Rising tuition costs and student debt loom over the next generation of Americans, with almost 50 million people in the United States owing more than $1.5 trillion. Many college students struggle to afford their education, and some resort to taking on odd jobs or agricultural work to support themselves. But while millions of Americans and lawfully-present immigrants scramble to make ends meet, some universities prefer to devote their finances and energy to assist illegal aliens.
For example, all three of Arizona’s public universities have partnered with the pro-amnesty nonprofit Chicanos Por La Causa to create a private fundraising campaign for illegal aliens attending college. The campaign, “Keep the Dream Alive,” allows people to donate to the overall fund or to a specific college, with the proceeds helping to pay the tuition costs for illegal aliens. The campaign was started in response to the Arizona Supreme Court ruling last year that barred Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients from receiving in-state tuition.
The average debt for an Arizona graduate stands at about $24,000, and legal residents probably constitute a majority of the state’s graduates. With so many people in the state burdened by overwhelming student debt, why exactly are these universities choosing to assist illegal aliens? Many legal residents in Arizona also struggle to afford their education, but university officials seem to treat them like second-class citizens compared to those illegally here.
The campaign’s website states that illegal students “suddenly face a 50% to 200% tuition increase in order to complete their degrees,” but that’s the price they should already pay if states allow them to go to college. It is illogical that illegal aliens would receive taxpayer-subsidized in-state tuition rates when Americans simply moving from one state to another are not granted the same privilege. If anyone receives lower tuition, it should be given to legal residents, not those who continue to disregard the nation’s immigration laws.
In fact, Arizona universities already aid illegal students in other ways. Arizona State University maintains an entire program that provides resources for illegal aliens, including private funds for DACA renewal fees. The University of Arizona offers them free legal support, and Northern Arizona University hosts events to help them in their careers. So even without lower tuition rates, illegal students receive a wide range of assistance.
And it’s doubtful that many parents would enjoy knowing their hard-earned money benefits a public education system that appears to care more about illegal aliens than their own children. Affording illegal aliens a lower tuition or financial help is essentially rewarding them for breaking our laws. It’s time for universities to start investing that effort into American and law-abiding students. Maybe then the national student debt wouldn’t amount to more than a trillion dollars.