Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


The key word is ‘illegal’

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) criticized INS
raids on dozens of Wal-Mart stores in a search that nabbed
approximately 250 illegal immigrants. According to Pelosi, the
raids amounted to “terrorizing” workers, because “it instills a
great deal of fear in people who are only trying to earn a

Pelosi misses the same point that so many people do: these
immigrants are not people who have applied for legal residency,
have work visas and went through the normal steps needed to gain
U.S. citizenship. Rather, these people have decided to skip every
step millions of other people have gone through and have instead
decided to come to this country illegally.

No one should be rewarded for breaking federal law.


Unfortunately, there is a proposal to reward people for breaking
federal law with cheap college tuition, and Chancellor Wiley
supports the idea.

Proposed legislation in the Wisconsin Assembly would allow
illegal immigrants who have been in Wisconsin for at least one year
access to in-state tuition. This means that a person living 90
minutes away in Illinois and a legal U.S. citizen would pay $14,010
more this year to attend UW-Madison than a person who is not even
legally in this country.

Out-of-state U.S. residents and legal immigrants are legally in
this country and certainly should not receive fewer benefits than
those who are not even legally in this country. Simple fairness
should at least count for a little.

One reason for differential tuition for in- and out-of-state
residents is that state tax dollars help fund universities, and
therefore state taxpayers are charged less for a tuition they have
been contributing to their entire life. Illegal immigrants do not
pay state or federal taxes, meaning illegal immigrants do not
contribute to funding any university.

Proponents of this legislation argue it is the parents who bring
their children to the United States, and the children did not have
a say in that decision. However, regardless of whether the child
had a say in coming to this country illegally, the fact is they did
come to this country and did so because it provided them a better
life. People do not voluntary move because they are looking for a
worse life. Not to mention, if a child did not have a choice to
come to the United States, and really did not want to, he or she
can leave the country at age 18.

Favorable policies for illegal immigrants will only promote more
illegal immigration, which will be a drain on this country’s
economy and the state’s economy. In-state tuition does not cover
the actual cost of attending the University. Taxpayer money is
meant primarily to benefit taxpayers — not to be drained to
provide cheap education for non-U.S. citizens.

As a nation, the United States was founded on immigrants, and
immigration is still an important part of what makes our nation
great. For many people in other nations, it is the “American Dream”
to come to the United States, where a person can live freely and
have the opportunity to succeed.

The system for determining eligibility and granting visas to the
United States may not be perfect, and a thorough and serious review
should be conducted to improve the immigration process to ensure
safety and security of this nation, as well as giving opportunities
to people who want to come to this country for a better

However, while immigration is necessary, open borders and
relaxed immigration rules only hurt the United States.


Matt Modell ([email protected]) is a senior
majoring in journalism and political science.

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