So, I am going to do something I have never done here before: I am going to criticize the State of Alaska. In fact, I am going to sue the State. I might not win. I am not a civil lawyer (although I know a few). I don't have the resources of the State. But the State will probably spend more defending the suit than just doing the right thing. Here's the deal. In Alaska, each eligible resident gets a Permanent Fund Dividend (or "PFD"). People can be excluded from receiving this check (which ranges roughly between $1000 and $2000 per year) for a variety of reasons, such as being in jail or not really living here. However, the basic critieria are 1. be a citizen or permanent resident and 2. a resident of Alaska. One of the groups of people who don't get this money are people who are here on the types of visas that J and I are here on. Fair enough. I had no intention of applying for the money because I was aware of this. But, in anticipation of being "residents" in about 4 weeks, I began to research the PFD for Kadee. I went to a cost of college calculator a while back and by 2024, it will cost Kadee $236,000 for a 4 year degree at a public school. It was my intention to get the PFD and put it into Kadee's 529 account so she would have something for college at least. By the way I need to write about how the people of this country can no longer afford 3 "basics": housing, medical care and college, but that is for another post. Here is what I learned. The State will not give Kadee a PFD based on our citizenship. Yes that is right. Kadee is a US citizen and I have her passport to prove it. She has lived here almost a year, and so is a resident. But, because we are not citizens or "permanent residents", Kadee is excluded until she is 18. No F'ing way. So I researched the issue. In 1982 the State of Alaska tried to vary the amount of the PFD based on length of residency. The Alaska Supreme Court allowed that. The United States Supreme Court, however, thought otherwise. The US Supremes ruled that Alaska was trying to create two classes of citizens and this was "clearly impermissible". Later, in a case called Andrade v. State, the Alaska Supreme Court purported to rule on this very issue. But I have read and reread Andrade and I can't see where they ever ruled on the issue of US citizen children of foreign nationals. I was told by the lawyer that argued Andrade that I "would never win". You can imagine how that sat with me. I have ran this scenario by dozens of people and no one has been able to justify the State's actions. I look forward to your comments (I'm sure someone will make a stupid remark). How can the State deny a benefit to a resident and a US citizen based on the citizenship of her parents? The only rationale told to me was that Kadee can't "intend" to stay here because we can't "intend" to stay here. Um. Here's the difference. Under federal law, we are required to follow certain rules to stay in the US. Kadee is a citizen. She needs to "intent" to stay. She can never be deported. Our "intent" (for purposes of immigration law) is irrelevant to a citizen. The US Supreme Court has ruled that when a citizen moves to State, he or she is "one of the State's own" for the purpose of benefits. Kadee is one of Alaska's own. Instead of giving her money for college, the State wants to deny her. Well roll up your sleeves boys because we are going into the trenches. I''ll take this as far as I can. If necessary, and if I can, I'll take this to the United States Supreme Court. That may sound hollow, but mark my words. I would die to save my little girl. So to litigate so she can go to college will be like water off a duck's back. SHE IS A CITIZEN! I am boiling about this. Because we are foreigners, the State can treat her differently? We'll see. I'll let the judge look into those blue eyes and say she is a second class citizen.
P.S. How do you like that freezer? I went over to a friend's house the other night to fish. She owns a place right on the Kenai with a bunch of other people. That freezer holds just the Red salmon caught by all those people in the last few weeks. Beautiful.
P.P.S. The boat is ready and I would test it tomorrow but it is the last day of King salmon season. So I'll report Wednesday.
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