We were disappointed to hear that Rep. Cleon Turner, the Democratic legislator from Dennis, supports in-state college tuition for undocumented immigrants. In our book “undocumented immigrants” means people who are not in the US legally – “illegal aliens” in the language of my younger years.
One of the benefits of being a Massachusetts resident is low tuition at one of our fine public colleges and universities. In-state tuition is subsidized by the Commonwealth’s taxpayers for the advancement of our in-state students.
We’re not certain why Rep. Turner and others think it’s okay to use the taxpayers’ hard-earned money to subsidize tuition for someone who is living here illegally.
Perhaps Rep. Turner is thinking locally and is worried about the plummeting enrollment at Cape Cod Community College. We’re all concerned about that. But let’s look at other ways we can expand public college enrollment without subsidizing illegals.
Perhaps we could extend in-state tuition to dependents of anyone that owns a second home in Massachusetts. Maybe we could grant in-state tuition to children of people who are employed in Massachusetts. While not all may agree, this would at least provide tuition subsidy to people who are already paying Massachusetts taxes in some form. What about declaring a tuition amnesty for out of state college students who legally work in Massachusetts during the summer?
Let’s Look After Our Own
Reduced tuition for in-state students was devised both as a benefit of living in a particular state as well as to keep the state’s students close to home as they are educated and enter the job market. It has nothing to do with “fairness, equality and justice” as Rep. Turner is reported to have proclaimed. How on earth is it “fair” and “just” to give a tuition subsidy to someone who is here illegally? “Equality” is mis-used in this context, as a Vermont resident is not viewed as “equal” to a Massachusetts resident in terms of tuition subsidy.
If a Vermont resident rightfully doesn’t pay in-state tuition rates at our state colleges, why would we offer such a subsidy to a foreign national living here illegally?
In-state tuition rates should benefit Massachusetts residents. Let’s take care of our own.
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