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Reasons to aid immigrant kids

IN RESPONSE to Attorney General Thomas Reilly's endorsement of legislation to provide in-state tuition to qualified undocumented students (City & Region, Nov. 1), a member of Governor Romney's staff was quoted as saying, ''No matter how well intentioned, it is bad policy to extend state benefits to people who are in the country unlawfully." Instead, he said, let's help ''immigrants who are here legally achieve the American dream."

''Bad policy" is that which is poorly thought out or unjustified by need. The governor's objection to legislation that is justified by need, broadly supported, and well considered may be the real ''bad policy."

Consider the following:

(1) The Supreme Court, in the 1982 case Plyler v. Doe, struck down a Texas state law that held minor students responsible for their parents' immigration status. In so doing, the court affirmed that undocumented minor students have a right to a free public K-12 education.

(2) More than 60,000 undocumented students graduate from US high schools. At present, these students have no realistic options for higher education.

(3) Many ''red states," including Utah, Texas, and Kansas, have enacted legislation that would allow in-state tuition for qualified undocumented students.

We urge the governor to examine reasons that so many others have deemed it ''good policy" to allow these hard-working students to contribute to society through higher education.

DAVID HAWKINS, Director of public policy
National Association
for College Admission
Alexandria, Va.

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