Worry about citizens’ tuition first

Two bills introduced in the state Senate could limit opportunities for bonafide American students from Eastern Washington to attend state universities and colleges.

Senate Bill 5074 would make you and I pay additional taxes to provide financial assistance to non-Americans wanting into our colleges and universities. And Senate Bill 6101, the Evergreen Free College Act, would make tuition free for families earning less than $89,000 annually.

Combined, the measures mean increased enrollment of illegal aliens in our already over-crowded colleges.

Senate Bill 5074 would extend tuition and financial aid benefits to so-called “DREAMers” and “DACA” students. Who are these students? Writing out the meaning of “DREAM” Act says it all — Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors. The key words “alien minors.”

So, does the meaning of the acronym “DACA,” or deferred action for childhood arrivals. The key words here are “childhood arrivals.”

Generally speaking the bills are advocating making hard-working American citizens in Washington state pay for the college education of illegal aliens.

Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, would have you believe those here in our state illegally are deserving of our tax dollars.

“Every Washingtonian deserves access to higher education, and the opportunities that will follow,” he said Wednesday. “Policies at the national level have placed ‘DREAMers’ in jeopardy.’

First, I take issue with calling those people who should not be in our state “Washingtonians.” And second, I think he’s a bit late in his argument.

Those illegal aliens have had 16 years to apply to be legal residents or citizens. (The failed DREAM Act was introduced in 2001.) The fact Congress has rejected the “DREAM” Act several times means Americans are not willing to spend their hard-earned taxes on the tuition and college costs of people who have never made an effort to become American.

Furthermore, former President Obama’s illegal DACA executive order gave those same college-bound students a five-year reprieve from deportation, just so they could apply for legal residency and citizenship.

The executive order was implemented in violation of federal law in 2012. In the absence of a congressionally approved law, DACA ends March 5.

The so-called “DREAMers” and DACAs are on borrowed time in our country. And yes, Frockt is right — they are in jeopardy, but only because they have failed to try to become legal residents and citizens.

But moreover, they have been in jeopardy since their parents uprooted them from their homes and brought them illegally into the United States.

Illegal aliens who took action under DACA should already have access to in-state tuition breaks and financial assistance programs. So, Senate Bill 5074 only really gives away money and education to people not truly interested in being Americans, and by extension, Washingtonians.

Those who chose not to become a legal resident or start the citizenship process shouldn’t receive another reward on the backs of hard-working American taxpayers in our state.

Sen. Kevin Ranker’s push for his Evergreen Free College Act only exacerbates the problem.

The program would make college free to members of a family with an annual income of $89,000 or less. But the bill is targeting the “lowest income students.” The highest percentage of the lowest incomes belong to families with members here illegally.

The combined bills will strongly benefit non-Americans, and leave many citizens still unable to afford or attend a state college or university.

Washingtonians are already paying too high a price for illegal aliens’ health care, food stamps, home and utility subsidies, daycare, K-12 education and more. Piling on additional costs to pay for their college education is too much to bear.

If we’re going to pick the pockets of citizens in the name of college education, let’s take care of legal residents and citizens first.

— Roger Harnack is the editor and publisher of The Daily Sun. Email him at rharnack@dailysunnews.com.


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