Gov. Pat Quinn recently signed the Illinois DREAM Act, which supports a privately funded account to help children of legal and illegal immigrants finance college educations. The fund will rely entirely on private donation and not Illinois tax dollars.
While the bill will not be a way for illegals to gain citizenship, it will provide some protection against deportation. Additionally, school officials will be encouraged to become well versed in educational and financial opportunities for these children. The state's two college tuition savings programs will also become available to those families with either a social security or state identification number.
To qualify for a private college scholarship, students must have one immigrant parent, attend an Illinois high school for at least three years and receive a diploma.
Let's consider undocumented parents who may not be contributing to the tax roll and are pursuing the American dream. Should their status entitle their children to anything, particularly when the average American family is rubbing two sticks together to make ends meet and knowing that they're not going to be able to pay for their child's college education?
A group of legal immigrant students at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) doesn't think so. These Anti-DREAM Act activists are collecting signatures from students and faculty opposed to tuition aid for illegal immigrants. They are hoping for a proposition on the 2012 Illinois ballot.
Is it right to enact a law to provide college educations for children of families who are here illegally?