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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Prop. 300 deserves a ‘no’ vote

    It is difficult to fathom the motivation behind Arizona’s Proposition 300. Among other things, the proposition aims to make it impossible for Arizona students without immigration papers to qualify for in-state tuition at Arizona community colleges and universities.

    This legislation targets students who have already overcome considerable obstacles. The vast majority did not make the choice to come to the United States illegally; they are here through decisions made by their parents. Despite almost certain financial difficulties, these students have graduated from Arizona’s high schools – and have succeeded enough academically to deserve spots at universities in student bodies vastly comprised of the children of middle- and upper-middle-class parents. They are ineligible for most financial aid and scholarships at the university and community-college level. They do not have parents who can bankroll their educations.

    For the son or daughter of an illegal immigrant, an increase in cost of several thousand dollars will put the dream of a college education forever out of reach – and deny the U.S. a productive, educated resident, who – like it or not – is already here.

    These students have been contributing to Arizona’s tax coffers through sales and (potentially) property taxes, regardless of whether or not their parents are contributing through income tax. U.S. citizens who are either unemployed or the dependants of unemployed parents – and thus not contributing income tax – are not denied in-state tuition rates. So, why target these students?

    Is it unfair for people who did not come to this country legally to use Arizona’s resources? Maybe. However, if fairness is really the issue, it makes no sense to penalize students for the decisions of their parents.

    Obtaining a college education will allow these individuals to make a meaningful contribution to the United States and to Arizona – both in industry and through taxes.

    Denying them the opportunity is likely to do just the opposite.

    When it comes down to it, Proposition 300 is either well-intentioned but misguided, ill-conceived or xenophobic.

    Pick one. Then vote.

    Opinions are determined by the Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Nina Conrad, Lori Foley, Ryan Johnson, Ari Lerner, Nicole Santa Cruz and Matt Stone.

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