Tuition breaks should be reserved for the law-abiding

March 09, 2011

It is against the law for someone who is here illegally to pay taxes. It is against the law for someone to use the Social Security number of another to pay taxes. Yet one of the items of the new proposed bill to give in-state tuition to illegal immigrants requires that they or their parents had to have paid taxes for the last two years.

This means that either they or their parents are not only here illegally but paying taxes illegally. And how are they able to do this? Is anyone researching whether a stolen Social Security number has been used? Isn't it possible the parents could have been here for 20 years but only paid taxes for the last two years?

Because the parents have children who are applying for in-state tuition, does that mean they are allowed to stay and not be subjected to deportation like anyone else? And aren't these illegal immigrants taking very limited spots at state colleges going to be required to return to their parents' country? Or will they be given citizenship so they can compete against citizens and immigrants who came here honestly and played by the rules?

The it's-not-my-fault-because-my-parents-brought-me-here line doesn't cut it. If children shouldn't be punished for their parents bad behavior, should they and their parents therefore be rewarded? This means that no adult who breaks the law and has children can ever be prosecuted, and the children and the parents can keep and continue to reap the benefits of cheating.

If parents steal money to send them to a nicer school and buy a house perhaps all should be forgiven under the "Building A Better Life For Themselves And Their Families Rule"? What does that make the people who don't lie and cheat? Suckers.

Whatever happened to the America that insisted upon honesty, integrity and fair play? Do we want immigrants who share our values to be rewarded and put at the head of the line, or do we want to reward those who cheated and didn't get in line at all? Personally, I will be paying close attention to which of our elected officials have integrity.

Michelle Alston, Baltimore

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