In a recent New York Times article (see March 7, 2012 Cuomo and G.O.P. Quiet So Far on Tuition Aid for Illegal Immigrants (N.Y. TImes) (adjustments of status and green cards) it is highlighted how gingerly our politicians, even liberal ones such as Governor Andrew Cuomo, are treating immigration issues in general and the financial impact (some would argue benefits) of the undocumented immigrant.
The conservative would frame the question as "should real US citizens pay for medical care, schooling, etc. for the undocumented?".
The liberal would frame the question as "why should we deprive those who have done nothing "wrong" themselves (in this case children brought to this country illegally) from access to intrinsically important, possibly life changing, government services? Or possibly, "we are all God's children".
With immigration still a contentious issue around the country, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Republican lawmakers have maintained a noticeable distance from New York State proposals that would make financial aid available to illegal immigrants at colleges and universities.
As noted in an earlier blog, the concept of "fairness" is central to our values as Americans. This question begs for a "case by case" analysis. As a nation of laws, including immigration and or tuition laws, we cannot afford (either in a moral sense or a financial sense) to have those who willfully flaunt our law be given benefits simply because they are here.
However, if reasonable verification is provided that the undocumented immigrant was, through no fault or choice of his/her own, brought to this country where he/she behaved reasonably as a citizen, then law and fairness should dictate that that person can compete on a level playing field for benefits such as tuition help. Right?...I think so but it will take strength of will (read political guts) for those allegedly in charge to implement a system to achieve this goal. Not so easy when you are directly impacting your constituents pocket books!