Monday, June 20, 2005

Americans Have Dreams, Too

The big argument offered in lobbying for in-state tuition for illegal aliens graduating from U.S. high schools is that it will help them become productive and tax-paying. That argument is a load of buffalo chips.

Illegal aliens and the children they've smuggled in have gotten a free educational ride at tax-paying citizens' expense, often for a decade or more. There is no reason why taxpayers should be forced to continue paying through the nose by subsidizing college tuition for people who cannot legally work. As long as they are here illegally, there are so many loopholes that it is highly unlikely they will pay their legitimate tax bills in full if they get under-the-table jobs. A college education in their own countries costs a fraction of U.S. higher education costs. Their parents have likely remitted thousands of dollars of to their homeland, money that could be used for their child's education.

Subsidizing tuition for illegal aliens is unnecessary at the least and futile in the worst-case scenario (they cannot legally worktherefore pay no taxes).

College-educated, middle-class American parents are finding it increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to send their own kids to college. Students are graduating with $30,000 or more in student loan debt and cannot find jobs which cover basic living expenses, no less debt repayment. Scholarship funds are increasingly scarce and often set aside for "the disadvantaged," defined by race, regardless of income.

A friend's son had dreamed of going to New York University since he was in elementary school. For his planned career, it was certainly the best, and one of the few, schools offering what he wanted. He worked very hard for many years: top grades, extracurricular activities, summer programs like Model UN. He won a number of awards, and saved every penny for college.

His parents have saved up a college fund since he was born. It was never easy, especially since my friend could not return to school teaching as planned due to health problems, and the family has tightly budgeted one civil-servant salary for kids' college, parents' retirement, home care for elderly, ailing grandparents.

NYU offered a small scholarship, half of the $16,000 tuition. He cannot go to NYU -- no money.

My friend had "a nice little chat" with someone willing to be frank, albeit not for attribution, and discovered that if her son had been Hispanic, he would have gotten full tuition plus room and board, and if black/African-American, he would have gotten full tuition, regardless of grades or SAT scores (provided they were sufficient for admission), or family finances. Why? Dedicated funds in race-based financial assistance programs to promote "minorities."

There's a Hispanic Scholarship Fund, for Hispanics only. There are special scholarships only for Native Americans. Scholarships are not based on exceptional academic acheivement. Financial aid packages are not based exclusively on financial need. They are based on race or ethnicity.

Americans, of whatever race or ethnic background, all have dreams. And they should be able to pursue those dreams on a level playing field open to all American citizens equally. "Equal protection" is the law of the land. Special privileges for any group based on race or ethnicity is totally unacceptable.

Any privileges for immigration-law violators is unspeakably worse.

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