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Letter to the editor: Enticing students to commit felonies

By RONALD MORTENSEN PH.D.
Bountiful
Utah Coalition on Illegal Immigration

Editor,

Recently, Rep. Kay McIff helped defeat HB 208. This bill would have required students who are illegally in the United States and who are benefiting from in-state tuition at our colleges and universities to refrain from working illegally.

During his floor speech in opposition to the bill, Rep. McIff compared HB208 to George Wallace standing in the school house door. However, what Rep. McIff failed to acknowledge was that the only way students who are illegally in the United States can get a job with a "reputable" employer is to obtain a fraudulent social security card, commit perjury on an I-9 form and to commit identity theft if the social security number belongs to someone else. Of course, document fraud, perjury and identity theft are all serious felonies.

Rather than denying an education, HB208 was designed to help young people avoid committing felonies and to give proponents of in-state tuition, such as Rep. McKiff, time to find a way to help these students legally pay for their education.

Those who opposed this bill were, in effect, telling these children: "We are offering you in-state tuition and we are clearing the way for you to work illegally in order to pay for it. You may have to commit multiple felonies in order to get a job. If you are arrested, tried, convicted, incarcerated, deported and barred from returning to the U.S. that would be unfortunate but this is the best we can do for you." That is cruel.

True compassion would be for the proponents of in-state tuition for illegal aliens to help the students avoid committing felonies by voluntarily funding these students' education rather than enticing them to commit felonies.




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