Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Immigrant tuition moving to House

Posted by on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Sen. Owen Hill
  • Sen. Owen Hill

Legislation that will provide in-state tuition to Colorado high school graduates, regardless of their residency status, passed out of the state Senate Monday on a 23-12 vote.

Sen. Owen Hill of Colorado Springs was one of three Republicans to vote in favor.

We reported on Hill's supportive vote in the Senate Education Committee, which signaled that he would be breaking with many of his Republican colleagues over SB 13-033.

At that time, Hill shared an op-ed he had written explaining the free-market reasoning behind his vote.

It is time for liberty-loving individuals everywhere to champion the solutions free markets have to bring. To date, they have led to the creation of trillions of dollars of real wealth, released billions from poverty, and spawned millions of innovative businesses and ideas. However, the success of free markets is not complete. We must champion free-market based immigration reform that includes workers as well as goods, and if we are successful, we will continue the trend of wealth creation, equal opportunity, and the success of the American experiment.

ASSET, as SB 13-033 is known, would “classify a student as an in-state student for tuition purposes if the student attends a public or private high school in Colorado for at least 3 years immediately preceding graduation.”

The Democrat-controlled Senate passed ASSET last session, as well, only to see it die in the Republican-controlled House. This session, however, the Democrats hold a strong majority in the House, making it likely the bill will make it to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk.

Read Hill's full op-ed after the jump.

As a conservative with a strong commitment to preserving liberty and expanding opportunity, I supported Colorado Senate Bill 13, commonly known as ASSET. This bill would extend in-state tuition rates to any Colorado resident who has resided here for three years or more. While I have received some criticism for this position, there is one paramount reason I have supported this bill: the movement of a free people is critical to the success of free markets and a free people. This is critical to the advancement of liberty to all people.

This bill does not cost the taxpayer any money: funding for higher education is fixed and not dependent on how many students there are. Plus, those undocumented students who qualify for this program have “lawful presence” under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and because of that, receive Social Security cards and work permits. Additionally, they are able to work here legally upon graduation—adding to our economy by paying taxes and contributing to our economy and our communities. Children whose parents come here with the military or are recruited for a job are also allowed in-state tuition, so every Colorado resident of student age is treated equally under this bill.

One of the leaders of the Austrian school of economics—those pushing for individual liberty and government restraint—shared a similar vision for easy movement of people and goods between countries. In regards to humans going to where they can best work and add value he says: "There cannot be the slightest doubt that migration barriers diminish the productivity of human labor." Barring the training and education of those whose parents brought them here illegally will only diminish the well-being of our communities and our children’s future because the war we fight today is the global war for jobs.

The productivity of human labor is the key to new job creation and economic success. Within our country, cities, counties and states fight to have the best economic conditions and internationally the competition is even more fierce. America has always been a leader in the world, having the courage to demonstrate the moral, economic, and social benefits of free markets. It is time we adopted policies that put less restrictions and less government interference on the movement of humans to the place where they can best succeed.
I will leave you with one more quote from Ludwig von Mises: "It is clear that no solution of the problem of immigration is possible if one adheres to the ideal of the interventionist state, which meddles in every field of human activity, or to that of the socialist state. Only the adoption of the liberal program could make the problem of immigration, which today seems insoluble, completely disappear."

It is time for liberty-loving individuals everywhere to champion the solutions free markets have to bring. To date, they have led to the creation of trillions of dollars of real wealth, released billions from poverty, and spawned millions of innovative businesses and ideas. However, the success of free markets is not complete. We must champion free-market based immigration reform that includes workers as well as goods, and if we are successful, we will continue the trend of wealth creation, equal opportunity, and the success of the American experiment.

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