Fast Focus: 'Do you support the state's immigration education fund?' Education for all

February 16, 2014 

If your question means do I support making college financial aid to undocumented Washington kids who graduate from high school in our state and meet the other requirements of the "Real Hope," or "Dream" acts, the answer is yes.

I live in a diverse neighborhood in east Kennewick. Some of my neighbors speak mostly Spanish, so I assume they came here from another country. We're a blended lot, and it works, just like America is supposed to work. Our block is stable -- I can't think of anyone who has moved in or out since I moved here seven years ago. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else in town.

I was lucky enough to have been born in this country (well, ... if that includes West Virginia). I didn't have any choice in the matter. If my neighbors' kids happened to be born in another country and aren't here on an approved visa, I assume that they didn't have any choice in the matter either.

I don't see those kids leaving the country anytime soon, and honestly, the diversity they bring to my neighborhood provides value. I support any measure that would help them continue their education after high school, if that is what they desire.

For a long time, I have been ranting that we, as a society, don't do enough to support all of our kids' access to quality public higher education. Undocumented kids are merely a subset of the entire college-age population. Let's keep nagging our elected representatives on this point. As I have said many times, I am happy to pay taxes in order to support a civilized society, which includes access to higher education for all of our kids.

-- ERIC NORDLOF, Kennewick

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