Postsecondary School Education Benefits for Undocumented Immigrants: Promises and Pitfalls

01 January 2002

Should longtime undocumented immigrants have the same opportunity as lawful permanent residents and U.S. citizens to attend state colleges and universities? There are two typical justifications for denying them such opportunities. First, treating undocumented immigrants as in-state residents discriminates against U.S. citizen nonresidents of the state. Second, and more broadly, undocumented immigration should be discouraged as a policy matter, and therefore allowing undocumented immigrant children equal opportunities as legal residents condones and perhaps encourages "illegal" immigration. This essay responds to these two concerns by surveying state and federal solutions to this issue.