By Dennis Busch, collective opinion of the
EDITORIAL: Legislation wastes time, funds at SUU
SUU students and financial aid administrators are working to comply with the new Utah immigration law, and the University Journal Editorial Board has a strong message for the Utah Legislature — focus on the real issues, please.
Senate Bill 81 requires all higher education students to prove their citizenship or legal status before being eligible for scholarships through Utah colleges and universities.
Utah higher education is already facing budget cuts, yet now more employee hours will be required to process these verifications for all students.
With so many other pressing issues facing our state, this xenophobic measure seems to be more of a monumental waste of time than a fix for any real problems.
Some have made the argument that since illegal immigrants may not pay taxes, they should not have access to tax-funded resources.
Many scholarships run through the university are funded by the Annual Fund, generous individuals and private foundations, and are not tied to tax dollars in any way.
We support methods to encourage legal immigration, but if the state wants to crack down on illegal immigrants, it should focus on those who break criminal laws and endanger other Utahns, not students who are working to become productive members of the country
The constant flow of laws such as this often do more harm than good, including the cross-deputizing of Utah law enforcements agent as immigration officers.
This law burdens academic institutions and their financial aid offices by effectively cross-deputizing them as immigration enforcers.
With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up this week, Utahns should remember that this country, as we know it today, was founded on immigration.
While this new process may stop illegal immigrants from receiving scholarships, it also creates a hassle for students who are busy preparing for finals, which are rapidly approaching.
This law is simply a waste of time and only succeeds at annoying college students and wasting government resources.
The Journal strongly urges the Legislature to focus on the real problems that our state is having, and let people have a chance at bettering themselves.
© 2009 Dennis Busch, University Journal