Illegal immigrants do not qualify for federal financial aid, and those living
in Rhode Island, as in 39 other states, do not qualify for in-state tuition at
public universities. Since out-of-state tuition is about three times as high as
in-state, many young immigrants forgo higher education.
Mr. Lakin, a 26-year-old history teacher at Hope High School here, is out to
“One of my students has been here since she was 1 year old, but she can’t
afford to pay the out-of-state rate to a university in a place she’s grown up
in,” Mr. Lakin said. “Her mother has a work permit and pays taxes here, yet her
daughter is essentially denied access to higher education.”
Monday, March 9, 2009
Two years ago in flush times, it would have been easy for a lot of people to read this story and say that an exception to be made. One wonders about the reaction now: Illegal Immigrants May Be Residents for Years but Don’t Get In-State Tuition Rates
There are millions of hard luck tales coursing through America right now. A lot of them are undoubtedly in Rhode Island, which is a state with high unemployment and low wealth creation. Some Lefty high school teacher whining about someone being "essentially denied access to higher education" really ought to be asked why incrasingly scarce education resources should be spent on someone who is not legally entitled to them.
The benign neglect of our immigration laws has had unintentionally cruel effects like this: an intelligent teen has lived here virtually her entire life, but her illegal immigrant mother couldn't be bothered to become "legal" because no one really bugged her about it. Now that there is a spectacular economic downturn, states are finding themselves strapped to provide services to their legal residents. Asking for an exception to be made for someone with no legal standing to make such a demand is simply impractical in this environment.