For decades now, Arizona has had a massive problem with illegal immigration. While non-border states had little interaction with illegal immigration aside from farm, hotel, and restaurant jobs, those along the southern border saw thousands of them showing up in their cities and small towns per day. Many were not just bringing traditions from their homeland, but also drugs, human trafficking, and violence.
Now, Arizona’s Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs is proposing that they be rewarded for breaking our immigration laws.
In her inaugural address, Hobbs made a vow to extend the Arizona Promise Scholarship Program (APSP) to those very illegals. This program is designed to help low-income students pay their tuition and other fees so they could attend AZ universities. She also vowed to create the “Promise for DREAMers Scholarship Program.” Working in conjunction with the APSP it will “cover all students, regardless of immigration status, who attend a public university.”
These programs already have a high cost for Arizona taxpayers, but this would add another $40 million in taxpayer money, and essentially create a streamline for illegals into limited spots at various colleges and universities. If this comes to fruition, an estimated 2,000 more illegals would benefit every school year. As it stands their attendance has only become an option since November.
Before the historic vote to allow in-state tuition rates for illegal immigrants, they have not been allowed to attend AZ colleges and universities since 2006. The initiative to return them to class and to allow them the in-state rates was a Republican-led charge. Giving them that kind of access could help them to become more productive should they become citizens or choose to return to their home countries.
As it stands, Arizona has some of the most expensive colleges and universities in the country. The average in-state tuition is nearly $4,500, but balloons to over $20,000 when books, supplies, and room & board are tacked on. Graduate degrees will run on average $27,300.
Other colleges across the country have been doing this for years as well. Currently, there is a multi-billion-dollar pipeline of foreign students as well as illegal immigrants attending those schools. Through these systems, the universities are raking in $9 billion a year in tuition and fees from foreign students.
Of the over 400,000 illegals currently attending university or college here in the US 182,000 are eligible or enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Needless to say, they are already accounting for a large amount of the fees and tuition the schools are receiving.
Offering them incentives to attend school isn’t the way to go. If they want that, the US military has had numerous programs to help illegal immigrants serve their new country, become citizens, and go to college. Taking the step up to prove you want to be an American and that you are willing to give your life in gratitude for being able to call this great land “home” is a big step.
Many veterans can tell you of their brothers and sisters who were from other countries and served alongside them. They can tell you of the drive to prove themselves, the pride they took in the job, and their dedication to becoming an American was immense with many of them. Many who served during OEF/OIF/OND and other campaigns in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Kuwait can tell you of attending the citizenship service for these great troops. They shared that pride with them.
The choice by the AZ Governor to entice illegal immigrants to call Arizona home is incredibly troubling. While allowing them to attend universities and college is a smart decision, and providing them with in-state tuition makes sense, they should truly look at abolishing out-of-state rates. It makes no sense to punish those from another state who are here legally while rewarding lawbreaking illegals.