Thursday, July 06, 2006

Ure's defeat may mean end of tuition law

The DesNews brought up an interesting point regarding the defeat of Representative Dave Ure of Kamas. The article states that Ure's defeat may mean the "the death of a 2002 law Ure sponsored allowing undocumented students to pay in-state tuition if they have attended a Utah high school for at least three years and graduated." Ure is one of the biggest proponents of the law and was key in defeating a bill that would have repealed the law last year. With Ure's defeat many anti-illegal immigration groups, such as the Utah Minuteman Project, are hoping that this bill will be repealed.

Notwithstanding Ure's defeat, this article brings up an interesting issue regarding Utah policy -- Should illegal immigrants in Utah be allowed to attend state colleges at in-state prices? If we as a country are truly ever going to make a stand against illegal immigration, than it must be said giving financial breaks to those who are in the U.S. illegally could definitely be viewed as counterproductive. On the other hand, one of the major arguments used by anti immigration activists groups is that illegals are simply importing poverty and crime from Mexico into the United States, which is often bred due to a lack of education. Without comprehensive reform being passed in Congress this year due to Hatch's amendment parade, this question may still be a difficult one to answer.

In my perfect world, I would like to see the state keep this law on the books -- but with a few modifications. Educated and intelligent immigrants breath new life into our nation, they take civic duty to heart and are actively engaged, usually, in living the American dream. Because this bill helps educate those who have immigrated to our country I believe this could also help as an incentive to attain citizenship. At the end of the road if an illegal has attended Utah colleges as an in-state student and they finish a Bachelor's degree the state should offer assistance to these students in order for them to attain legal citizenship. The state has paid the price to educate these people, and so the state (which often pines over the need for more college educated citizens) should hang on these people. This law is a powerful step in negating some of the most lamented negative impacts that illegal immigration has on America. However without offering citizenship at the end of the road, this law is not serving the state to its full potential.

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