Give all students a chance at citizenship

March 11, 2011

As we continue another year of debate over in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants, complete with the legal and moral issues, I wish to suggest to our representatives in the state legislature a different approach.

Why not propose a bill creating a partnership between Maryland and the federal government that would mandate that each non-resident student complete, as part of his or her college or technical school admission, the requirements for U.S. citizenship? Trained naturalization instructors certified by the United States government would educate students in the requirements of gaining citizenship. Students would work towards citizenship while they gained the academic credentials necessary to graduate a complete United States citizen.

I am sure many financial, regulatory and educational issues will need to be discussed to make this proposal work. It is a complicated issue. We will need to rethink our educational system and our immigration system while setting aside partisan politics to make this idea work. But it is no more radical than others that have been put forth.

I think we have forgotten that the end result should be educated graduates who will help guarantee a strong, economically sound country of loyal citizens.

Doug Tomecek, Middle River

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