Illegal immigration has come as an issue in the United States for the past years, especially due to the results of the 2016 election and drastic changes in the immigration policies. Illegal immigrants, whether or not America accepts them, are part of today’s society; they learn to live as U.S citizens regardless of the constant concern in every aspect of their lives. With the annual increase of college expenses, the controversial discussion of whether financial aid should be given to illegal immigrants for college has come across more frequently. However, many advocates do not consider how profoundly the United States has benefitted from giving illegal aliens four gratuitous years of education. Children of illegal citizens should be allowed to receive financial aid for college because not only will that benefit the United States financially, but also intellectually.
When illegal immigrants receive a good post-secondary education, the financial situation for future generations in the United States gradually improves. Thanks to well-educated immigrants with more than just high school diplomas, the country has greater chances to succeed. According to “Financial Aid and Scholarships for Undocumented Students”, by Kantrowitz, illegals without a college diploma and only high school studies will end up “consuming” more than what they will ever “contribute in taxes”(8). Because of the lack of jobs for illegals in the United States, the chances for undocumented students to make more money are low, affecting the United States’s financial situation. If these illegal immigrants have the financial aid to receive a college diploma, there will not be more illegal immigrants who will consume more than what they provide to the country. Also, it's extremely illogical and “inconsistent” to detain the education of young minds who have the potential to learn so much more (8). It’s absurd to provide free education for children of immigrants from elementary to high school, just to later deny them the access to a “postsecondary education benefit” that will only lead them to a “life of indentured servitude”(8). But if illegal immigrants receive financial aid for college, not only will immigrants be educated and experienced, but the government’s money will be saved, people’s taxes will be used to improve the future, and there will be no need to raise these in the future.
Some of these illegal immigrants have the capabilities to become nation (and even world) leaders, and if these are presented with this financial barrier, the United States will miss
intellectual opportunities and discoveries. Valedictorian and illegal Mexican immigrant Larissa Martinez, was accepted to Yale, had a 4.95 GPA and took seventeen AP classes in high school despite the many hardships she's been through. As reported by Panicker in “High School Valedictorian reveals undocumented status in speech”, Martinez’s mother left Mexico City in 2010 with her two daughters and ran away from an “abusive and alcoholic husband” (13). The young student’s intelligence was questioned because of her gender, ethnicity, and background, but instead of letting this discourage her, she utilized this as a motivation and now wants to become a “neurosurgeon” (22). Instead of drowning in self-pity, Martinez took these challenges as opportunities to grow and as a way to help her mother and younger sister in the future. Just like Martinez, there are many intelligent illegal immigrants who have aspirations, hopes, and can provide for America. These immigrants, full of potential, are exactly what the United States needs; people who know of struggle, are humble and are incredibly determined to achieve whatever they propose to themselves. When the United States gives financial aid to these strong-willed undocumented immigrants, the country is automatically gaining a spectacular addition to their future livelihood.
Many advocates of the controversial issue argue that Americans have to compete against illegal aliens for limited college slots, and how tremendously unfair it is for illegals to receive preference along with financial aid. In “In-state college tuition for illegal aliens”, by The American Resistance, the author, Elbel, mentions how these “illegal aliens” are “directly competing with American students” for educational slots (3). Not only this but “illegal aliens” are given “in state tuition preference”, while Americans that come from out of state have to pay expensive loans to attend college (3). Because of this situation, American citizens or legal immigrants are infuriated and demand the unfairness to stop. However, illegal immigrants have to go through uncountable hardships; these immigrants had to abandon and sacrifice everything they had in their country - their culture, their family, and customs - to guarantee their children better lives and a successful future. When illegals immigrate to the United States, even though they live with paranoia and in fear of deportation, their determination and diligence is enormous, something that many Americans don't consider. Illegal immigrants do exhausting jobs for long shifts and are only paid diminutive quantities of money. For the same reasons, it's absurd for advocates to say they compete against illegal immigrants for college slots when it’s clear that they don’t go through the same situations and don’t have the same opportunities. At the end, those college slots are well deserved for undocumented immigrants who have shown their commitment to school after everything both their families and them went through. Also, advocates who complain about not receiving in-state tuition don't know that FAFSA or government financial aid isn't given to illegals like it is for American citizens. In the same article, it discusses how college tuitions have increased due to illegal aliens pouring in, but there are many more reasons on why college tuitions increase as the years pass by; illegal immigrants aren't the only ones to blame for expensive education. College tuitions are known to change every single year because of installation improvements, amount of incoming freshmen, or simply just because the college needs it. Moreover, when college tuition increases, the number of scholarships available also increases, so it is not reasonable to say it’s unfair if the person worked hard to receive scholarships or financial aid. It is unfair to dehumanize illegal immigrants, people with goals and aspirations, and limit their opportunities in a country that's drowning in them.
If financial aid is given to illegal immigrants, the possibilities for the United States to improve both financially and intellectually are immense. All of these brilliant immigrants in the United States that have tremendous personal and academic accomplishments will contribute on the growth of this country no matter what. This money will not be wasted and will all be used to further the potential of the nation.