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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

OUTRAGE OF THE DAY: TURNING VALEDICTORIANS AWAY FROM COLLEGE

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I've told the story before of the fellow who was in my office for a consultation a couple of years ago after he just completed dental school near the top of his class. He was in the process of filing for his license to practice dentistry when he learned for the first time that his parents entered the country on tourist visas when he was three years old and never went home. The Tennessee Dentistry board needed proof of US citizenship. He grew up his entire life being told he was a US citizen even though he was completely out of status for more than two decades. You can imagine his shock and fear.



A lot of teens across the country get the same shock when they start the college application process. Many are high achieving model students who have important contributions to make the country. But they are forced to pay for the sins of their parents and in many states, they are unable to attend college because they are ineligible for in-state tuition at public universities. Most are from working class families where they might as well be told tuition is a million dollars a year.



Seven states in the US allow in-state tuition to anyone who has lived in their state for enough time.  But many states are moving in the opposite direction. One is Connecticut where the governor of the state recently vetoed a bill that would have added her state to the list. This morning, the mayor of New Haven, Connecticut, one of the state's largest cities, writes an impassioned plea in the pages of the NY Times urging his state to reconsider.



Aside from the simple humanity of giving these kids the benefits of an education, a raw analysis of the costs and benefits of educating these kids supports giving them in-state tuition. As I noted in a post earlier today, we have an aging population and a projected long term decline in the number of high school graduates. The number of college graduates will also not keep up with the number of people retiring.



One day, these kids WILL be legalized. Let's be realistic. It's going to happen sooner or later. The question is whether we end up cutting off our noses to spite our faces. Will we have wasted this talent in the name of making a political point?



Of course, the solution is to pass the DREAM Act and be done with the debate on what to do with the kids. While we can agree to disagree on legalizing their parents now, until after enforcement gets to a sufficient level, or ever, we don't need to wait on dealing with the young people.

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Comments

  1. Reader1's Avatar
    Good post Greg. Please post as much news on the Dream Act as possible. I know some Dreamers desperate for a chance to be part of the only country they know.
  2. TX's Avatar
    [DELETED BECAUSE THIS POSTER APPEARS TO BE IMPERSONATING TX, A REGULAR POSTER IN THIS GROUP. TX - PLEASE EMAIL ME PRIVATELY IF I'M MISTAKEN.]
  3. TX's Avatar
    Greg, thanks for deleting that post. It was'nt me. I only use my one email address, so you probably recognized me.
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