Well, yes: they are illegal, after all. But it hardly seems fair, to some, after giving them in-state tuition:
When Rhode Island became the thirteenth state to allow in-state tuition for illegal immigrants at public colleges, supporters heralded the move as one that would give students the kind of advanced education they need to succeed in the work force.
But students who are not here legally may still face a major obstacle even with the benefit of a college degree: Many have no immediate pathway to legal status and, under current federal immigration law, employers cannot legally hire them.
I like that reference to “current federal immigration law.” That whole “illegal” business is just a technicality, really.
Research varies on how much resident tuition rates for illegal immigrants increase enrollment. A 2010 paper co-authored by Aimee Chinn, an economist at the University of Houston, did not find a sizeable increase overall for 18- to -24-year-olds in the 10 states studied, although it did find that Mexican men in their 20s attended at modestly higher rates. It also found that even in-state tuition may still be too expensive, especially since illegal immigrant students do not qualify for federal education aid.
Well, no, what with being illegal and all.
Still, the picture is not entirely bleak. Note the AP’s delicate reference to “current enforcement practices:”
“This is going to be an educated population that can’t do anything with their education because they’re illegal aliens,” [Terry Gorman] said. “What do they do? They can’t work.”
Kimberly Mehlman-Orozco, who conducted the Latino Policy Institute study at Roger Williams, points out that, while that’s the law, it isn’t necessarily the reality. She said that under current enforcement practices, many who are here illegally are in fact being hired. That being the case, she said, they may as well be college-educated.
We are witnessing a sort of creeping repeal of our immigration laws, contrary to the wishes of most Americans.