Opinion: President Biden’s Latest Education Handout Would Benefit Illegal Immigrants

President Joe Biden’s administration is chasing an unwise policy that would allow illegal immigrants to access college preparatory programs that taxpayers fund. The illegal migrant crisis driven by the Biden administration is already stretching the social service programs of the country to the point of near collapse.

Using taxpayer dollars to help students who are undocumented get into college when numerous American students are ineligible for the same programs perfectly envelops the administration’s misguided positions on policies: Hardworking Tax citizens to support leftist policies to appease the base and to it through a regulatory process that is opaque to avoid outcry from the public.

The Biden administration’s latest target is the TRIO program. Crafted by Congress in the 1960s and administered by the Department of Education, TRIO is meant to assist students from under-represented groups in getting to college and succeeding there.

TRIO has grown from the first three programs to a group of eight. It now disburses $1.2 billion per year in grants to colleges and nonprofits, which in turn provide services to students who participate.

If the Biden administration achieves its goal, illegal immigrant students could utilize mentorship, tutoring, and financial aid counseling, all paid for by TRIO grant money.

TRIO programs help students from low-income families, first-generation college students, students with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups.

The opportunities are currently restricted to permanent residents, citizens, and those seeking permanent residency.

The plan the Department of Education released would permit students outside those categories enrolled at high schools in the U.S. to participate. The Supreme Court ruled in Plyler v. Doe in 1982 that children brought illegally to the U.S. are allowed to enroll in K-12 public schools.

There’s no other way to say it. U.S. taxpayers will fund college preparation for illegal migrants. An American middle-class teenager whose parents are taxpayers would likely be ineligible for TRIO — more likely if one or both parents have obtained a bachelor’s degree. However, a teenager brought here by parents who entered the U.S. illegally would be eligible for the program, paid for by the families of children who aren’t.

As unfair as the policy change might be, it may not particularly benefit the individuals it is meant to help. TRIO data outcomes are as scarce and outdated. The program is also well-lobbied. In 2008, Congress initially prevented the Department of Education from completing a random study of participants in TRIO.

A report from late 2020 from the Government Accountability Office found the department hadn’t assessed the efficacy of three programs in TRIO and wasn’t doing enough to verify self-reported data outcomes.

President Biden’s proposed change to eligibility for TRIO would either spend billions of taxpayer dollars to provide illegal migrants a wrongful advantage or spend billions to provide no benefit to anyone. Additionally, even if TRIO could help illegal immigrants get into college, the students would be ineligible for Federal Student Aid when they arrived there.

Americans cannot afford to waste $1.2 billion per year. The federal government is in debt to the sum of $34 trillion, and each dollar it prints not only increases the debt but also fuels inflation, making college and utility bills and groceries outrageously expensive for many.

If the TRIO programs are producing substandard results, the money would be spent better elsewhere or not spent better at all.

The proposed change to policy additionally comes during a time when the southern border is swamped with migrants. Each benefit the federal government provides to undocumented migrants is another incentive for more people to cross the border illegally.

Now, undocumented students aren’t permitted to access federal student loans; more than a dozen states provide financial aid to students despite immigration status.

The U.S. Department of Education started developing a new regulation to expand TRIO to illegal immigrants in January, with another meeting set for February. An official change to policy might not be too far behind. Meanwhile, Americans should recognize that the Department of Education is putting American citizens last in the interest of partisan politics.