The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday January 24th

Letter misunderstood the idea of rights, residents


Alex Rhodes’ letter to the editor (“Granting in-state tuition status is highly unfair,” Oct. 1) made me cringe.

His arguments seem so ill-thought-out that I didn’t know if I was reading a letter or a compilation of knee-jerk conservative hodgepodge.

Rhodes says illegal immigrants should not get in-state tuition because, like out-of-state students, they are not registered residents of the state.

This is true, but irrelevant. However, in Caballero v. Martinez, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided that undocumented immigrants can be residents of the state: A clear legal precedent even though it is not binding to North Carolina.

There is a difference between undocumented immigrants and out-of-state students: The former are non-registered residents, the latter are registered non-residents. They are not at all the same, as Rhodes suggests.

He continues to say that education is not a human right, but a luxury. This is not true. According to the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26, “Everyone has the right to education,” and “higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.”

Erik Thiede

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