No in-state tuition for illegal immigrants

March 29, 2011

Your editorial "The to-do list" (March 27), as expected, called on Maryland taxpayers to subsidize the college educations of children of illegal immigrants.

We already are paying $200,000 to provide K-12 education for these children. Does that justify our subsidizing their college educations as well?

The Sun's editors would have you believe that we are doing this out of the goodness of our hearts. But the truth is that we are forced to provide this K-12 education because federal law exempts illegal immigrants under the age of 18 from deportation.

The same federal law, known as the Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, states that an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the basis of residence for any post-secondary state education benefit — unless a citizen or national of the United States is eligible for such benefit without regard to whether the citizen or national is such a resident.

This seems pretty clear to me and frankly, I do not wish to see my taxes subsidize students from other states — legal or otherwise.

Furthermore, one should recall that the attempt to void this provision of the IIRIRA via the recent DREAM Act, legislation that was correctly and soundly defeated. The senators in the Maryland legislature who voted for this benefit are simply attempting to circumvent federal law.

This just shows how devious these politicians are in an attempt to cultivate a future voter base when they are supposed to be representing the legal residents of this state. We should remember how they voted in upcoming elections.

Michael V. Ernest, Catonsville

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