The Wrong Focus

Santa Ana College in Orange County, California is offering a $2500 scholarship to immigrant students, including illegal immigrants, as a memorial to a former student who was killed by a drunk driver.  Tan Ngoc Tran was a student leader at Santa Ana College and immigrant-rights activist who transferred to Brown University.  She was killed in May.  She was at Brown working on a doctorate.  She was also in the country illegally.

A spokesman for the community college district stressed that no public funds would be used for the scholarship.

I think the focus is completely on the wrong thing.  I question why any illegal immigrant would be allowed to attend any public college, scholarship or not.  Higher education is a limited resource.  Typically, this resource is used to enable a student to obtain better job.  However, illegal immigrants aren’t allowed to be illegally employed in the United States.  So why allow them to use a scarce public resource when they won’t be able to legally use the fruits of their public education?

Proposition 187 was passed by almost 60% of the voters of California in 1994.  It would have prohibited illegal immigrants from using educational and welfare resources of the state.  When it was found unconstitutional by a federal court, Governor Gray Davis decided not to pursue an appeal.

Perhaps it’s time to reconsider another proposition similar to Prop 187.  Citizenship needs to start meaning something.  We can’t go on pretending that there isn’t any difference between a citizen or a legal resident and those who are in our country illegally.


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