JANUARY 16, 2008
Claiming to be the victim of a racist legislature, the president of the nation’s largest public higher educational system has stepped down after state lawmakers blocked confirmation of her gubernatorial appointment because she favors tuition breaks for illegal immigrants.
The president of the California Community Colleges board was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to head the state’s 109 colleges with a total enrollment of nearly 3 million students, but her support of a controversial and costly measure, cost her the job.
As a longtime college trustee and board member in various California districts, Katherine Albiani has long supported tuition breaks for the state’s huge illegal immigrant population. Two other colleagues on the community colleges 17-member board of governors have also lost their jobs in the last six months for supporting the unfair tuition breaks for students who live in the U.S. illegally.
The pro illegal-immigrant board actually voted unanimously last year to support state legislation that would have allowed illegal aliens to qualify for financial aid and community college fee waivers. Ironically, the legislation was later vetoed by the governor.
Albiani served on the board under a rule that allows it for one year without legislative confirmation, but the board president must be confirmed by the state legislature and Senate Republicans blocked her appointment. California’s Democratic majority Senate voted 23-13—along party lines–for her confirmation which fell short of the 27 votes needed.
Tuition breaks for illegal aliens at the nation’s taxpayer-financed public colleges has sparked a national controversy because federal law prohibits illegal immigrants from obtaining any tuition breaks that are not available to all United States citizens. Yet many states, such as Utah, Maryland and New York, have passed legislation to grant illegal aliens the perk.
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