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Wednesday, December 06, 2023

The country's absolute failure to address the problem of illegal immigration creates messy situations all over the country.

In Florida, college students who are U.S. citizens but are dependent upon noncitizen parents have to pay out-of-state tuition.

The Alligator recently reported a story about Wendy Ruiz, a college student at Miami Dade College whose parents are illegal immigrants. Despite the fact that Ruiz is a citizen of the U.S. and Florida and was born and raised in Miami, she still has to pay out-of-state tuition.

The idea behind in-state tuition for students at public universities and colleges is that although you are a dependent, your parents pay taxes in the state, so your tuition rate should be subsidized over non-state residents.

But the way the law stands is simply not fair for U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants who have no "in-state" options anywhere.

A bill has been filed in the Florida state Legislature to change the current laws. It grants students who are children of illegal immigrant parents in-state tuition status if they attended a Florida high school for four consecutive years and plan to enroll in college 12 months after graduation in Florida.

Whatever your stance on illegal immigration, we should not be placing the blame on children who are born in the U.S. of undocumented parents.

But these problems are symptomatic of a larger issue.

No, repealing the 14th Amendment, which gives birthright citizenship to anyone born in the U.S., will not fix the problem. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, only 15 percent of illegal-immigrant mothers arrived in the U.S. expecting a baby.

Many of those who claim to be "tough" on immigration claim that they like immigrants, just those that come the "legal" way. Well, the legal way is tough - especially for low-skilled workers.

According to Jason Riley of The Wall Street Journal, "Some 400,000 people enter the country illegally each year, a direct consequence of the fact that our current policy is to make available only 5,000 visas annually for low-skilled workers."

The wait time for a low-skilled Mexican worker to obtain a green card is roughly 131 years, according to the State Department. A computer programmer from India has to wait about 35 years, on average.

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These problems need to be addressed so that all people who work in this country are documented, especially because the "legal" way to enter the country is completely backward.

There needs to be comprehensive immigration reform in this country and fast. Otherwise, people like Ruiz will be punished for being the children of illegal-immigrant parents.

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