.R. 1543 and H.R. 2172
July 24, 1997
Serial No. 56
Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary
For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Page 114 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSuperintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois, Chairman
F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, Jr., Wisconsin
BILL McCOLLUM, Florida
GEORGE W. GEKAS, Pennsylvania
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
LAMAR SMITH, Texas
STEVEN SCHIFF, New Mexico
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
CHARLES T. CANADY, Florida
BOB INGLIS, South Carolina
BOB GOODLATTE, Virginia
STEPHEN E. BUYER, Indiana
SONNY BONO, California
ED BRYANT, Tennessee
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
BOB BARR, Georgia
WILLIAM L. JENKINS, Tennessee
ASA HUTCHINSON, Arkansas
EDWARD A. PEASE, Indiana
CHRISTOPHER B. CANNON, Utah
JOHN CONYERS, Jr., Michigan
Page 115 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCBARNEY FRANK, Massachusetts
CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
RICK BOUCHER, Virginia
JERROLD NADLER, New York
ROBERT C. SCOTT, Virginia
MELVIN L. WATT, North Carolina
ZOE LOFGREN, California
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
MAXINE WATERS, California
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
STEVEN R. ROTHMAN, New Jersey
THOMAS E. MOONEY, Chief of Staff-General Counsel
JULIAN EPSTEIN, Minority Staff Director
Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims
LAMAR SMITH, Texas, Chairman
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
SONNY BONO, California
WILLIAM L. JENKINS, Tennessee
EDWARD A. PEASE, Indiana
CHRISTOPHER B. CANNON, Utah
Page 116 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCED BRYANT, Tennessee
MELVIN L. WATT, North Carolina
CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
ZOE LOFGREN, California
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
CORDIA A. STROM, Chief Counsel
EDWARD R. GRANT, Counsel
GEORGE FISHMAN, Counsel
MARTINA HONE, Minority Counsel
C O N T E N T S
July 24, 1997
TEXT OF BILLS
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Smith, Hon. Lamar, a Representative in Congress from the State of Texas, and chairman, Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims
Barker, Rodney, Esq., Member, Newton, Massachusetts School Committee
Bednarz, Jacquelyn A., Special Assistant to the Associate Commissioner for Examinations, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service
Dannenfelser, Martin, Jr., Assistant to the President for Government Relations, Family Research Council
Dellums, Hon. Ronald V., a Representative in Congress from the State of California
Frank, Hon. Barney, a Representative in Congress from the State of Massachusetts
Gilman, Hon. Benjamin A., a Representative in Congress from the State of New York
Jckowski, Cora, ESL Coordinator and Foreign Student Advisor, Central High Community School, Granite School District, Salt Lake City, Utah
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McAlpin, K. C., Deputy Director, Federation for American Immigration Reform
Price, Judy Judd, Center Director, ELS Language Centers
LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING
Bednarz, Jacquelyn A., Special Assistant to the Associate Commissioner for Examinations, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service: Prepared statement
Dannenfelser, Martin, Jr., Assistant to the President for Government Relations, Family Research Council: Prepared statement
Dellums, Hon. Ronald V., a Representative in Congress from the State of California: Prepared statement
Frank, Hon. Barney, a Representative in Congress from the State of Massachusetts
Letter dated July 22, 1997 from Anne Larner
Letter dated July 28, 1997 James M. Gibney
Letter dated July 30, 1997 Barney Frank
Gilman, Hon. Benjamin A., a Representative in Congress from the State of New York: Prepared statement
Page 119 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Jckowski, Cora, ESL Coordinator and Foreign Student Advisor, Central High Community School, Granite School District, Salt Lake City, Utah: Prepared statement
McAlpin, K. C., Deputy Director, Federation for American Immigration Reform: Prepared statement
Price, Judy Judd, Center Director, ELS Language Centers: Prepared statement
Appendix 1.Letter dated July 23, 1997, from Delaine Eastin, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Appendix 2.Prepared statement from Stanley F. Pickett, President, American Language Academy, Rockville, Maryland
Appendix 3.Additional information submitted for the hearing record by Cora Jckowski, ESL Coordinator and Foreign Student Advisor, Central High Community School, Granite School District,Salt Lake City, Utah
Appendix 4.Additional information submitted for the hearing record by Judy Judd Price, Center Director, ELS Language Centers
(Footnote 1 return)
Washington Post, ''Legal Foreign Students Paying A Price Under Immigration Law,'' Dec. 31, 1996; see also San Francisco Examiner, ''The Parachute Blues,'' July 6, 1997.
(Footnote 2 return)
National Center for Education Statistics, 1996 Digest of Educational Statistics. The remainder of the expenditure, 3 percent, comes from other sources including fees and reimbursed expenses, special fundraising projects, and events.
(Footnote 3 return)
Regarding House Rule XI, clause 2(g)(4), a curriculum vitae is attached to this testimony. No federal grants, contracts, or subcontracts have been received by ELS Language Centers either in the current year or previous fiscal years by our company. We represent no other entities.