The logic for in-state tuition for illegal aliens, alias “undocu-mented workers,” is flawed from from the very onset. It makes no sense to give tuition breaks for education to illegal aliens in Indiana, when the same breaks are not available to legal residents (citizens of the United States) from Michigan or Illinois or Ohio or any other state in this country. The operative word here is “illegal.” The Kokomo Tribune and others want to use the politically correct term “undocumented,” which may sound better but still means someone in the United States who is in violation of law. That is as far as one needs to go. The so-called positive economic arguments made by Mark Heinig, a Tribune columnist, would apply to any additional students from outside Indiana.
And this is not the early 1900s or the 1800s or 1700s, in case it has not been noticed by Mr. Heinig. There is no longer a need for massive immigration, legal or illegal, in this country. Our current legal immigration rate is about 110,000 people per month. Let me repeat that ... 110,000 people per month, or about 1.32 million more people per year. No one knows really how many more are coming illegally. As world population continues to explode, there will be more and more pressure for a move of more and more people to this country. The truth is that the population of the United States would be now roughly stable without counting immigration. Several of the world’s developed countries have reached stable population levels. The United States is the aberration. And in case Mr. Heinig has not noticed either, unemployment levels are high throughout this country. It is time to take care of United States citizens.
Yes, there needs to be immigration reform, but not to raise immigration levels but rather to significantly reduce them. It is true that the 14th Amendment makes “anchor babies” citizens of the United States. There does need to be consideration for those who are, under law, citizens of the United States. There also needs to be consideration for the millions who have been in this country for years illegally, but there should never be a path to citizenship while there are thousands who have been in the legal lines awaiting a decision about legal immigration.
Again, there is no valid argument for tuition reduction for non-citizens of the United States, particularly if such non-citizens are in violation of our nation’s immigration laws.
Kent Blacklidge, Ph.D., is a former vice chancellor of external relations at IU Kokomo and past publisher of the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.