Illegal immigrants should not get resident tuition

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A recent Salt Lake Tribune article (“Card users identify a problem,” Oct. 17) described problems that “undocumented residents,” such as U student “Claudia,” are facing in Utah.

The subject of “undocumented residents” should concern every U student, as well as every U.S. citizen. “Undocumented residents” are illegal aliens. Illegal. Period.

They are reaping the benefits of living in the United States and not paying taxes. They are stealing from legal, tax-paying citizens. They are breaking the law.

Yet, they are not breaking all the laws. According to Utah House Bill 144, passed in 2002, an illegal alien can attend the U and pay resident tuition.

If the illegal resident has attended at least three years of high school in Utah and either graduated or received his or her GED, he or she is eligible for in-state tuition.

This means that a family can be living in the United States illegally, tax-free, receive a free public education from any school board in the state (paid for by tax payers) and then attend any public university for in-state tuition.

About 18 percent of the U’s funding comes from state appropriations; about 7 percent comes from tuition. As a citizen of the United States and of Utah, I believe that HB 144 is reprehensible. One reason our country was founded was the belief in no taxation without representation, and thus vice versa. HB 144 allows representation without taxation-at the expense of those being taxed.

Laws like this encourage illegal immigration, which is completely different from legal immigration.

We have an abundant country with vast opportunities for wealth and growth. Let whoever wants into our country in, legally. What is mine is mine to give, not for an illegal to take.

HB 144 is up for re-evaluation in the 2006 legislative session. All law-abiding citizens who care about the principles upon which this country was founded, and who care about on whom their tax dollars are spent, need to write their legislators and encourage them to eliminate this bill.

J.D. Bowns


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