Breaking Boundaries: Illegal tuition
Illegal immigration has always been an issue in the United States, especially when it comes to the rights they should or shouldn’t get.
According to a March 23 Wisconsin State Journal article, the tuition plan for illegal immigrants is back on the state’s budget.
This is the fourth time Gov. Jim Doyle has included the provision that would allow illegal immigrants who graduate from a Wisconsin high school to pay in-state tuition at any University of Wisconsin institution.
Unfortunately this would break a 1996 federal law. According to the article, the law states no state should provide any higher education benefit based on residency to illegal immigrants unless they provide the same benefit to other U.S. citizens, regardless of where they live.
This means a student from Nevada could pay in-state tuition at UW-Eau Claire.
I think a major part of the money any university makes is from out-of-state students and degree seeking international students who also pay out-of-state tuition.
In-state students pay about $7,000, whereas out-of-state students pay more than $21,000. Even though the difference is massive, I must respect this difference.
The point is illegal immigrants can’t be given the same benefits as a citizen or legal immigrant. The United States has to put a stop to helping illegal foreigners and start making changes to help their own people.
I do feel bad for those illegal immigrants that came here looking for a better life. I understand it must be hard not to be able to get a higher education, but those people need to understand laws are made to give security to a country’s citizens.
According to the article, some immigrants can get a higher education only when they have lived in Wisconsin for three years prior to high school graduation and have given proof that they will file an application for permanent residency as soon as they are able to do so.
Yes, the Democratic Party is hopeful this will pass this time, but it would still be conflicting with the federal law. The thing is that until the federal law is changed there’s nothing any state can do about it.
One alternative to this would be to create a separate tuition for illegal immigrants who have lived here for a long time and who will be filing for residency. It could be a higher amount than what an in-state student pays, but it could also be lower than what the out-of-state students pay. However it would still be wrong because they are in this state illegally.
According to the article, it is uncertain how many people would be benefiting from this change if it were to happen. Of course they wouldn’t have an exact number of how many illegal people are in Wisconsin because it is not something illegal immigrants are going to admit. It’s not as if they are going to go up to a university and say “Hey, I’ve lived her for a long time but I’m still an illegal. Can I enroll?” Unfortunately illegal immigrants can’t be that up front about their migrating status or they would get deported.
Change for this to happen, not only in Wisconsin but anywhere else in the United States, would need to come from the federal government.
Politicians should not be using their time trying to pass a law that might not even see the light of day because it is undermined by the federal law.
As state Rep. Mark Gottlieb (R-Port Washington) said in the article, it would be better to address this issue once the federal law is clarified. After all, the United States is still under an economic crisis. Gottlieb said this provision is something Americans probably can’t afford right now.
I agree. Doesn’t Doyle see how many students are dropping out of college because they can’t even afford in-state tuition?
I believe Doyle and the rest of his administration should start to pay more attention to the people that are already here, studying and working, giving back a little to the budget shortfall he says Wisconsin is at right now.
Why would he want to include tuition for illegal immigrants when he is not even considering lowering tuition for his own citizens?
I might be an international student from Bolivia paying out-of-state for more then three years now, but I would still like to see my American friends not struggle with paying for college.
Gov. Doyle, if you care about Wisconsin as you say you do, you should start worrying about your citizens first before looking at outsiders.
Lozano is a senior print journalism major and editorial editor of The Spectator. “Breaking Boundaries” appears every Thursday.