The Real Point of Education for Undocumented Students
It's not really about racism. Nor is it really about breaking federal law. The point of whether or not Utah provides "in-state tuition" for the education of undocumented students is that these students meet a tested legal requirement. Current legislation trying to repeal this benefit, as well as cries of racism against those that are trying to do so, simply cast a cloudy pall over the issue.
Those who recently attended a committee meeting of the Utah legislature where the topic was in-state tuition for undocumented students were greeted with signs implying that certain Utah legislators are racist for not wanting undocumented students who meet established legal criteria to receive in-state tuition benefits. There is no need for such licentious pouring of gasoline on the fire of an already passionate debate. Utah legislators are not racists. There are already hundreds of documented minorities who receive in-state tuition in Utah.
The legislators who voted for the repeal of the 2002 in-state tuition law claim that they are simply worried about violating federal law, for which the State could be sued. This fear may be logical and even respectable, but according to the Utah Attorney General, there is no need to have such fear. A similar case in Kansas has been overturned, but is currently in appeal. Not only that, the Attorney General actually says that Utah is in compliance with Federal Law the way the Utah law reads.
Previously, I wrote on this issue:
...in Utah's case, alien students can only be considered for in-state tuition if they have attended a Utah high school for 3 years and have graduated (or equivalent) from a Utah high school.
To tighten up matters even more, the student's family must be in the process of applying for legal US residency to be considered for the in-state tuition benefit.
The United States can absorb a large influx of immigrants. Many of the problems thought to lie at the feet of illegal immigration actually are the blame of government programs. Students who are furthering their education while at the same time attempting to become American citizens should be considered potential Utahns.
I'm with the Democrats on this one, it seems (at least as regards the House Education Committee). I support the continuance of in-state tuition for those undocumented Utahns who are attempting to become American citizens.