In the latest dust-up over whether illegal aliens should be granted in-state tuition to state-run colleges in Massachusetts, the Boston Redevelopment Authority is weighing in. In their learned opinion, granting that privilege to illegal aliens would be a net gain to the Massachusetts economy.
Their reasoning is simple: college-educated people earn more money, and therefore pay more in taxes. Hard to refute that, isn’t it?
But it doesn’t take into account one very fundamental fact: in the current proposal, before they can qualify for the tuition break, the illegal aliens have to begin the process to become legal residents. The theory is that by the time they graduate, they will have resolved their legal status and be eligible to work legally.
But there’s the loophole: they have to BEGIN the process, not COMPLETE it. It’s entirely possible that the process will not be finished before they graduate. Further, there doesn’t seem to be any consideration for the possibility that they may be denied legal status. As long as they start it, they’re covered.
And another point: suppose they do get this law passed, and the students have to pay the in-state rate (an average of $9,300/year, versus the full rate of $18,000/year): if they can’t work legally, where is this money going to come from? The standard line is that these students didn’t willfully break the law; they were brought here by their parents — also illegal aliens. Just who is paying their way, and are they paying it with ill-gotten gains?
The final thing that annoys me is that college educations are a finite resource. There are only so many schools, so many teachers, so many slots for students. Every single college has far more applicants than slots, and every single illegal alien that goes to a state-run college is depriving another applicant of that seat. An applicant that has probably played by the rules, worked hard, and quite possibly pay the full out-of-state rate to attend.
But I suppose that’s too reasonable for Massachusetts.