Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Is It the Right Thing to Do?

In CO right now, we have a bill that is being voted on that I found interesting. I am not sure what I think about it, and would love opinions- it's a great topic of discussion.

The bill would allow children of illegals to pay in-state tuition for college if they met certain criteria: they attended a CO high school for 3 years, had good enough grades, and some other things that I can't remember.

Surprisingly, a number of high profile Republican party leaders are supporting this bill, to which I give them huge kudos. I don't know if I agree with this bill or not, but I know those leaders are going to take a ton of heat from their party for crossing party lines and doing what they feel is right, and I can definitely respect somebody for being willing to do that- regardless of what party they are in. That takes courage and guts, and I think that is wonderful.

Back to the bill. I don't want to get into the tax costs of illegals- health care, etc. Let's isolate this to just this one issue of in-state tuition, otherwise it gets too out of hand. Right now the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition is about $20,000- making college unacessible for most of these children. It is not their fault they came to America- their parents brought them here. Should they be punished for what their parents did, or allowed the same access as citizens?

At first I didn't like this bill. Now I am not sure. I can see some merit to letting them pay in-state costs. First and foremost, if they are educated, that helps all of our society. But, I also see the cons- is it fair to the citizens? This bill would NOT give them access to pell grants or scholarships as far as I understand, it would simply be that they could pay in-state tuition.

Any thoughts?


Lula O said...

By 2050, the demographics of the US will be this - 51-55% non-white, mainly because spanish americans are reproducing at a rate that's like 5 to 1 compared to non-spanish americans. Seriously, these kids are the key to our success as a country. If we don't invest in their well-being and education now, we will pay for it later by falling behind other nations even further than we already have.

This legislation is a good move. I'm glad that other republicans can see it.

Lula O said...

Also, thanks for posting something Christina. My computer's gone to computer heaven as of last Sunday, and I'm currently looking for its replacement. Not sure when I'll be able to get back on.

Good topic though.

okbushmans said...

I'm "on the border" with this issue also. (Pun intended). I agree with not wanting to punish the children of those who broke the law to come into the country. And I am a huge advocat of higher education being accessible to those who are willing to work for it. And having a more educated population will only benefit our country, making us more competitive globally.

Yet, I could agree that in-state tuition should be reserved for citizens not just "residents" of that state. I have always seen in-state tuition as a benefit for those who have paid property taxes, state income taxes, sales taxes, in other words, contributed to their community. If you are an illegal immigrant, you can't buy a home, so you don't pay property taxes. If caught, companies are penalized for hiring illegal immigrants, so they might be paid off the books, and not paying income taxes.

Again, I'm on the fence. What is the purpose of this bill? Who will it hurt? But I keep going back to the purpose of in-state tuition, and it seems like it is more a benefit for citizens of the state.

And Christina, I loved your comments about education and I learned A LOT! Very well thought out and common-sense.

Peter said...

If you are an illegal immigrant, you can't buy a home, so you don't pay property taxes.

OK--renters pay property taxes indirectly through the rents charged by the landlord. Your point is? How are they different from other renters?

Ben and Christina said...

I guess I think there are two arguements that to me define the issue:

For the bill: It doesn't cost taxpayers any money. It doesn't give anybody any freebies, it's not a handout, it doesn't cost anything.

Against the bill: I do understand the tax thing. At BYU you get a discount if you are Mormonn because you pay tithes, and tithes pay for something like 90% of the education costs, so it makes sense if you paid tithes throughout your life you should get a discount while those who never paid tithes do not get the discount. But, as Peter pointed out, they do pay sales tax and some other taxes- not as much as citizens, but they do pay some. So I can see that people would be upset they get the same benefit as those who pay all their taxes, though I suppose that is debatable.

I think it will pass, which I guess I am glad because I do think a more educated workforce is a better workforce. We'll see if other states do the same!

Bryce and Mandy said...

I think it is a good idea. I don't think the kids should be punished because of what their parents did.

And it is a college education. All the kids want is to better themselves by getting one so I think it is a good idea. I would think the more educated someone is the better job they could get so isn't that the best thing for society (to not be on welfare, etc)?

It seems like our entire society could only benefit from this.