Arizona Saves Millions Cutting Perks for Illegal Immigrants

Posted: Aug 10, 2009 3:22 PM
Hooray for Arizona!  Fed up with the costly toll illegal immigrants were having on the state's economy, Arizona voters overwhelmingly passed a law in late 2006 to deny them heavily discounted in-state college tuition and other state-funded benefits.  The motion, approved by more than 70% of voters, also requires state agencies to verify the immigration status of people applying for public services like child care, adult education and college financial aid.

Today, Arizona is reporting that the border state has saved millions of dollars after terminating programs that "essentially subsidized illegal behavior with public money."

Judicial Watch notes that this policy represented a savings of nearly "$8 million for one of the state's community college districts (Maricopa County Community College) alone." The system has not been perfected--thousands of illegal immigrants still apply for state benefits every year--but the state of Arizona has clearly taken a big step in the right direction.

A number of other states—including Texas, California, Utah, Maryland and Wisconsin—still offer illegal immigrants discounted tuition rates at public colleges.  Earlier this month, the Texas Attorney General ruled that allowing illegal immigrants in-state tuition benefits violated federal law.  Students in California have also taken the issue to court.  In a case now pending before the CA Supreme Court, students are challenging the state over its policy to grant illegal immigrants in-state tuition benefits, while out-of-state American citizens are forced to pay higher rates. 

Hopefully Arizona's positive example and proven results will help encourage other states to reign-in out-of-control spending that pays out benefits for people living in the country illegally.