Since everyone is discussing “privilege” on college campuses, one of the more galling examples of privilege that isn’t likely to be criticized by the university elite are the privileges enjoyed by illegal immigrants in California.
The University of California board of regents voted last month to raise tuition on out-of-state students by nearly $1000 a year. But illegal immigrants can avoid that by simply declaring themselves to be in-state residents, despite actually being citizens of places way out-of-state – so far out, they’re foreign countries.
A 1982 Supreme Court decision barred public schools for grades K-12 from denying free public education based on immigration status, and colleges don’t ask about it. However, it’s estimated that as many as 3700 illegal immigrants are enrolled in the UC system, which means they will be paying over $3.6 million less in tuition per year than they would if they were American students from any other US state.
A state law mandates that those students may pay in-state tuition if they attend high school in California for at least three years and earn a California high school diploma. A spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform called on state lawmakers to change the law, but he probably realizes there’s fat chance of that. He noted that “California is perpetually broke, and yet they manage to come up with services for illegal aliens.” The latest estimate is that services for illegal residents cost California taxpayers over $25 billion a year.
But California’s emphasis on catering to illegal residents at the expense of taxpaying citizens is no longer going unnoticed by the increasingly disgruntled public. More and more cities are joining the lawsuit to overturn the “sanctuary state” law, and some rogue street artists are now using sarcastic humor to point out the disparity.
The question is whether this rising tide of frustration will ever manifest itself in a movement by voters to “throw the bums out” and send the leftist politicians back to school themselves. Preferably a nice trade school where they can learn how to do something useful for society for a change.
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