Friday, March 14, 2008

Pushing Out "Legals" Are We?

So when can you be a resident of a state, a tax-paying citizen and still be denied the right to in-state college tutition? Apparently if your parents are illegal immigrants.

Until I read the story in the Washington Post today that in my home state of Virginia, American citizens ages 18 to 24 are being denied in-state tuition at state colleges and universities if they can't prove that their parents are also legal citizens. (Why 24? Because apparently that's the age everyone thinks you are no longer financially connected to your parents. Yeah, I know a lot of people who have been screwed out of going to college or had a very difficult time because of this rule. Many states demand tax statements from BOTH parents, despite the fact that a lot of people don't have two parents involved in their lives.)

I cannot think of a valid reason for this law to exist. Even if the blah-blah-blah "they're illegal!" reason is the excuse, that shouldn't apply to the 18 to 24 years olds who are in fact, born in this country. This is not even about scholarship funds or any kind of hand-out. It's simply about whether someone who attended school in Virginia, and is a legal resident, should be allowed to pay the same in-state tuition fees that any other legal resident of Virginia is asked to pay.

I keep asking myself if there's a way to be anti-illegal-immigrant without being, at some level, kind of racist. My gut tells me (and also a lot of examples) that scratch just a hare-breathe beneath the "they're illegal" whining you find someone is really just want to keep non-white, non-Christians out of their town/state/country and focusing on the "illegal" part because that is socially-acceptable.

Otherwise please explain to me what is the motivation for blocking LEGAL CITIZENS the right to attend college?


Unknown said...

Please feel free to join in an immigration related blog created to oppose the anti-immigrant sentiments that we here all too frequently.

Anonymous said...

Without addressing the particular issue you bring up, I can tell you I take exception to what your gut tells you.

First, you mention "non-Christian" as a disqualifier for us xenophobics. This notion runs counter to the argument that it is Hispanics we target, doesn't it? Most Hispanics are Christian. So which is it--do we hate brown people or non-Christians?

Second, attributing motives to people will always get you into trouble. I would concede that there do exist some on this side of the issue who are racists, as there are racists on your side. But I find it offensive to be called a racist by the sanctimonious Left. THis is the typical MO of the Liberal--label your opponent as racist, homophobic, or mysogenistic, and you can marginalize them into a defensive position. It don't fly anymore.

Jim in Cleveland

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna have to agree with Cleveland, regarding "non-Christian as a disqualifier", since I would assume that most Latin Americans are Catholic.

Next...OMG that is so HILARIOUS!!
Lemme get this straight, someone, born in USA, can serve in the military 4 years, and then, since they are only 22, still be required to pay out of state tuition if their parents are illegal immigrants. LOL.*

Which raises another question, why is it that 18 year old kids are old enough to die for our country, but not old enough to be taken seriously by a University Provost? Or old enough to buy a beer? Or old enough to rent a car or play in the NBA? (although the last two are private companies, so, let private companies do what they want)

* it's funny because it's sad

NewsCat said...

For the record, the reason I brought up "non-christian" as a motivation factor for some, but yes...not for all, is that in Walkersville, Maryland a group wanted to build a Muslims center (all legal citizens) and the town freaked out.

And Jim, even if you think I am *wrong* and even if you think that I am unfairly tarring the non-illegal immigrant hating side, I still wish you WOULD have addressed the actual point of the post. Because how is it *not* punitive against perfectly legal citizens to deny them in-state tutition fees like every other legal resident?

Tell me what *is* a rational explaination for such a law if not to somehow "keep out foreign-born" from your state by making it difficult to live in the state. Why not simply deny them the right to sit on benches and go to ice cream parlors unless their parents are also legal residents?

Anonymous said...

I don't dispute the point of your post. I had no problem with the first three paragraphs of your post. I even agree with you.

However, when you start assuming motives, I have to object. The first sentence of your fourth paragraph just doesn't work for me--sorry, but for some strange reason, I don't like being called a racist. You undermine your own credibility when you accuse those who disagree with you of nefarious motivation.

You win no converts with name-calling and labeling. I am someone who believes that illegal immigration is a problem, on a number of levels. To you, as per your post, that makes me a racist afraid of people who don't look like me. I take exception to that, and I will object whenever I see Liberals stereotyping people like this.

Jim in Cleveland