By: Gabriella Morrongiello
The quickest way to befriend a child is to hand them candy. Want
to assure a permanent life-long supporter of liberal policies? Hand
out government subsidized programs. That's exactly the motive
behind the "Tuition Equity" bill that has been adopted in many
states and is now coming before the newly left-winged majority
legislature of Oregon.
What so many fail to ask when advocating government handouts
such as food stamps, housing vouchers, health care or reduced
college tuition for children of illegal immigrants is: at whose
expense will these programs be covered?
In the case of Oregon House Bill 2787, which proposes allowing
children of illegal immigrants residing in Oregon to benefit from
in-state tuition at publicly-funded universities, it is my mother
and father who will shoulder the financial burden.
I am a sophomore at Oregon State and one of the 8,906
out-of-state students currently attending the university. Compared
to an Oregon resident who pays roughly $8,000 annually in tuition,
my parents foot a $22,000 bill each year. My tuition is
substantially higher to help compensate the Oregon taxpayer for the
use of the bricks and mortar, the cost of faculty and administrator
salaries, pensions and benefits, and maintenance and upkeep of the
Illegal immigrants whose children attend Oregon high schools are
not paying taxes to cover the expenses for Oregon public
universities either. If these individuals wish to have their child
attend an Oregon university, I believe they ought to pay
out-of-state tuition just as my parents do.
The parents of these children, who entered this country
illegally, are either being paid their wages in cash, as part of
the "underground economy," or by check from employers who are not
withholding the income taxes they must take from legitimate, legal
workers. Additionally, their children are attending public grade
schools and high schools that are paid for by property and state
income taxes of legal residents.
What is "fair and equitable" about that?
People break the laws of the United States when they immigrate
to our country illegally. The children these individuals bring with
them become a financial burden to the community in which they
reside with impunity. This is not to say these children are at
fault; many are excellent citizens that work hard academically and
in their community. That however, is irrelevant. As an out-of-state
student, I do all that I can to help lessen the financial burden my
parents reap because of my choice to attend college outside of
California. I wait tables, am a paid reporter for my campus
newspaper, and must keep an exemplary GPA to earn and maintain an
$8,000 tuition reduction. Nevertheless, it is still my parents who
shoulder the greatest cost.
I don't believe my hard-working, self-employed parents should
face increasing tuition hikes to cover the certainty of burgeoning
expenses at my university due to sky rocketing enrollment of
"Tuition Equity" students. As availability becomes more affordable,
enrollment and the need for more faculty, administrators, bricks
and mortar will increase. This will all be at a cost to the Oregon
Shifting the cost for the child of an illegal immigrant to
attend college to me and my parents is not tuition equity, but
rather confiscation and redistribution. These high school students
can do exactly as I have done: get multiple jobs, work
exceptionally hard in school, and if need be, take longer than some
to graduate. This legislation is about giving candy to a child, and
future voter, to befriend them. It is about giving government
mandated "goodies" to young, largely Hispanic future voters most
likely to support the liberal agenda. It sickens me to watch the
theft and manipulation of law-abiding Americans by politicians to
feed their political agendas.
This legislation is a veiled attempt to create a permanent
voting block indebted to one political party for yet another
government hand out.
Gabriella Morrongiello is a sophomore at Oregon State University, and chairman of the OSU Young Americans for Freedom