Expensive EducationBy Brendan Pringle 

California, New York and even Texas have already passed
controversial “tuition equity” legislation for illegal
immigrant students.

Now, Oregon is trying to follow suit, and has just introduced
legislation on the issue.

This proposed legislation would permit Oregon high school graduates living in the U.S. illegally to
attend public universities for in-state tuition rates.

In response to the pressure to remain “inclusive,” Oregon
university presidents, the Oregon Education Association, and the
American Federation of Teachers have backed these proposals.

Could
it be that these groups are simply crossing their fingers for more
taxpayer funding?

Regardless, someone has to pay for it, which means that either
Oregon taxpayers or legal Oregon students have to take the hit. The
bill will ultimately force them to subsidize
$14,000 of every illegal immigrant’s education
. The legislation would incur a sharp decrease in revenue from the countless
out-of-state students displaced by the new competition.

This does not even account for the broader impact of encouraging
more illegal immigrants to break the law, which is already costing
the state’s taxpayers
approximately $1 billion per year
, according to estimates by
the Foundation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

In addition, the legislation remains blatantly unfair to those
students who are legal citizens of our country.

Students who reside outside the state of Oregon are forced to pay three
times more tuition than their illegal counterparts whose parents
happen to have settled the State of Oregon. Granted, illegal
immigrant children have no control over the state in which they
live; however, neither do the legal citizens who wish to attend a
public university that is outside of their home state.

Should illegal immigrants be given a cheaper education than our
own citizens?

Moreover,
if Oregon hopes to follow California’s footsteps, one could only expect
legislation granting illegal immigrant students equal access to state-sponsored
educational aid in the near future. If that happens, Oregon students should
plan for the same downward spiral of rising tuition and declining educational
value in Oregon that we have seen in the Golden State.

Brendan Pringle is a Development Officer at Young America’s Foundation’s Reagan Ranch Center. 

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