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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Fate of illegal immigrants’ tuition in voters’ hands

    A ballot initiative aimed at illegal immigrants could shrink the UA community by an unknown number of students, forcing them out due to financial restrictions.

    Proposition 300, up for a vote in Arizona this November, would make illegal immigrants pay out-of-state tuition at the state’s public universities and colleges, according to the Web site of the Arizona Legislative Council.

    The initiative would make illegal immigrants, including those whose parents brought them into the country at a young age and who have graduated from Arizona public schools, ineligible for in-state tuition.

    “”(The proposition) tells children that grew up here that something they had no choice in is going to impact the rest of their lives,”” said Socorro Carrizosa, director of Chicano/Hispano Student Affairs on campus.

    The increase in fees would be too much for many illegal immigrants to continue attending the UA, Carrizosa said.

    Carrizosa said she doesn’t ask students to reveal whether or not they are citizens, so she does not know what percentage of UA students would be affected if voters approve the proposition.

    Students who might find themselves in that situation if the measure passes, declined to speak to the Wildcat because many are afraid of their immigrant status becoming public knowledge. Some have decided to keep this information secret even from their friends.

    Brice McCoy, a political science sophomore, said he doesn’t think noncitizens deserve the same benefits as U.S. citizens, even if they have lived in Arizona most of their lives.

    “”If you’ve entered this country illegally, you don’t deserve in-state tuition,”” McCoy said.

    However, Estefania Hernandez, a political science senior, said she is conflicted about the initiative and its goals.

    “”It makes sense that they should pay out-of-state, but it’s not fair,”” Hernandez said.

    Hernandez said she thinks that letting illegal immigrants attend college for in-state prices will ultimately allow them to make future contributions to Arizona society.

    Carrizosa said she believes Proposition 300 is part of a bigger political agenda targeting illegal immigrants that many times takes on racist overtones.

    “”It’s easier to stir up fear than to deal with the elements of the issue,”” Carrizosa said.

    Carrizosa said she believes racist attitudes and misdirected frustration have made immigration more prominent in politics recently.

    “”It’s another way to get illegal immigrants and their kids out of the country,”” said J.J. Federico, a Latin American studies junior.

    McCoy said he does not believe there are any racist intentions behind the measure because the bill applies to all illegal immigrants, not only those from Mexico.

    McCoy said that while he understands what advocates for illegal immigrants are saying, he still thinks they should be held responsible for the laws they have broken.

    “”It’s unfortunate, but you have to obey the law of the land,”” McCoy said.

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