A tuition break for immigrants? – Baltimore Sun

A tuition break for immigrants? – Baltimore Sun
February 25, 2008As a life-long resident of Maryland and the father of one daughter attending college and a son who is fast-approaching his college years, I sit here at my desk wondering why I even have to write this letter.
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Is there something about the word “illegal” that some people don’t understand?

In this letter to the editor this person questions why there is even a debate about giving undocumented migrants a tuition break. Within his letter he asks what we don’t understand about the world “illegal”.

To this I’d say that we all know what the word illegal means. However, what this person can explain to me is how the term “illegal immigrant” came to be. Regardless of the validity of those words they are meant to give a derogatory tone towards migrants here without proper documentation or those that have overstayed their visas. Of course now people simply refer to these migrants as “illegals” to turn up the notch of hatred a little.

As far as tuition goes I’m all for providing college education for anyone that wants to pursue it. Education past High School should be a right and not a privilege and I advocate that everybody who wants to go to college should be able to. What’s disturbing about this person’s letter is the implication that we should not be educating everyone. We’re talking college level education here. Not everyone is seeking this level of education so for those that do let’s make sure they can get it. If they’re here without documentation – well, that’s something we have to work to change.

Here’s a portion of a teacher’s response to the above letter on the Baltimore Sun website:

During my 27 years of teaching, I have met a number of amazing students who attended college when they could not afford food or even shelter and when they were exhausted from working all night to be able to attend college all day.

And those extreme cases of student dedication have all been refugees or immigrant students. Their desire to improve their lives and provide for their families is just that strong.

Here’s the news story about this debate happening in Maryland.

GOP threatens immigrant tuition bill – Diamondback Online
Megan Eckstein
Issue date: 2/25/08

ANNAPOLIS – A partisan battle began brewing in the General Assembly Thursday as Republicans and Democrats clashed on whether state universities can grant in-state tuition to the children of illegal immigrants.

One of the most controversial proposals the General Assembly has seen in recent years, the issue passed in the House of Delegates but narrowly fell short in the Senate last year, and in 2003 a similar bill passed both houses before then-Gov. Robert Ehrlich vetoed it.

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