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Volume 71, Issue 59, Friday, November 18, 2005

Opinion

Land of opportunity?

Do you support the rights of students under HB 1403?

Activist and author Frosty Wooldridge's visit Wednesday spotlighted HB 1403, a 2001 Texas House bill that allows undocumented immigrants to attend state universities and pay instate tuition. Wooldridge disagrees with the bill, but do we?

Immigrants deserve to get an education

In this case, college tuition is just the tip of the iceberg. HB 1403 is masking the real issue ? immigration in general ? and immigration is not an easily solved problem. The best way to solve it, however, is simple. It begins with helping Mexico develop into an economic power on par with the United States. Opponents of immigration would win because such an act would at least turn illegal immigration into Mexico's problem. For some reason, though, helping Mexico improve itself isn't an option often offered by people like Frosty Wooldridge. 

But wanting to make money is something most college students should understand. After all, isn't the hope of a bigger paycheck the reason behind many heavy course loads? Students benefiting from HB 1403 should be applauded for getting an education and making use of the resources afforded to them by the state. We hold learning in high regard in this country; we can't decide who should and who shouldn't learn ? the federal government does enough of that by continually cutting education spending. As students, we should be happy to see anyone receiving a little financial break, and we should be proud that Texas is big enough to lend a helping hand. -- Zach Lee

Encouragement more beneficial than dissuasion

Eliminating all possibilities of illegal immigrants arriving in Texas is an impossible idea. Government actions to "tighten the borders," such as raiding more immigrant-smuggling homes or dealing out harsher penalties for the smugglers, cannot be realistically expected to end all illegal immigration. So, since they will be here, our responsibility is to deal with that fact, and HB 1403 is an attempt to do just that. It is important to note here that the bill allows foreign students or non-citizens to pay in-state tuition at Texas public universities only under specific circumstances, including graduating from a Texas high school and living in Texas for at least three years. Additionally, I can see only benefit from encouraging immigrants to pursue higher education. Perhaps with an education and higher-paying jobs, they will begin to stem the flow of immigrants by stemming the tide of poverty in their nations. -- Jenny Jackson

Rights given by HB 1403 are only logical

Given the text of HB 1403, it seems like the students who are receiving the benefits have lived in the state for more than three years. Therefore, it would seem logical to allow them to pay in-state tuition, as they have been paying state taxes that whole time. After all, the state does not collect an income tax, but only property and sales taxes, which one pays whether he or she is a citizen. It makes sense that these people can get what they pay for in government services. Besides, if one were a U.S. citizen or legal resident not originally from Texas, similar rules would apply. The law is about being fair to all Texas residents. -- Jim McCormick

HB 1403 a practical step in immigration reform

Students going to school under HB 1403 are technically just as eligible as any other students. The bill specifies that students must go to a high school within the state of the university they plan to attend for three years to receive in-state tuition. Any U.S. citizen who lives in a state for one year or more is considered an in-state student. How immigrants got into this country should not be of any concern ? if they were able to come here, make it through high school and be accepted to an institution of higher learning, then they should be granted the privileges the bill provides for them. -- Dusti Rhodes

Educated immigrants bolster U.S. economy

Whether everyone likes it, Texas will continue to be home for many undocumented people. It is best for Texas that all its inhabitants, regardless of immigration status, be well educated to lead Texas into the ever-competitive global economy. The argument that illegal immigrants would be attending public universities without paying taxes is fallacious. Undocumented people pay sales tax like everyone else. It is quite admirable that people want to better themselves by attending an institute of higher learning. HB 1403 is a step in the right direction. -- Hasan Rizvi

Immigration policy should unite, not divide for the sake of the common good

I especially support students, wherever they may come from. If immigrant students want to make this country a better place by studying here and then contributing to our economy, then good for them. Hey, I believe in freedom of speech, but we should also be able to stomp a new one into ignorant people like Frosty Wooldridge, who wants to disguise racism with so-called immigration legislation. Anyone remember what is on our currency? E Pluribus Unum.Well, all of us are one and have come out of many. We are all equal in God's eyes, so why don't we just love our brother and stop trying to use legal mumbo jumbo to put certain people down. We are a nation of immigrants ? we are all the same. Welcome to the United States; let's all work together for the common good: of the people, by the people and for the people ? not a certain group of people, but all of us together. -- Josh Delano
 

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