Monday, January 22, 2007

In-state tuition for students here legally

Anthony asked a very reasonable question in a comment. Do non-US students here legally for school get in-state tuition?

I believe the implication is that if they do not, then it's mighty odd for students here illegally to get favorable treatment compared to people who kept the law. It's a good point.

The key difference is that a child of an illegal immigrant brought here at the age of 4 didn't choose to come. It seems unfair to punish that student for a choice made by their parents. For example, children of crack dealers still get in-state tuition even though their parents broke the law. That seems reasonable to me.

Here's what the Utah Law says (from The University of Utah - Admissions): "Aliens who are present in the United States on visitor, student, or other visas which authorize only temporary presence in this country, do not have the capacity to intend to reside in Utah for an indefinite period and therefore are classified as nonresidents. ... Aliens who have been granted immigrant or permanent resident status in the United States are classified for purposes of resident status according to the same criteria applicable to citizens."

The summary is that if you intend to reside in Utah for an "indefinite period" then you get in-state tuition. If you are here on a temporary visa, then you can not intend to say indefinitely.

I believe Anthony also suggested that a person who is (a) brought here illegally (b) attends school here for 3 years (which meets the residency requirements established for everyone) (c) graduates and (d) gets admitted to college should be (a) nationalized then (b) given a tuition break based on existing law.

I like that idea, a lot. I'd support it.

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