A bill now being considered by the Missouri General Assembly would block undocumented immigrants from enrolling at a state university or college. Some of its supporters describe the bill as symbolic and harmless, since the number of students affected by such a restriction in Missouri is likely only in the hundreds.
I agree that the bill is symbolic, but I dislike that symbol and I disagree with the degree of damage it causes. The bill penalizes children brought illegally to this country by their parents, even if those students have been here for years. And it limits those children’s ability to make as much of themselves as their talents and ambitions allow. I can’t think of any outcome less symbolic of our state’s and country’s ideals.
This bill would likely have its greatest effect on young people from the St. Louis and KC areas, since metropolitan areas tend to attract the cheap labor that immigrants often provide. As the mayor of a City that needs all of its young residents to be well prepared for a challenging economic future, I oppose this bill.