Most Commented: Helping fund illegal immigrants through college
Should state law offer in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants? The overwhelming opinion among many of our readers posting on our discussion board: No!
This position, of course, differs with Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision not to hear a challenge to this law, as well as the board’s take on the topic. Here’s an excerpt:
Thousands of teenagers living in California illegally were brought to this country by their parents as young children. Some of them have worked hard and done well in school; on both human and practical grounds, it would be wrong to put a college education out of financial reach by requiring them to pay higher, non-resident tuition to attend the state's public colleges.
It wouldn't just be bad for the students themselves, who bear no responsibility for their illegal status. The public also loses when it pays for a bright student's education through high school but then does not allow that student to become a college-educated adult capable of contributing more fully to the economy and society.
Here are a few arguments readers have presented. (And yes: We’ll continue to delete offensive comments. )
What happened to the idea of earning something?
I will acknowledge that I am a senior citizen and the world has changed since I went to college. Therefore, I will acknowledge that I faced a different reality than young people do today when they want to go to college.
I find the picture related to this editorial unacceptable. In high school I worked really really hard to get accepted at a college or university and went to the University of Chicago because they gave me the most scholarship money. I earned this scholarship. In the summertime I worked cleaning coke ovens in the steel mills that used to dominate the south side of Chicago. This was hot and dirty work, but the pay was really really good.
Today it seems that minorities say that schools have an obligation to admit minority students. Where is the idea that people earn things? Illegal immigrants believe that they have a right to attend a college or university. Where did the idea of earning something go? Illegal immigrants believe they have a right to financial aid. Where did the idea of earning something go?
The world has changed, but I do not see in this regard the world has changed for the better.
Illegal immigrant children should join the military first
While education from K-12 is mandatory for all children in the United States, even illegal immigrant children, college is voluntary and a privilege. If any of these young people really want to go to college and demonstrate their support for the country that has nurtured them, all they have to do is sign up for a minimum two years of military service. When they have completed their service they will exit with a ticket for a free college education and their citizenship. Then they have not only my sympathy and support but all the privileges of citizenship.
Give them the opportunity to apply for student visas
Make them all purchase and legally maintain "foreign student visas" - tie it to class registration and if they don't have a valid visa then they should not be able to attend school in the US. They should be required to pay as much in tuition fees as any other foreign student from any other country does.
Unless the parents can prove that they themselves are here as legal citizens they have made their children foreign students by being here illegally in the first place.
Get Real! How much more is America going to tolerate and give away? This is just another nail in the financial coffin.
Cut back on these incentives to break our immigration laws
"It wouldn't just be bad for the students themselves, who bear no responsibility for their illegal status. The public also loses when it pays for a bright student's education through high school but then does not allow that student to become a college-educated adult capable of contributing more fully to the economy and society..."
1) These same "no responsibility" illegals who KNOW they're illegal CAN do something about their status by going back to their country of origin, filling out the necessary paperwork, and waiting their turn in line, just like their parents should have done when they decided it would be more enjoyable to simply cut in line and join in the free-for-all.
2) What good does an eduction do an illegal immigrant when he cannot legally apply for work in California? Until an illegal alien's status is rectified by playing by the rules via LEGAL immigration, the best we can hope for is a well-educated, unemployable illegal alien.
The same people who call for "comprehensive immigration reform" (amnesty, plus a few extra yards of chain link fence in Arizona for show) see no irony in their continued demands for an ever-expanding menu of rights and benefits for illegal aliens, including a "path to citizenship." Cut back on these incentives to break our immigration laws, and you reduce the number of illegal aliens.
--Alexandra Le Tellier
Photo: Students march at UCLA in 2008, advocating higher minority enrollment in UC schools and illegal immigrants' rights to attend college and apply for financial aid. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times