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Police make students pushing immigration law leave Bunning’s office

U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Southgate

U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Southgate

By Valarie Honeycutt-Spears – vhoneycutt@herald-leader.com

Fort Wright police told four Central Kentucky college students to leave the lobby outside the offices of Sen. Jim Bunning Wednesday where they were advocating for a proposal that would help children of illegal immigrants earn permanent residency.

The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act would grant temporary resident status to college students or military members who entered the United States before their 16th birthday, have lived here for five years, have graduated from high school and have good moral character. Those affected would be able to receive financial aid in the form of student loans, obtain authorization to work and get a driver’s license.

Students who go on to receive a college degree or receive an honorable discharge from the military would receive conditional permanent residency.

Elizabeth Jacoby, a leader of the Kentucky Dream Coalition, said that a total of eight people — four each day — wearing academic cap and gowns sat “peacefully” in the lobby outside the Republican senator’s offices on Tuesday and Wednesday. One was a University of Kentucky graduate, the others were students at Asbury University, Bluegrass Community and Technical College and UK.

Fort Wright Chief of Police Dan Kreinest said Thursday that the building’s property manager called his department because a tenant other than Bunning’s office had concerns that the students were on private property.

An employee at a physician’s office in the building who identified herself in a telephone interview as Jamie Grguric said the office staff was concerned that the students’ presence would be upsetting to the offices’ pediatric psychiatric patients.

“We did not call the police,” said Mike Reynard, Bunning’s press secretary.

The students are trying to gain the support of Kentucky’s Congressional delegation for the DREAM Act.

The Kentucky group is part of a national movement that has held similar vigils in other states. Three students demanding to meet with Arizona Sen. John McCain were arrested last month for refusing to leave his Tucson office, according to the Associated Press. Also last month, students were arrested outside Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s San Francisco office during a protest.

In the Kentucky incident, Police Chief Kreinest confirmed that a police officer told the students they would be arrested if they didn’t leave the building. The students then moved across the street and held up protest signs, Jacoby said.

“We did not wish to be arrested, so we did leave the property,” Jacoby said. “We’re going to cooperate, … but we are not going to give up.”

About 500 illegal immigrants graduate from high school in Kentucky each year with little opportunity to attend college or serve in the military, the organizers have said. They have no choice in coming to the U.S. without documentation and many have no ties to their native country, proponents say.

Last month, students advocating for the DREAM Act participated in a 65-hour fast at BCTC.

Jacoby said Bunning’s staff members would not let them sit in his office, but did not prevent them from sitting in the lobby.

Jacoby said the group would not try another sit-in at the building. But she said that students returned to Bunning’s office Thursday to leave some information about the DREAM Act and planned to stop by every day “as long as it takes” in hopes of talking to him.

Bunning’s staff members have already met with the students, but Jacoby said they want a face-to-face meeting with the Senator.

Reynard would not comment on Bunning’s position on the bill. In the past, Bunning has opposed the measure.

“We don’t want to cause too much trouble,” Jacoby said. “We just want a chance to be heard. We want people to understand that the Dream Act is not amnesty because students have to earn it (legal status) by going to college or serving in the military.”

Filed Under: Federal Government

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Comments

  1. anoldfella says:

    The students forgot the cardinal rule of politics .. they forgot their satchels of cash! Heck, they’d get in and probably get a couple of Bunning’s balls in return too (since he gets to pocket that cash directly).

  2. Jimmy says:

    I hate to let the students know, since they should know this if they are in college anyways…but the Senate is on recess right now, which means Jim is probably at home. If they were in session, he would be in Washington. I have NEVER seen a Senator in a local office, only flunkies who act like they know him and kiss the public’s backside and tell them how much the Senator is helping them, all the while he is in DC raking in the cash from PACs.

  3. snappy says:

    they may be college students, but not very good learners… if you want to influence a senator, choose someone other than bunning. he’s not going to acquiesce to some group supporting ilegal immigration. doofusses!

  4. kyguy says:

    snappy – I’m guessing you are right, Bunning wouldn’t want to support someone who ‘have good moral character’ to better themselves and become productive members of society (and pay back the loan).

    You’d at least think he’d be glad they want to join the military and fight the two current wars he was all for but didn’t want to pay for (he seems to have only figured out the pay for stuff recently).

    At least the next fellow coming in (well, perhaps) claims to be a libertarian and thus won’t be supporting these two wars.

  5. bornhere says:

    If you’ve been in a Kentucky high school lately, you’d know that there are a lot of kids that are just bums. Born here bums, but bums none the less. A good number of them will spend our tax dollars being bums in college too.

    Here we’ve got bright young hard working kids, the kind any parent would be proud of, who want to go to college and become productive members of society, and pay taxes and support us old folks with Social Security … and because of a decision their parents made, they can’t do any of that. In fact, we seem to make it extra hard for them.

    Why do we do this to ourselves?

  6. Big Jay says:

    ILLEGAL means not legal. And the military already gives early citizenship to people who serve honorably. I went to a ceremony in Afghanistan where we got almost 100 new Americans who EARNED it. Let these freeloading ILLEGALS join up and serve. Then they can use their GI Bill to go to college. This DREAM act is a farce; a giant attempted fraud against the American taxpayer.

  7. DAlnB says:

    I can not say I do not have sympathy for these students but I can not support what they are attempting. If they are here illegally they need to understand that the United States is a country of laws Americans expect to be enforced. If they are not legal immigrants or visitors they need to leave. Thousands of American children suffer from the illegal acts of their parents and are not given preferential treatment by our government; why should they expect better treatment than our own kids?

  8. DAlnB says:

    To bornhere – What makes you think these students would be any different than the ones you refer to? Why should these kids be given special consideration when many of the kids you refer to may have been better students had their parents done better by them. In this case the parents have harmed the kids’ futures; much the same way thousands of our own kids have their futures damaged. The bottom line; they are not entitled to or earned any special attention or privileges. It isn’t’ nice but it is a fact- we can not let criminals rewrite our laws for us. They know their parents are illegal and as such they are illegal but they have not done the right thing; if they are old enough to be in college they are old enough to go back to where ever they came from and apply for legal entry into the United States!

  9. Donal says:

    I was just wondering who is going to pay for the Mexican’s college education? Are these college students going to share their student loans? Are taxpayers who can’t afford to send their own AMERICAN kids to college going to pay for it? We need answers, youngins.

  10. samkatz says:

    The proponents of the Dream Act must not be aware of the chain migration provision that allows these individuals to immediately petition to bring in every blood relative they can conjure up as soon as they are issued their green card. This provision should be revoked before any consideration is given. Secondly, have the males registered for the selective service? If not, they are already in violation of yet another federal law that makes it a felony to not register within 30 days after turning 18, Is this to be ignored as well since it would not be waived for a legal citizen or resident alien.

  11. ratouis says:

    You ‘absolutist’ folks that say ‘they are illegal, they must go back’ … are fighting an un-winnable battle. It just ain’t gonna happen, no matter how much you fuss and fret about it. I’m afraid all your fury is no more than p1ssing in the wind.

    Pick a fight / problem you can solve with your brains, not your emotions.

  12. George says:

    Glad to see that procreation is now all it takes to be an American citizen. When all the bleeding heart liberals want to start paying for these illegal individuals to go to college then they can talk. Until then, don’t tell me how my taxes should be spent. Typical obama supporters telling everyone else how their taxes should be increased to pay for those that either don’t belong here or don’t work. I will keep my money and you all keep the change. As soon as you want to let them come and live with you, you are nothing but a hypocrite.

  13. Paz says:

    The DREAM Act applies to CHILDREN who were brought to this country before their 16th birthday and have lived here for at least 5 consecutive years. These students did not make the decision to come here, but they have grown up here and have been educated in our elementery, secondary, and postsecondary schools. Why would we not want to receive a return on our investment? Would you really want to send an educated young person away to contribute their intelligence and American education to another country? The students will be eligble for loans which they will have to pay back out of their own pockets. Furthermore, they will be able to use their higher education to join our educated workforce and make THIS country a better place.

  14. cpoller says:

    yeah, I’m wary of ‘absolutists’ too.
    These folks rarely accomplish anything other than heat up the conversation.

    Sort of reminds me of the folks that yell the loudest about how horrid something is, like homosexuality, and then turn out to be homosexuals themselves (probably because their ‘god fearin’ parents beat it into them, and they are embarrased about themselves).

    I wonder how many folks that say ‘send ‘em back’, in the next breath are hiring them to fix their roof or till their garden. A bunch of hypocrits.

    Its only recently in US history that even the concept of ‘illegal immigrant’ even exists, and many of the 1st cases were specific laws written against certain ‘races’ (ie we imported Chinese to build our railroads, but all of a sudden we had too many of them show up, so better make coming from China illegal). The mexicans themselves were invited in during WWII so we could put our own citizens to work in the war factories put in the military. Then the war is over, and oops, you all need to go back.

    I wonder how many of these folks saying ‘send ‘em back’ own ancestors could have come here under the current laws.

  15. cpoller says:

    Hey George .. its not the bleeding heart liberals (by the way, wouldn’t they all be dead if their hearts were bleeding … that is one of the stupidest saying I’ve heard) that are all mushy about keeping the illegals. Its the business men hiring them (and the private citizens doing the same ‘under the table’). Are you saying that is only liberals, no I don’t think so.

    They wouldn’t come here without thinking they can get a job. Stop people from hiring them, and you’ll stop the immigration. Unfortunately, I’d agree with ratouis above … we’ll not be able to stop that because there is too much money at stake, and money, unfortunately, is what seems to drive US politics.

  16. bornhere says:

    DAlnB – I think the ability the meet the requirments of the act proves they are quite above average, and I’m guessing their parents are too.

    Now to be a bit facetious ..

    So, you’ve given me a new idea, lets deport the current sent of bums we have (and their parents… you know like father like son)… and let me tell you there are a lot of them … send ‘em somewhere thats hankering for stupid people (I’ll vote for Israel, they are acting pretty stupid these days), and we’ll keep the smart ones that are here ‘illegally’ … ie. we’ll open our doors to the smart ones, and send the stupid ones packing.

    Why should being born here mean automatic citizenship for anyone… maybe we need to make people prove they are worthy of citizenship. Too many of our current citizens aren’t. Sorry to be so harsh.

  17. robbie says:

    @Paz – those “children” can be up to 35 YEARS OLD. – And in order to meet the requirements to receive the aid, no documentation is needed on the part of the illegal to prove that he/she meets the requirements…..and it’s not just about education – it’s about future amnesty.
    This bill is a nightmare, with fraud and abuse just waiting to happen.

    Don’t let the bleeding hearts brainwash you — read some of the facts about the bill here:
    http://www.numbersusa.com/content/news/april-2-2009/dream-act-proposes-more-amnesty.html

  18. enigma says:

    there are anti-war people on the right,
    but not enuff to elect adam kokesh in N.M
    and as memories of viet-nam fade sorta
    as PageOne has this thingie about the war
    records of Blumenthal and McConnnell, i
    see this story about a PRIVATE business
    seeing their profits decrease as these
    college students are doing something yippie?
    robert mcnamera wrote “WILSON’s GHOST”
    and his book is not about mr. stroud,
    the guy president wilson semi-pardonned.

  19. ISuggest says:

    Send them back sounds simple but it is as possible as sending a newborn back from where it came. It is time to come up with practical solutions. The DREAM act is one attempt at a less obtrusive measure than the more draconian ones that have been brought to the attention of Congress.

    If you have a pragmatic, plausible, better way to do this, speak up.
    While you are at it, solve our problem in the Gulf. Both are serious complex problems that hopefully have have future solutions

  20. raquelita says:

    Big Jay, you don’t seem to understand that some of these young people WANT to join the military but are not allowed to do so because they are undocumented. The DREAM Act would allow exactly what you are proposing.

    Samkatz clearly misunderstands immigration law, as this would NOT result in chain migration. The students would have to complete 2 years of college or military service to even be eligible for permanent residence, and some proposals would put them at the back of the line (which means it would be many years before they could get their green cards). Permanent residents CANNOT file petitions for their parents or siblings. Since they came to the US as children, they wouldn’t have any children to file for. So what chain migration are you talking about??

    The long and short of it is that these are young people who have adopted our culture and values and have demonstrated their desire to contribute to this country, either as professionals by pursuing college or as soldiers in our armed forces. They are the best and the brightest of their generation, and we would be idiots to refuse such an offer. Yet refuse we do…

  21. PEace says:

    This is not an amnesty nor a free ride for these young adults. They must work hard in order to fill in the specific requirements that need to be met in order to be eligible to apply. They will only be given loans MEANING that they will have to pay them back and will also have to pay taxes like all citizen do.

  22. enigma says:

    http://www.pugwash.org/reports/pim/pim33.htm
    the world we are handing these college
    students is getting lousier by the momoent
    but why are they NOT going to senator
    mitch mcconnell’s office for jim bunning
    is not running for election right now…
    lets be logical, these idealistic kids
    are actually dogging the wrong senator…
    they all are also lousing up a business.

  23. wondering says:

    I got intreaged with all this DREAM ACT and what it represented, so i got curious and i research about it. i was concern that my taxes were going to go to these children if given the oportunity to attend college. But i found that i wont have to pay a cent out of my pocket. THEY will have to pay out of their own pockets, all the dream act will do is give them an oportunity to line up with the rest of millions of college students that apply to loans and scholarships. okay well, i didnt know these kids were not even aloud to line up along with the rest, and i am glad i dont have to pay for them. so i guess its allright if they want to go to college, its unfortunate that not many of our youths today want to go to college, so if THEY want to and can, sure ok, go to college, ill give u that. im allright with this part of the act.
    Another thing, i also found out that some of those helped by the DREAM ACT would not only be encouraged to graduate from high school but to go on to college, this would increase their fiscal contribution in the years and decades to come. A RAND study showed that a 30-year-old mexican immigrant woman who graduates from college will pay $5,300 more in taxes and costs $3,900 less in government expenses each year than if she had dropped out of highschool. This amounts to an annual fiscal benefit of over $9,000 per person every year, money that can be used to pay for the eduction of others.
    $9,000 per head… thats a lot of money people

  24. jim says:

    The Dream Act would give students the chance to go on to higher education, and who in their right mind doesn’t support higher education. This generation of students are the brightest and hardest working individuals out there, research shows that because they are first time college students in their families they are more prominent for success. What does that mean, well for everyone it means an immigrant who would attend just high school at the most and drop out and start working in the filed picking oranges can now become a teacher, a lawyer, a business owner etc… in terms of government it means these individuals will pay higher taxes then they would have done otherwise. I see this bill as something that would benefit the country greatly, congress needs to step up and support it

  25. Joe says:

    To DAlnB, you obviously don’t know what you are talking about, all your points are incorrect, how are these kids going to be given any special consideration as you state? They’re just going to be given legal status as every other american kid here who didn’t earn it since they were born here. How is that a free ride when they have to contribute and work hard in college and the military as opposed to the kids that did nothing but simply were born here due to their fortunate fate. The dream students have not done anything illegal and you hold them accountable for things they have not done. Next point you bring up as you state “Thousands of American children suffer from the illegal acts of their parents and are not given preferential treatment by our government; why should they expect better treatment than our own kids?” In America, the kids who have been harmed by their parents such as abused or abandoned are not disregarded but are given to orphanages or put in protective custody and given good homes to be raised in. How are the dream students receiving preferential treatment as you call it by being given legal status to live which their parents had erred in while bringing them here. why should the children suffer the consequences of their parent’s actions? Third point you bring up “if they are old enough to be in college they are old enough to go back to where ever they came from and apply for legal entry into the United States!” Apparently you do not know the laws of the US, if they leave the US, they CANNOT come back. They’ll have ten years bar preventing them from reentering legally as a consequence of an action that was not their own. They also would not be able to ever come back to the US legally given a history of “breaking a law”. My goal was simply to educate and enlighten you on the issue. I hope you understand the claims you were making were invalid and don’t accuse children who were brought here illegally as illegals, they are humans that were unfortunate and should not suffer due to other’s actions.