An article in yesterday’s Washington Post attempts to diffuse some of the myths surrounding the illegal immigration debate. It’s pretty straight-forward, if biased toward an opinion in a few spots, but one paragraph jumped out to me, in a section about immigrants’ integration into American life and society. The section overall points out that integration doesn’t happen overnight, and immigrants do work in large numbers to learn the English language and become educated. The paragraph below, however, stuck out like a sore thumb:
However, the unauthorized status of millions of foreign-born immigrants can slow integration in crucial ways. For example, illegal immigrants are ineligible for in-state tuition at most public colleges and universities, putting higher education effectively out of their reach. And laws prohibiting unauthorized immigrants from getting driver's licenses or various professional credentials can leave them stuck in jobs with a high density of other immigrants and unable to advance.
Ummm… isn’t that the point? If it’s illegal for them to be in the country, why should they be getting the benefits designated for residents of a state? Sorry, but I don’t have a lot of sympathy for illegal aliens complaining they don’t have the same privileges as legal residents. I have no problem extending such benefits once they’ve left the country and re-entered through legal processes, at which point I’d be happy to see (and help) them integrate.