FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform) recently did a report on public schools that indicated an estimated cost of $59.8 billion is spent to accommodate illegal immigrants or their children. This type of cost is not one faced by the U.S. alone, but felt worldwide.
Marine Le Pen, a lawyer and politician currently running for president in France, recently stated at a conference in Paris, “I’ve got nothing against foreigners but I say to them: if you come to our country, don’t expect that you will be taken care of, treated [by the health system] and that your children will be educated for free,” as reported by The Guardian.
France does not have the same legal limitations or restrictions when it comes to wanting to deny illegal immigrants a free education as the United States has in its laws. In 1982, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled on giving an education to the children of illegal immigrants or children who are illegal immigrants in the court case Plyer versus Doe. The Supreme Court ruled in 1982 that children, regardless of whether they are here legally or not, must have access to public elementary and secondary education, as reported by the Heritage Foundation.
Dr. Hsiaofen Hemstock, professor of government and history here at Fayetteville State University, views the issue of illegal immigrant children from both sides: “If illegal immigrant children are shown to be smart enough to go to school, whether college or grade school, then they should be allowed to or be accepted into any school. Some parents of the illegal immigrant children do not pay taxes as the parents of legal immigrant children, so why illegal immigrant children should be allotted with free education.”
There are potential hurdles for illegal immigrants who want to attend colleges in the United States and one of those hurdles comes in the of the way of a social security number. To get scholarships and free tuition from programs like FAFSA, illegal immigrants may need a social security number to apply for college assistance. The Say Yes to Education scholarship program in Guilford County, North Carolina is a program that requires applicants to use the FAFSA, which is only applicable to students with social security numbers as reported by WFMY News.
Some colleges across the United States are looking for ways to help illegal immigrants by providing “sanctuary” campuses for illegal immigrant students. “We felt it necessary to reaffirm that UC (University of California) will act upon its deeply held conviction that all members of our community have the right to work, study and live safely and without fear at all UC locations,” system President Janet Napolitano said in an article by Stephen Dinan of The Washington Times.