A liberal arts college in Arizona is charging a fee to fund a scholarship for illegal aliens, bucking a state-wide trend to discourage illegal immigration in Arizona.
Prescott College, is adding a $30 annual fee to its $28,000 annual tuition to establish an annual scholarship for “undocumented” students. The fee was proposed by students and a petition was circulated and signed by just over half of voting students, student organizer Miriel Manning said toABC15. Students can “opt-out” of the fee, but if they do not, it will be automatically imposed.
However, one blog said many students “opted out” of voting against the measure, for fear of being targeted as “racist”.
“It’s a challenging conversation sometimes with students,” Manning, a graduate student, said when asked whether there was any campus opposition to the effort.
“Overall, I’m really impressed by the way we’ve come together,” Manning said. Supporters claim it will help reverse what they say is Arizona’s reputation as a “national example of discriminatory politics,” Fox news is reporting.
“I am proud that our students take on the role of scholar activists,” said school President John Flicker, adding that the university is committed to “broaden access to higher education for a diverse group of students” and “mobilize its resources towards social justice.”
This year, the fee – which imposed on every student would bring in $25,000 – will only pay for one student, but the school plans to raise money to support more illegal immigrant students. It is apparently one of the first student fees to pay for an illegal immigrant in the country.
Making legal residents enrolled at the school pay for illegal immigrants’ education is a slap in the face to a generation already facing its post-college years saddled with enormous debt, said Andrew Kloster, legal Fellow for the Center for Legal & Judicial Studies at Heritage Foundation.
“At a time when student loan debt is over $1 trillion it is irresponsible for Prescott College to offer this privilege at the expense of other students,” Kloster said. “While the dollar amount seems small per student, the fee does send a message to potential donors to Prescott College that the administration is less concerned with sound financial management than it is with making a political statement,” Kloster added.
Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies, said poor students in the country legally should take precedence.
“It is beyond absurd that this college is going to force all the students to subsidize the education of a student who is in the country illegally,” Vaughan said. “It’s a shame these students and faculty don’t have the same drive to help some of their fellow citizens who can’t afford college and who are forced to compete with illegal workers for job opportunities.”