Sunday, 16 September 2012

UCLA Shuts Down "DREAM" College

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A branch of UCLA set up to educate illegal aliens and turn them into immigration activists won’t get off the ground.

According to Fox News, the National Dream University, which plays upon the name of the failed DREAM Act amnesty for illegals, won’t open its doors, thanks to pressure from a lawmaker who didn’t think it was such a bright idea.

Announced just a month ago, NDU was similar to Freedom University, an effort in Georgia to provide higher education to illegal aliens. One of NDU’s organizers is an immigration activist who has told immigrants they will replace “old white men.”

Donnelly Says No

Fox reported that California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly blew the whistle on the crackpot idea, which would have used taxpayers dollars and was launched by UCLA’s Center for Labor Research and Education and the National Labor College. NLC announces its mission as “educating the labor community.”

According to Inside Higher Ed, NDU was a “[a] new certificate program” that “aims to make higher education more affordable to undocumented immigrants and raise awareness about the barriers they face to attaining that education.”

The one-year program … will begin in January 2013. Applications for the program opened Monday, said Kent Wong, director of UCLA’s labor center. He said the program has received a lot of inquiries from prospective students as well as responses from faculty nationwide who want to support the program.

On its website, the program advertises itself as a way for undocumented immigrants to gain access to higher education while waiting for Congress to take action on the DREAM Act, a long-debated bill that would provide permanent residency for certain undocumented immigrants who meet a set of conditions.

California, Inside Higher Ed reported, is one of three states that not only allow illegals to pay in-state tuition but also offer them financial aid. Organizers had hoped to “enroll between 30 and 35 students for the January 2013 entering class.”

NDU involved “ two courses each in the spring, summer and fall semesters and earn an accredited labor studies certificate from the National Labor College,” the education website reported, with five courses coming from UCLA and one from NLC. Although the program was aimed at border jumpers, they were not the only ones who would have been allowed to participate.

Tuition, Fox reported, would have been $2,500, “thousands less than what legal residents pay to attend UCLA, one of California's premier public universities.”

Based On Model In Georgia

NDU was based upon University of Georgia’s Freedom University, which “is a volunteer-driven organization that provides rigorous, college-level instruction to all academically qualified students regardless of their immigration status,” FU’s website says. Its  “faculty are fully committed to providing our students with college courses equivalent to those taught at the state’s most selective universities.”

The eggheads running that program “believe that all Georgians have an equal right to a quality education” because “[s]eparate and unequal access to higher education contravenes this country’s most cherished principles of equality and justice for all.”

The website does not say by what definition border jumping illegals are “Georgians.”

Anyway, FU, Inside Higher Ed reported, is supposed to “open up higher education to undocumented immigrants.”

Lorgia García-Peña, an assistant professor of Latino and Latina studies at UGA, said she and other three other faculty members founded Freedom University in response to the University System of Georgia Board of Regent’s decision last fall to ban undocumented immigrants from attending five of the system’s 19 universities.

The impetus for FU, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported in July, was the arrest of an illegal. The story focused on an illegal-alien Korean girl who cannot obtain loans or attend schools because of her immigration status, an odd subject given that the school is clearly directed at “Latinos.” The newspaper noted that the Korean student’s circumstances are “not unfamiliar to other illegal immigrants brought to Georgia as children, immigrants like Jessica Colot,” a student at Kennesaw State University.

[Her] arrest on campus for a traffic violation in March 2010 sparked a controversy when college officials disclosed they had charged her in-state tuition. State rules require illegal immigrants pay the more expensive out-of-state rates.

Colotl’s arrest resulted in the Board of Regents’ decision to ban illegal immigrants from attending state colleges that had previously rejected academically qualified applicants because of space or other issues. The affected campuses were: UGA, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Medical College of Georgia and Georgia College & State University.

That’s when Freedom University was born.

Unsurprisingly, FU doesn’t cost a thing — except what the taxpayers cough up — and two of its key courses this year are “Hispanic studies” and an “introduction to ethnic studies”

NDU Short Lived

But back to NDU. Announced in early August, the program died a quick death after Donnelly got hold of it. The website is dark.

“I believe the procedural issue gave UCLA an out, but it was public pressure and public scrutiny during such difficult economic times that was ultimately turned Dream University into a nightmare for UCLA President and regents,” Donnelly told Fox

NDU’s goal, Fox reported, was “recruiting those seeking a college degree and a career in activism focused on immigration issues.”

Its website, which has since been taken down,  promoted “an educational opportunity to those who have demonstrated leadership and commitment to the immigrant and/or labor rights movements {with admission} open to everyone, regardless of their immigration status.”

Donnelly, Fox reported, was the first elected official to raise his voice against the project. “Here, you're going to have the taxpayers subsidizing it, so that illegal aliens can go to college, have their own little college, teach their own ideology, and all at taxpayer expense,” he said when the schools was announced, Fox reported.

University bigwigs ran for cover when Fox began asking questions, the network reported. “In an email to Fox News, a university spokesman admitted UCLA was ‘unaware of the courses to be offered’ by NDU. Fox News has repeatedly reached out to the UCLA professors who, on their own, established NDU, with no oversight from university administrators.”

When asked for comment, Kent Wong, director of the UCLA Labor Center, hung up on Fox News several times. He does, however, speak frequently in support of so-called DREAMers.

At one rally, he told an audience of cheering young activists "you will go onto become lawyers and teachers and doctors and members of the U.S. Senate to replace those old white men."

Wong also said “we will celebrate soon” the rise of immigrant power.

Donnelly, however, did get an answer. “In a response to a query by Donnelly, University of California President Mark Yudof said the two research groups behind NDU did not go through the proper channels, and therefore would not be allowed to continue the program,” Fox reported.

The certificate program, he wrote, “was negotiated without the consultation or approval of UCLA's academic and administrative leadership. Therefore, the agreement has been declared void. As a result, UCLA has asked the Labor Center to immediately suspend all work on the National Dream University.”

Fox also reported that Wong’s headlong, unsanctioned rush to created NDU won’t doom such an effort in the future. 

“Still, Donnelly, who, as a member of the state’s appropriations committee approves funding for UC schools, is glad to see NDU disappear,” Fox reported. Said Donnelly:

“I think that given the news coverage of this story by Fox News and others, the inquiry by my office, and the National Labor College’s financial difficulties, UC’s President decided this is not the way to expend the precious limited resources, which should be available to California citizens rather than illegal aliens, no matter how deserving they may seem.”

Photo: Royce Hall, the symbol of UCLA



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