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How should states deal with illegal immigrants?

With a lot of talk but little action on the federal level on how to handle illegal immigration, state legislatures continue to take matters into their own hands.

In Kansas, the state House approved a bill this week that would repeal in-state tuition for the children of undocumented immigrants. And in Arizona, a state Senate leader has introduced a measure that covers a wide range of actions targeting illegal immigrants, including stricter standards for enrolling in school.

The Kansas law grants in-state tuition to the children of illegal immigrants who graduate from a Kansas high school and pledge that they intend to become citizens. Lawmakers have been unsuccessful in previous efforts to repeal the law, but supporters believe the last election may tip the balance in their favor this time.

“We had an election in November, and we have a group of folks who see things differently,” said Rep. Lance Kinzer, one of the bill’s sponsors.

Supporters of the repeal say the law unfairly benefits the children of undocumented immigrants over students who are legal state residents. But opponents argue that taking away the tuition benefit would penalize children for their parents’ undocumented status and would discourage them from going to college. The bill now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to encounter opposition.

The repeal effort in Kansas is part of a national trend to crack down on illegal immigration. Since 2001, eleven states, including New York, Oklahoma, Texas,
California and Washington, had granted in-state tuition to the children of illegal immigrants, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But in recent years, five states stopped the tuition benefit. Lawmakers in Georgia and Virginia are considering measures to ban illegal immigrants from all public colleges.

Arizona recently has drawn heavy criticism for its tough anti-immigration laws. But Senate President Russell Pearce believes there is unfinished business. “This is cleanup,” he said in an interview.

His new proposals are likely to fuel the controversy over Arizona’s laws. Pearce’s sweeping measure includes requiring proof of U.S. citizenship
before a child can enroll in school and before a patient can receive nonemergency care at a hospital. It also would deny birth certificates to
children born in the state if a parent was in the United States illegally. The bill also would make it a crime for an illegal immigrant to drive in Arizona,
and anyone caught would face 30 days in jail and forfeit the car.

What do you think?

How should states deal with illegal immigrants? Should children be penalized for their parents’ actions? Are the proposed measures too tough or are they necessary? Join the discussion!
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I think that illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in the US until they prove that they cant handle it. For example committing a crime. If they commit a crime then they shouldn't be allowed to stay. From the children's perspective, I don't think they should be punished for what their parents decided to do when they were kids. If you permanently came to the US from another country before the age of 15, I believe you should automatically become a US citizen.

Mr. Rimas
I think that states should try to legalize them. If they refuse to or do not follow through with the process I think that they should be sent back to their home country's. if the child was brought to America illegal with out knowing they should be given 2 chances to become legal citizens.

Watertown STRONG, MA
Rimas/Watertown High School
I think that punishing children for their parents actions shouldn't be allowed. I think that banning all illegal immigrants from public colleges is more acceptable then punishing children for their parents actions. I do agree with Senate Russell Pearce that it is "unfinished business". I believe that there is still more work to do.

Watertown MA
Mr. Rimas Watertown High School
I think that we should arrest illegal immigrants because they are braking the law

Concord High SChool
the law says that everbody is to be treated equal doing this to the illegal immigrants is not being equal in anyway, they are basicaly repeating history of the things they did to africans americans, the U.S treated them unhumanly, the law says we have the right ot education, the law is taking tha right from the children of the immigrants, but yet we're all supposed to be treated equal, how is that the goverment can make a law that say we are to be treated equal and yet they're the ones breaking that same lawno state hw of the right ot take another human being rights, no one has the right .

Ledyard, Ct
Cathy A.
Galante - Ledyard
In all honesty I find it ridiculous that a child should be punished for their parents' actions. We are to have a right to an education and this is denying theirs, even if they are on their way to becoming a citizen, and just haven't gotten their yet. And in addition to that, the laws are quite insane as well. It is illegal to even drive in Arizona? America is being too harsh on other people and need to make the rules and laws easier to complete, so that those who want to be a part of this country, actually have more of a chance too.

Ledyard CT
Amanda H
Galante, LHS
In my opinion I believe that individual states should not have their own unique way to deal with illegal immigration, it is far too easy to just go to another state. I believe as a country we should agree on stricter immigration policies and if you are found as an illegal immigrant you should be deported with no questions asked. To check for legalities with immigration it should become more of an everyday thing to have every person checked out as a legal resident.

Ledyard CT
Anuj D.
Mr.Galante, Ledyard High School
States should deal with illegal immigrants by enacting laws to make it harder for them to get jobs, the result of this would be a decrease in illegal immigrants. Before handing out state benefits the state government should verify their immigrant status if any. Also states in the deep south or far north close to the border of Mexico or Canada can put some more effort in controlling the border.


Hefner, GA, PA
In my opinion, many states have illegal immigration problems. Personally, I think that this is a big deal, especially with the bad economy right now. The bad economy makes it harder for people in the United States to get jobs and pay for necessities. Illegal immigrants take the jobs the U.S. citizens could have. According to the web sight of NDN, a Washington think tank, 12+ percent of Mexico’s population lives in the United States. This is a lot considering the fact that Mexico’s population is 107,431,225. That makes it 12,891,747 immigrants living in the United States. This shows how much of a problem the U.S. has with illegal immigration. Many of those people that are illegal immigrants that have jobs don’t pay taxes. This isn’t helping our economy but rather hurting it. This is why I think we should deport all the illegal immigrants back to where their home country. This would help United States citizens get jobs and at the same time it would be helping raise our economy.

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