MA Governor endorses in-state tuition for illegal immigrants (link).
Is it just me, or has the word "illegal" changed in definition over the past few years? It seems that America has been granting people who are in America "illegally" special considerations recently, as simple as keeping them in this country. Illegal immigrants are in this country contrary to our laws, and now some argue in favor of granting them special privileges such as in-state college tuition? Especially at a time when the cost of college tuition only continues to rise.
Flanked by aides and security, Patrick surprised the joint education committee and a crowd of more than 100 people by urging passage of legislation that would allow illegal immigrant students to pay the same price as other Massachusetts residents at state colleges and universities. Now, illegal immigrants pay the non-resident rate, which is double or triple the price, depending on the school.
One argument in favor of this bill would be that it would allow more illegal immigrant students to attend college since high tuition rates have deterred many, who are ineligible for financial assistance. This would in turn increase state revenue as more students enter state-run colleges and universities.
Another argument in favor for it is that there are many children who are in this country illegally who are not here by choice - having been dragged along with their parents from their parent nations. While I agree that it's sad, and that these individuals deserve measures to better their lives, I do not believe that allowing them reduced tuition is the answer. Especially in this day and age, where universities actually target overseas students to "diversify" their student body and thus offer scholarships to many exchange students, America needs to start thinking about the possibility of a "brain drain" where much of our knowledge and research is being performed by students who may not (and many do not) choose to live in this country post-graduation.
While the Tea Party holds many views that freak me out, this quote sums it all up:
“They’re still here illegally. … We’re not in a position to give away benefits to people who are truly not eligible for them because they are not residents,” said Christen Varley, president of the Greater Boston Tea Party, which vowed to fight the bills, though she could not attend the hearing. “If you’re not a legal resident of the state, you’re not entitled to in-state tuition. That’s as simple as it is.”