Fox News host Brian Kilmeade on Wednesday took a shot at undocumented immigrants, who he suggested could take scholarships away from American citizens by presenting “night vision video” of their illegal border crossing to get free college education in the United States.
On Tuesday, the University of California at Berkeley announced that the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund had created the Dreamers Fund, which will provide $1 million in scholarships for undocumented students. Such scholarship funds were illegal until the California Dream Act passed last year and President Barack Obama changed the federal deportation policy for younger undocumented immigrants.
“They’re in the country illegally but they could soon get a scholarship to go to college,” Kilmeade reported on Wednesday. “The University of California at Berkeley offering nearly 200 scholarships to those not eligible for federal grants or government-backed loans.”
“All they have to do is bring footage of them in green video — night vision video — and they’ll get in free,” he added. “Sorry, citizens, you’re out of luck.”
While it was impossible to tell from Kilmeade’s tone that his “night vision video” remark was hyperbole, the fact is that Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund Director of Communications Denis Chicola told Raw Story that details for the Dreamer Fund had not been finalized and no applications would even be accepted until the Spring of 2013.
“The scholarship won’t even go into effect until fall of 2013,” Chicola explained. “And Cal is now deciding what are the requirements for doing this. It’s looking like these scholarships will be $8,000 scholarships and one of the qualifying pieces will be that they have a 3.0 [grade point] average. But they’re deciding all that. It’s not set yet.”
Contrary to Kilmeade’s suggestion that the scholarships were about taking away opportunities from U.S. citizens, Chicola said that the Dreamers Fund was simply trying to “level the playing field” for “kids that are Americans in every way except on paper.”
“Even though they were born and raised here, they are not eligible for federally-backed loans, work-study positions and they need this support,” he pointed out. “We really believe that all of us benefit when we create opportunities for these really exceptional students to come out of the shadows so that they can contribute, whether it’s their ideas, their intellect, their enthusiasm.”
More information about the Dreamers Fund is available at the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund website.
Watch this video from Fox News’ Fox & Friends via Media Matters, broadcast Dec. 12, 2012.