[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Should Floridians Support Illegals' Tuition? (updated)

Friday, April 29, 2005

Should Floridians Support Illegals' Tuition? (updated)

Today's Miami Herald published a story about a bill sitting in the Florida Legislature allowing undocumented (illegal) immigrants residing in Florida to pay in-state tuition for attending a state university or college. The measure has failed twice before, and time is running out in this year's legislative session.

This is a tricky subject because I feel we should not encourage illegal migration into this country. On the other hand, most of the kids who fall under this category have lived in Florida for several years after coming to this country with their parents. Most of those kids cannot afford to pay out-of-state tuition fees to attend college, no matter how good their grades were in high school.

Coming to this country illegally was not the kids fault. But more importantly, there's a pretty good chance that a person who attends and graduates from a college or university will become a successful member of society as an adult. By denying these kids the opportunity to pay the same rates as "legal" kids will shut them out of an education, and probably a good job and success later on.

From the Herald article:
Some parents worried about their own children's academic futures could take a dim view of lawmakers voting what amounts to a subsidy -- in-state tuition doesn't cover the cost of a college education -- to undocumented immigrants. Some opponents fear it could serve as an incentive, drawing more illegal immigrants to the state.

The illegal immigrants are coming anyway, so what good would we be doing by denying their children an opportunity to better themselves?

Besides, according to the story, most of these "illegals" already pay taxes to fund education.

Update 5/3/05 12:55 PM: A.M. Mora y Leon has a good write-up on the illegal immigration issue in the American Thinker. Val from Babalu linked to it in a post on his blog, where there are a number of comments already posted.


Anonymous Juan Paxety said...

You've raised a good question. I think it's similar to the question raised in the late 80s about college entrance scores for athletes. The educators were complaining that athletes were admitted to college unable to do college level work. Some folks argued that the kid got a lot of benefit from college, even if unable to graduate, by associating with people from different cultures, learning what he could in class, and from making contacts with people outside the limited number of people he grew up with.

I guess the question comes down to whether the children of illegal immigrants will be allowed to stay here. If so, it's probably to society's benefit for them to be educated. If they cannot stay here - I don't have an answer.

8:51 AM, May 02, 2005  
Blogger Robert said...

It's a good question, should these kids expose themselves and risk going back to their native countries, or will Florida give them a break since in the vast majority of the cases, the kids did not make the decision to move here?

5:03 PM, May 02, 2005  
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