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Utah lawmakers, in 2002, made a wise, compassionate decision to allow certain children of undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition at Utah’s colleges and universities. To qualify, an undocumented student must attend a Utah high school for three years, as well as graduate from a Utah high school.
Nothing wrong with that at all!
Yet, momentum is building to repeal the 2002 law. Earlier this year, the Education Interim Committee voted overwhelmingly to endorse a change. And expect a lot of emotional rhetoric to fly when the issue comes up for debate in the legislature’s upcoming annual general session.
Such a waste of time and effort, since the existing law is a good one!
It is morally just! It benefits innocent children, albeit they may be in this nation illegally because of the actions of their parents. Yet, those students who qualify generally have overcome significant adversity and demonstrated their academic potential. To reward them for their diligence is an indication of Utah’s generous and civilized culture.
As well, the law makes economic sense! With education, they will qualify for better jobs, help expand the economy, and, of course, pay more in taxes.
On this issue, lawmakers shouldn’t let emotional arguments supercede common sense. They should keep the tuition break they authorized in 2002.