A "Cruel" Arizona Law Means Illegals No Longer Get Money for College

How dare they: A new Arizona law limits financial assistance for college to actual citizens!

Jesse McKinley reported from Phoenix on the plight of illegal immigrants who have to (gasp!) pay full price to go to state college in Sunday's "Arizona Law Takes a Toll On Nonresident Students."

The embellishments of the story provide mood lighting in favor of the illegals. The text box reads:

"Making college more expensive for illegal immigrants."

Excerpts from the two photo captions:

"Some officials fear the effects of a law they see as restricting opportunities."

"Teresa Guerra, a student at Phoenix College, called the new law 'cruel.'"

Check the ominous tone of McKinley's opening:

"When Marco Carrillo, a naturalized American and a high school valedictorian, went to meet with his college counselor, her major worry about his future had little to do with his SAT scores or essay or extracurricular activities.

"It had to do with his citizenship.

"'The very first question she asked me was whether I was a legal resident here,' said Mr. Carrillo, 20, now an electrical engineering student at Arizona State University in Tempe. 'And I said, "Yeah, I am." And she said, "Oh good, that makes things easier." "

"Such questions have become commonplace in Arizona, where voters passed a 2006 referendum, Proposition 300, that forbids college students who cannot prove they are legal residents from receiving state financial assistance. "

That puts them in the same boat as out-of-state citizen students, doesn't it? Where's the gross unfairness of that?

"One of several recent immigration statutes passed by Arizona voters and legislators frustrated by federal inaction, the law also prohibits in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Administrators at several campuses fear that the provision has priced some out of their classes, particularly at the state's popular community colleges.

"'When we look at the fall semester that just ended, we saw significant drops in enrollment in English acquisition classes,' said Steven R. Helfgot, vice chancellor for student and community affairs at Maricopa Community Colleges. 'And we think that some of that at least is due to Prop 300.'


"More than enrollment declines, however, what worries some educators here is that non-legal residents - some of whom have lived in the United States since infancy and attended American high schools - will be afraid to pursue any form of higher education.

"'The most frightening thing about the policy in place isn't necessarily its measurable effect, it's the immeasurable effect,' said Paul R. Kohn, the vice provost for enrollment management and dean of admission at the University of Arizona.

"'It's likely that there are hundreds of high school senior or college-age students whose plans for college have been compromised,' Dr. Kohn said. 'And it's likely there are thousands in K-12 who will no longer make those plans because the cost of university is now out of reach or they fear deportation if they attempt to attend school.'"

Of course, the Arizona law doesn't prevent anyone from going to school, merely requiring them to pay full tuition if they choose to attend a state school. Not once does the Times cease plucking the heartstrings to ponder the fairness issue - the fact that non-citizens were getting the same tuition breaks as the children of taxpaying citizens.