“In a unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court ruled [on November 15] that illegal immigrants can be eligible for the same reduced tuition at public colleges and universities as legal residents of the state.” http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/16/us/16immig.html?ref=education
I meant to write about this the moment it came out, but it’s been a busier month for me. I’m THRILLED by this news. Whether you like it or not, illegal immigrants are here to stay, and California boasts one of the largest populations. As long as they’re here, we might as well educate them to the best of our ability so that they can have more of a chance of living the American Dream they took so many risks to attain by moving here. Providing in-state tuition for California’s many excellent universities is a great first step.
If you’re staunchly opposed to illegal immigration and support of illegal immigrants, consider the following. You’re probably opposed in part because you’re pissed that illegal immigrants get to “mooch off the system” without paying taxes. I don’t blame you there, but consider the additional future cost to citizens if we don’t educate “the moochers”. Shouldering the cost of providing in-state tuition to illegal immigrants isn’t as significant a burden as providing financial aid to them, which has yet to receive legal approval. I will be curious to see how this ruling on in-state tuition boosts enrollment of illegal immigrants; I’d be even more curious to see what would happen if they were able to qualify for financial aid. I’m not sure the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition will be enough to overcome the poverty that is most likely to hold these kids back.