Recently many politicians have focused their attention on illegal immigration and its cost on education in America. Many states have chosen to override the Immigration Nationality Act of 1996, which “prohibits access to in-state tuition benefits by undocumented students (Numbers USA). ” Overturning this law and allowing illegal immigrants the opportunity to pay in-state tuition for college, causes further damage to the United States economy, and should not be allowed.
The Immigration Nationality Act of 1996 states that, “…an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the basis of residence within a State for any post-secondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of the United States is eligible for such a benefit…” This law ultimately concludes that anyone who is not an official citizen of the United States should not receive the same education benefits as someone who is legally registered or born a U. S. citizen. By disregarding this law, criminals are reaping the same opportunities as everyone else, which is not fair.
Colorado congressman named Regent Tillie Bishop stated, “I think if we’re going to give illegal aliens in-state tuition, then we should give (out-of-state) students legally living in the United States in-state tuition (Anas). ” It’s easy to draw on the sympathy card and argue that the children of illegal immigrants should not have to “pay” for their parents’ wrong doing (Anas). While it is not rational to blame a child for initially coming to America as an illegal immigrant, once he/she become of age to go to college, the child is aware that what they’re doing is wrong.
In an interview with an undocumented student, she refused to reveal her last name for fear of getting into trouble with law and government officials (Anas). She came here as a child, but it’s apparent that she knows what she’s doing is wrong, however she still feels she deserves the right to pay in-state tuition for college. This situation can be compared to people stealing money to provide for their family. Even though their intentions may be good, they are hurting many people in an effort just to better one. In the end a wrong is a wrong, and those that commit crimes should be punished for it, no matter the intentions.
Paying in-state tuition would in fact make it easier for illegal immigrants to be able to afford college. However, by allowing this Americans end up paying more, in addition to what they have already been paying. If an illegal immigrant attends the University of Colorado Boulder , with the benefit of paying in-state tuition, he/she would pay $8,878 a year in tuition as opposed to $28,000. Once again, if this is going to take place, then out-of state students should be allowed to pay in-state tuition as well. Illegal residents have already cost American taxpayers a lot of money, from funding their secondary education (Judicial Watch).
They come to America to better their lives, but they don’t pay taxes (other than sales tax), they take many jobs from Americans because of their willingness to work for cheap, and now they want cheaper tuition costs. America is a country that stands for helping others, but how much could one help before they realize it’s causing now creating even more problems for the economy? Trying to better all of the illegal residents and help them have a better life is ideal, but not plausible. This does not mean that America should give all foreigners the cold shoulder, it’s known as “the melting pot” for a reason.
However, if one wants to be treated as an equal United States citizen, and wants to receive all of the benefits of being an American, he/she should go about it the legal way. Getting proper documentation and taking the necessary steps to become a legal U. S resident may seem lugubrious and daunting, but it’s a way to keep order. It also prevent further chaos and legal troubles in the future. If more states decide to repeal the Immigration Nationality Law of 1996, one can only predict that the problem of illegal immigration will become larger.
Therefore, illegal immigrants should not be granted the right to pay in-state tuition costs for college. It undermines United States legal system and contradicts laws that are in place for a reason. It’s not logical to have a law preventing unregistered immigrants from living in America, but then give them the same benefits as legal United States citizens. States should keep the Immigration Nationality Law of 1996, this law was made for a reason, and any law that supersedes this one, will cause more damage than help.