Virginia’s Governor Northam Signs Law Extending Financial Aid to Illegal Alien Students

On June 14, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, signed a recent law expanding state financial aid to illegal aliens. During the ceremony, which took place at Marymount University in Arlington, the governor justified his party’s policy by asserting that illegal aliens “are Virginians, in every sense of the word, except for the immigration status.” While many Virginians – both native-born ones and legal immigrants – undoubtedly disagree with this giveaway to individuals who have no right to be in the country, they will nevertheless be required to pay for the Democrats’ virtue signaling and false “generosity.”

The bill, H.B. 2123, was originally introduced in the Democratic-dominated Virginia House of Delegates by Del. Alfonso H. Lopez, who serves as the Democratic Whip. It passed the state House and Senate in February.

According to Virginia’s Legislative Information System, the legislation “[p]rovides that students who meet the criteria to be deemed eligible for in-state tuition regardless of their citizenship or immigration status shall be afforded the same educational benefits, including financial assistance programs administered by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia the State Board for Community Colleges, or a public institution of higher education, as any other individual who is eligible for in-state tuition.”

It will go into effect on August 1, 2022, and builds upon a law Northam signed in April 2020 making illegal aliens eligible for Virginia in-state tuition.

During the ceremony, the governor stated that the legislation would benefit the families of the illegal alien college students, and claimed that it was both good for Virginia’s economy (“more workers with degrees, who can fill job vacancies in our state,” i.e. more job competition) and an affirmation of the “American dream.” Much of the media also framed the issue in one-sidedly sympathetic terms, with WDMV describing the legislation as “an effort to diminish the barriers of students who are not citizens of the U.S. or immigrants” and writing with approval that “new incoming students enrolled in an online education or distance learning program will receive a tuition assistance grant award for $2,000.”

Predictably, neither the Democratic politicians, nor the pro-illegal-alien journalists, mentioned the costs, or the fact that Virginia taxpayers will be on the hook for them. (Granted, some illegal aliens pay taxes as well, but these revenues in no way compensate for the large and growing fiscal burden of illegal immigration.) In other words, legal immigrants who followed the rules – and are working hard to achieve the “American dream” and put their own children through college – will be asked to fund financial aid for individuals who have no legal right to be in the U.S. in the first place. And Governor Northam and his party are putting the latter before “left behind” native-born Virginians languishing in poverty in economically depressed areas, such as Appalachia, and others (see here, here, and here).

In addition to pandering, virtue-signaling, and redistributing other people’s money, the legislation signed by the governor is also an element of the open-borders crowd’s never-ceasing attempts to “normalize” illegal migration by increasingly anchoring unauthorized aliens in American society in every way possible. That this is both at odds with the wishes of the American people and the spirit of our immigration laws is apparently of no concern to them. Nor do Governor Northam and his party seem at all worried about the fact that offering more “goodies” – and otherwise making it easier for foreign nationals to live in the country illegally – incentivizes more illegal migration.

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