“The Staggering Effect” of Immigration or, The Truth about Immigrants and Education

By By [email protected]

By [email protected]

Editor:

I appreciate free speech and thus I am happy to see a healthy outcropping of correspondence in response to the article printed on February 14th, 2005 entitled “Leg. tables bill that would repeal illegal-immigrant law.”

However on February 16th, 2005, Mr. Kenny Williams in response wrote a letter to the editor that [illegal] immigration is having “a staggering effect on all of us, especially on the cost of education.” I feel that his comment, while vague and lacking any sort of evidence, is unfounded and quite frankly ignorant! The “staggering effect” that Mr. Williams is speaking about is especially vague. Immigrant labor is vital to our economy, as immigrants and refugees perform migrant and manual labor that sustain “all of us” and our American standard of living.

As for the “cost of education,” I am not really sure what Mr. Williams is driving at due to the vague nature of his letter, but I can assume that he believes that somehow [illegal] immigrants are to blame for the rising cost of education due to inflation. Thus Mr. Williams believes there is a direct correlation between the current rise in inflation and [illegal] immigrant populations in Utah seeking access to higher education. I suggest Mr. Williams take a good look at the policies of the current Republican administration, which is sitting by idly asjobs, such as call center jobs with Delta Airlines and Earthlink, are being lost to overseas markets in South East Asian Countries and then tell me why there is a rise in inflation. I suggest that Mr. Williams listen to NPR once in a while.

Now to turn to the original article about H.B. 144, a current law that allows children of illegal immigrants to obtain higher education while paying resident tuition. I would like to point out how this bill helps students who deserve a better education, even though they may not currently be citizens in this land which was built by immigrant, both legal and illegal, labor. H.B. 144 allows children of immigrants, children who did not have a voice in their families’ decision to immigrate, to enter Utah institutions of higher education if they can prove their residency; just like legal citizens are required to do. As illegal immigrants, yet Utah residents, these students are not eligible for any sort of financial aid and so it is very hard for them to fund their education straight out of their pockets. The difference between resident and non-resident tuition at the U of U is a little over $8,000 a year, and that is a lot when one is paying cash.

I ask that everyone who is a legal resident of this state to consider how they are funding their education, then consider what it would be like if they were unable to get any sort of Pell grants or loans or scholarships. I know that everyone has a different story, but if someone can prove their state residency, then they should be eligible to receive resident tuition. Let the lawyers from Kansas City who have come to help our state repeal the immigration and education laws go home! Mr. Kobach needs to mind his own business, as we here in Utah can take care of our own affairs.

Carlos Cueva-B.S. Candidate Medical Lab Sciences& Feng Kai LiSalt Lake City