where is the line drawn?

Warning:  this post is political and controversial…

I was reading a news article the other day about the state of Maryland passing a law allowing children of illegal immigrants, that are also illegal, to attend state schools as in state residents.  This allows for a lower tuition.  The requirements for being able to do this were the child had to have attended 3 years of high school in Maryland and the parents had to have paid state taxes for the last three years.

It got me wondering.  Just where is the line drawn for breaking the law?

I can understand why this law passed.  In many cases, these children have been in this country from a very young age.  This is their country.  It’s all they’ve known.  They were raised here and consider themselves Americans.  They had no control over how or when they arrived here.  Their parents have paid state taxes which fund these state institutions.

But, in passing this law, isn’t Maryland teaching children that it is okay to break the law? Not only is the law being broken, but your education will be discounted.  A law is being broken but we’ve passed this law because that law is being broken.

See what I mean?  controversial…

I can see both sides of this.  I can understand why they should get in state tuition and why they shouldn’t get in state tuition.

I can also see a third side, if you want to call it that.  Is it right to give discounted tuition to someone who not a legal resident of this country, yet make someone else, who is not a resident of the state pay a higher amount?

I know that the in state tuition is based on paying Maryland state taxes, but doesn’t it all seem a little unfair?  After all, the state schools also get funding from the federal government via federal income taxes paid.  The parents of the out-of-state students are paying federal taxes but are given no tuition break.

Ellis Island

I know life is not fair.  Immigration in this country is a mess.  Laws are passed on immigration, but are not upheld.  A stink is only raised about it if something bad happens.

People will cry out because an illegal immigrant commits a crime, yet nothing is celebrated about an illegal immigrant that becomes a voluntary fireman and saves a life.

People will complain about spending money on educating and providing medical care for illegal immigrants, but nothing is mentioned about the taxes they pay.

Immigration is a very hot topic here.  Many people feel immigrants, legal or otherwise, are hurting America, taking American jobs when unemployment is so high, using our tax money when the government is so deep in debt, using our limited resources.

Others feel immigrants help America by taking low paying jobs that Americans do not want to do, by paying taxes and being law-abiding citizens, by adding diversity and rich cultures to our society.

I don’t know the answer to the immigration question.  I see both sides of the issue.  I do know that laws are not being enforced by the federal government, so I doubt if passing any new laws will solve anything.

This country was built by immigrants.  The pilgrims were illegal aliens!  We need to decide where to drawn the line, and once it’s drawn, to make sure it’s not trampled on.

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10 Responses to where is the line drawn?

  1. Scuba Man says:

    There are no “sides” to a Law. Good or bad, it is still a Law and needs to be enforced. If you break it you pay the penalty. If it’s a bad Law, get it repealed. Breaking it is not controversial. Does it sound like I have an opinion here? 🙂

  2. Wow that’s a difficult one shell…

  3. I completely agree with you! It’s so tough to take a side.

    A few weeks ago at Model Congress, I debated a bill about birthright citizenship for children of illegal aliens. When I was first reading the bill, I felt entirely flummoxed. There are so many sides to the issue, and I just couldn’t make up my mind. There is a problem, and it needs to be fixed, but taking it out on innocent children who didn’t choose their parents seems quite unjust. Besides that, these children are being denied their Constitutional rights. At the time, I ended up making a speech about the Fourteenth Amendment and how the problem wasn’t birthright citizenship, but a poor immigration system. It came out well, and that’s all that really mattered in the moment, but the issue hasn’t left me alone.

    I don’t think that there is a “right” answer for issues like the one you wrote about. Ultimately, the federal government needs to reform immigration, but I don’t know how soon that is going to happen. Right now, we’re in the middle of a budget crisis, and Obama just revealed a great plan (No more tax cuts for the wealthy that lead to the suffering of the poor!! Yay!), but the battle is sure to continue. As much as I love taking part in and reading about it, politics can give me quite the headache!

  4. melsar93 says:

    I agree with Scuba the law is the law. Are there laws that shouldn’t be passed – yes, but we have a way to get them off the books.

    To paraphrase Mr.Churchill – Our legal system is the worst one there is, except for all the others.

    • Seashell says:

      Yes, the law is the law. But I think the bigger issue is the laws are not being enforced by the government that created them. When state laws are passed to try to help enforce the federal laws, the federal government ties them up in court. If I broke into an empty house, changed the locks and set up housekeeping (utilities, etc.), had a job and paid taxes, keep the house in excellent condition, eventually I would get prosecuted for breaking and entering, at the least. I would get the punishment set by law regardless of what a good citizen I was otherwise. Why is it not this way with federal laws?

      • melsar93 says:

        Very True. I think immigration is an area where laws are passed knowing they will not be enforced, but it is too politically inconvenient to stand up against them – so no one in Congress does.

        We like to think we are a very rules oriented society, but in the scenario you described if you stayed in the house long enough you would probably have squatters rights or some such thing.

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