A dream for some, a nightmare for others
Last week, the United States Supreme Court upheld a California state law granting in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants, with the stipulation that they have attended a California high school for at least three years.
In a nutshell, Joe from Massachusetts is stuck paying $50,000 to attend UCLA while Jose, here illegally from Guatemala, is paying $20,000 because he immigrated to California when he was 15.
Regardless of the justness of this measure the question remains: how was Jose allowed to even attend an American high school without any proof of citizenship? If the problem is not the flood of illegal immigrants coming to America, it must then be that they can so easily slip through the cracks to gain special preference over natural born American citizens and the lawful foreigners who completed the arduous process of immigration.
According to University of California 2008-2009 statistics, about 400 students currently enrolled across their ten campuses were illegal immigrants. It is ultimately perplexing that illegal immigrants can even enter into California higher education without the proper documentation. In order to attend Santa Monica College I had to produce ample amount of evidence to prove that I was a citizen of not only the US, but also a California resident. I also know many people who have come a very long, hard way from other countries to attend California schools and they could not have done it without obtaining all the necessary student visas.
Over the past few decades the world has truly become a global village and with that, the ability to travel between, and reside in, foreign countries has become increasingly accessible. I genuinely value this ability to roam freely across nations, but along with this privilege comes responsibilities; like being able to support yourself in this new life, and also contribute something productive to society.
For there to be order, these travels must be regulated by a system of checks and balances. Allowing undocumented immigrants in-state tuition benefits is a slap in the face to both naturalized citizens and also the many international students and legal immigrants who have jumped through the necessary hoops in order to attend US institutions of higher education. In order for our system to function properly, it must be strictly adhered to and universally applicable, no excuses, no excepcións.