In-State Tuition and Unauthorized Immigrant Students

In-State Tuition and Unauthorized Immigrant Students

Illegal immigrants are the people that shifted from other states to the United States of America by hook or by crook. Ideally, they are not legal occupants of the country. Federal law regulates illegal immigrants from paying in-state tuition rates at public institutions of higher education. However, several states have passed state laws and currently, sixteen states allow illegal immigrants to pay the same in-state tuition rates as other residents. Proponents cite equal rights and discrimination. Opponents argue that this is in clear violation of federal law and want illegals to apply for a student visa and be charged an out of state rate to attend schools in the US. Let’s analyze this in detail!

According to the public opinions and surveys conducted back in 2010, the percentile of the people agreeing with the decision of allowing illegal immigrants to join universities at in-state rates was much lower than the people denying the decision. The score of the survey was 33 % in favor and 67 % against the decision. At present, 16 states are allowing illegal immigrants to study at lower rates in the United States. The states are California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

There are approximately 2.1 million undocumented youngsters that were brought as children. In 1996, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) was passed in order to set rules about in-state tuition eligibility for illegal immigrants in post-secondary education. IIRIRA section 505 forbids states from “providing a post-secondary education benefit to an alien not lawfully present unless any citizen or national is eligible for such benefit.”

The allowances for undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition differ by state. Generally, there is a requirement for the individual to live in the country for a certain amount of time, graduate from a high school or get a GED in that state, attend a public college or university and sign an affidavit agreeing to apply for legal United States residency as soon as legally possible (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2011b). Thus, legal immigrants who come to the United States just for college are not eligible for in-state tuition under these laws.

According to the people against the decision, the person who is residing illegally in a state must have committed a crime, and he/she should be deported.  Also, if an individual really wants to get the education in the United States, then he should apply for a student visa and should be charged at other states’ rates and then be admitted to the university. It’s unfair for the people already residing in the state to pay more than the people not from the state itself. Until and unless every domestic student receives an education or can obtain one, the foreign students should not be allowed to join higher academic facilities. One should take care of his home before taking care of the neighborhood.

There is a minor section of people that believe that anyone should not be denied education, the tuition should be minimized or eliminated altogether. Also, in educational affairs, citizenship should not matter and should not act as a barrier to learning. If an individual is able to pay, he should not be barred from education. But, if citizenship too is not legal, and the individual is residing without proper documentation, then it becomes necessary for the Government to take further steps and make some barriers.

The final decision of allowance of Illegal Immigrants is wholly depended on the Government, but there may be individuals that suffer the lack of proper education due to the law enforced against them. Also, the people with no criminal records are affected. President Donald Trump is keen on pursuing tougher immigration policies, hence, a quick resolution is in nobody’s mind. However, a clarity around policy needs to be established as education surpasses politics and nationality.

What are your thoughts? Should illegal immigrants be offered in-state tuition rates at public colleges within their residing state?

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