But this appears to require the student to do the impossible. Under federal law, illegal immigrants are detainable and deportable and may be barred for 10 years or more from reapplying for legal admission to the United States.
Thus, Kansas law rewards illegal immigrants who have violated federal law by giving them a taxpayer subsidy that is denied to lawful aliens and U.S. citizens.
Meanwhile university tuition rates continue to soar at a rate greater than inflation, and state legislatures strapped for funds are looking to their expensive state university system to absorb some of the squeeze.
Bills to grant the in-state tuition subsidy to illegal immigrants have been introduced in at least 23 states and have become law in California, Texas, New York, Utah, Washington, Illinois and Oklahoma. These bills precipitated lively debates in the state capitols, and often noisy demonstrations in the streets.
In Maryland, the bill was stalled because an amendment was added to extend the subsidy to include members of the military and their families who might be temporarily living in the state. Washington State found that after passing a state law to help illegal immigrant children of migrant workers to afford college, the subsidy was used mostly by foreign students with visas (an unintended consequence that indicates the opportunity for fraud). Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is trying to repeal the federal law by passing a bill called the DREAM Act.
That would be amnesty plus a cash award worth many thousands of dollars given to college students who entered our country illegally.
Some illegal immigrants who seek to attend college at preferential tuition rates sneaked into the United States illegally with their parents. Others have overstayed tourist visas. Nobody is able to count how many thousands are in this country.
Despite their illegal status, U.S. taxpayers have already generously treated these alien students by giving them free schooling from kindergarten through 12th grade, as well as free emergency health care. Many Americans think that giving them college tuition subsidies that are unavailable to U.S. citizens is too much, especially when U.S. parents are struggling to pay college expenses for their own children.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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