Undocumented ASI president and other students to be affected The California Supreme Court ruled on Monday to preserve Assembly Bill 540, California’s state law that allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition.

Court upholds immigrant law

Undocumented ASI president and other students to be affected

The California Supreme Court ruled on Monday to preserve Assembly Bill 540, California’s state law that allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition.

This ruling will affect Associated Students, Inc. Pedro Ramirez, also undocumented, who is serving as the Fresno State ASI president without pay.

The Collegian recently received an anonymous e-mail questioning the legal status of Pedro Ramirez. Ramirez confirmed this information.

Ramirez will not be the only one to benefit from the ruling. According to the Los Angeles Times and KMPH Fox 26, AB 540 will benefit 231 Fresno Sate students and 25,000 students in California.

These students will continue to pay $2,115 per semester. If the law was repealed, undocumented students would pay out-of-state tuition, which is almost doubled.

As an AB 540 student, Ramirez cannot receive federal or state aid. Because of his legal status he cannot be employed in the United States.

Ramirez said that ASI administrators were aware that he would not be paid for the ASI position, but he willfully accepted it as a volunteer position.

There has been speculation that the university is paying Ramirez through ASI scholarships. Ramirez denied such speculation as being false. He affirmed that he signed a legal waiver stating that he would not receive payment for his position. However, he said that he received a $50 cell phone stipend two weeks ago.

Ramirez decided to take the position because he wanted to make a positive difference for students at Fresno State.

“I thought I could make a possible impact to clean up the organization and use whatever resources and power that we have to benefit the student,” Ramirez said.

“I’m going to graduate soon,” he said. “What am I going to use my degree for? And in the next few weeks they will be voting on the only hope that I have,” Ramirez said, referring to the DREAM Act.

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act will be discussed during the lame-duck session in Congress. If passed, it will give many high school undocumented students who are qualified the option of joining the military or attending higher education and be considered eligible for legalization.

“It’s almost like a cruel joke, a cruel reality for these students when they have invested thousands of dollars that were very hard to come by because they cannot work legally in the U.S,” Cesar Sanchez said, ASI vice president of finance.

AB 540, known as the state DREAM Act, was passed into law on October 12, 2001. The bill allowed all students regardless of their legal status to pay in-state-tuition.

“I live by that law, it’s the reason why I’m here, it’s the reason not just me, but a lot of students are here,” said Ramirez about AB 540.

The lawsuit was made by 42 students and by Kris Kobach, one of the many authors behind the Arizona immigration law. The students claimed that AB 540 was violating the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibly Act, which states that undocumented individuals should not be granted rights if legal residents or citizens are not given the same right.

The students claimed that the law was unjust to the residents and citizens because out-of-state documented students had to pay more money than undocumented students who lived in California.

“For me, it’s an emotional issue,” Ramirez said. “Not a lot of people know that I am undocumented. A lot of people I go to class with…students, faculty, staff and staff administrators think I’m a normal student.”

Ramirez affirmed that he arrived in the U.S. when he was three years old and that he found out his legal status when he tried to join the military.

“But I have been hiding in the shadow, I have been hiding part of me since I was in high school,” he said. “I found out… when I was about to graduate.”

Ramirez is coordinating an event in the Free Speech Area this Friday from 11 a.m. to 1p.m. to support the DREAM ACT. He hopes to have several university officials in attendance.

  • FresnoResident

    According to the Fresno Bee AB-540 also benefits other individuals as well.

    “UC data show that the majority of students who have benefited from AB 540 are U.S. citizens or legal immigrants. Illegal immigrants made up three-tenths of a percent of the 220,000 students UC served in 2007-08. At CSU and California community colleges, illegal immigrants also make up less than 1 percent of the student body.”

    So its not just undocumented immigrant students that benefit from the law. The DREAM Act will bring an educated and committed labor into the USA market. These students are American by heart and are willing to contribute to the USA. Why should they be force to return to a country they hardly know. People say they should go back of the line but the problem is there is no line set up for these students.

  • NurseCSUFresno

    If you ask me this sounds just like a game of politics. The ASI President had to get his little media exposure to push support for his own agenda. The question you have to ask why does this ASI President and Vice President of Finance think that they are the only voice for all undocumented people. Why should you give people that are undocumented short cuts to these types of actions when it not fair to the other people that were once undocumented to take the right steps. That is something that these two ASI executives don’t realize for some reason. It is great that the ASI President tried to join the military but for what purpose or is it just another lie that he is telling us. If the ASI is indeed giving these students kickbacks in what they call scholarships. Then the students actually do have the right to know these facts. The ASI President maybe a good person but you can’t let emotions get involved when you are representing CSU Fresno student body. If his job was to get the media attention then he pretty much did it when all local news stations get a hold of it. But at what cost did the ASI President do this for Pride. Pride can be your worse enemy also.

  • StrugglingStudent

    what about career services hiring an undocumented worker? they used funds in the form of scholarships to get around paying wages. while me and other students struggle to find an on campus job!! they should be investigated by the Collegian. we have hypocrites working on campus!

    • US Citizen

      If you didn’t READ he is NOT getting paid and NOT receiving any type of aid BECAUSE OF HIS STATUS

      • Concerned Alum

        That’s what Pedro says, maybe the Collegian should audit ASI’s finances to see.

  • PackMule

    The Anti Citizen Laws: Are an atack on United States Sovernty. The Trojan horse is in the Fort! And taken athority. Rebel or become Slaves…

  • plsi student

    You acuse Cole of racism, yet you call him a douche bag. Please explain to me how you are any better than the level at which you put him.

    • Black Dynamite

      Your boy is not a racist in the eyes of me. But it seems that he is still a little insecure about him coming in second place from the elections. His weak minded thinking is going to get him in trouble with those political skills. He needs to man up and face the fact he lost.

  • speakUP

    Just let it happen.. He’s doing no harm to anybody.
    people get away with things everyday without getting noticed. He admitted that he was illegal..doesn’t mean people need to act like the law and get rid of him.
    Until Pedro does something that is defined as a serious crime, then yea, I’ll maybe jump on the bandwagon of haters against illegals..but right now, I am on Team Pedro. There is nothing wrong with that.

  • LarryH

    I’m writing from the east coast and I’ve got to say — California, get your act together!

    Your state is going doing the drain. In fact, it’s three-quarters of the way to the sewers. You’re out of money. Your government has nowhere else to go but raise taxes on its citizens, jack up tuition on middle-class students. And here you guys are coddling illegal aliens in your colleges, giving them free tuition and giving them admission when citizens are being turned away for “lack of space”, “lack of funds”, etc.

    Pedro might be a nice guy, but he can be a nice guy in Mexico too. And perhaps his people need a smart guy like him to show them the way out of the mess they’re in.

    Personally, I don’t think he’s so nice from what I read. This guy doesn’t belong here, freeloads at a college, and then has the audacity to call an event in favor of the DREAM Act. This guy doesn’t belong here, and he wants to change our laws! This wouldn’t happen in ANY other country.

    Anyone who thinks I’m being to harsh here should think about how letting Pedro get away with this devalues American citizenship. Let him stay comfortably at your school and your own citizenship means nothing, except that our government doesn’t really care about its own citizens.

    Also, Californians, you should think about how your “anything goes” policy on illegal immigration hurts the rest of the country. An entire city near where I’m writing from has been turned upside down by Latin American gangs. The gang members, when they are arrested, without fail turn out to be illegal aliens and many of them have made their way to my state from your state. And they are killing and raping people here, and dealing drugs to kids.

    Thanks a lot, California!

  • Black Dynamite

    Damn a Brotha comes on here to look at his daily view of The Collegian online and find all this hostility to this young brotha President Sanchez. Got to love the Collegian online reporter Dani Villalobos!! That girl is mad crazy! Got to love those vocals on the UHS story. She could be the next American Idol!! The question that knocked on my head is what is up with this. So the Prez, came out and said he is an illegal Alien their are worse things in the world. Maybe he had good intentions to come out with his status which is nobodies business. The President didn’t do anything wrong. What is disturbing is that yo label him as an AB 54o student; he is not a 2 letters and 3 numbers student he is a Fresno State Bulldog Student. He paid his fare to ride the University express and should be given all the rights. Whether, President Pedro wanted to get attention over this then he worked the system of the media. As, for that person Cole Rojewski who I should I remind everybody came in 2nd place to President P. This is giving me the impression that the runner up is a little insecure. 2nd place man might think by him getting interviewed on TV is going to make his personal situation any better. He has another thinking coming when it comes to politics. He may have some skills that involve politics but it is going to be his weak mind that is going to get him in trouble in the world of politics and him with that interview is an example. In this world nobody ever remembers the people that come in 2nd place. President P you keep on doing your thing no matter the situation. Stay in office no matter the opposition. You are no AB 540 student ..You are a Fresno State Bulldog! Fight for what you believe in!

  • THIS is what comes of not enforcing immigration laws. We now have a generation of innocent illegal immigrants dragged into this country by their law breaking parents. Because they were not caught and deported years ago, these young people must now pay the price for their parent’s lawlessness. Imagine being dragged here illegally and then growing up here only to find out your parents are criminals and your whole life is fake? I feel for these poor kids… their parents should be ashamed of themselves for being so selfish. Should have just applied for citizenship and their kids would be all set. Instead, by all rights, these kids are going to have to leave the country.