Faced with a $6 billion deficit and proposed deep cuts to higher education, Representative Dave Quall (D-Mount Vernon) has proposed legislation that would make state financial aid available to illegal immigrants as an option for financing their college educations. Illegal residents already qualify for in-state tuition.
It would seem to me that the prudent course of action regarding illegal immigrants and our State universities, given the magnitude of the budge crisis we’re facing, would be not to offer to help them pay for their education, but to deny them in-state tuition. Or even, heaven forbid, require proof of legal status to enroll.
Democrats are quick to point out that many of the students who would benefit from State financial aid were brought here illegally by their parents as very young children and are thoroughly American, other than their immigration status. They claim that it’s unfair to deny them an education. Let me be quick to respond that actions have consequences. That these students find themselves in the awkward position of being Americanized and prepared for college with no easy means to pay for it is a consequence of their parents electing to enter the United States illegally.
From the Seattle Times:
Students like Manuel Garcia, a Mount Vernon High School junior with a 3.9 GPA, whose mother brought him to the U.S. when he was a baby.
Now, 17, he’d like to attend Washington State University when he graduates next year but keeps hearing from aid counselors that he doesn’t qualify for assistance and can’t work on campus.
“They say … if you have the money you can come,” Garcia said. “I think it’s obvious I don’t have $20,000 to go to college.”
Illegal immigrants who desire a college education need to be willing to work for it, rather than looking to the state to pay for it. While I’m sure that Garcia is a very nice young man, he’s already had the benefit of a free education which in all likelihood is far superior to what he would have received in his native country. And while he would “like” to attend Washington State, there are other, more affordable routes to a college education. Such as starting at a community college while living at home and working to save money.
This legislation represents a bad idea, whose time – I hope – never comes.
Read the complete article in the Seattle Times.