Getting into college is hard enough. Getting someone else to pay for it is even harder. But for thousands of illegal immigrants, that may become the easiest part.
Taxpayers already provide free elementary and high school education for children who are living in the U.S. illegally.
But a bill being sponsored by California Democrats Howard Berman and Lucille Roybal-Allard is looking to go a step further.
The bill would require U.S. citizens to subsidize the higher education of foreign nationals, allowing illegal immigrants to pay lower college tuition than citizens.
"As matter of justice and fairness and fulfilling expectations, there is a strong case to say lets educate these children," said Fox News legal analyst Susan Estrich.
But political strategist Arnold Steinberg thinks the bill goes too far.
"It hard to conceive of another country where people can come illegally and have all other taxpayers footing their bill," he said.
If passed, the bill would also automatically give legal status to all students living in the U.S. — provided they're enrolled, or trying to enroll in college.
Several controversial scenarios present themselves.
Diversity goals could translate into admissions of qualified illegal aliens over American citizens, or lower tuition for those illegal aliens.
For families too rich to qualify for financial aid, but too poor to afford college — the bill may mean being forced to put a child through college ... a child other than their own.
Steinberg says the controversy boils down to one real question.
"Should the tax burden, which is borne largely by the middle class, be used to help people go far beyond the middle class, who just came here a few years ago, when their own kids are having difficulty?"
A college controversy confronted: Should illegal aliens qualify for residential tuition rates? Tune in at 7 p.m. ET for the Fox Report With Shepard Smith for Part II of our special series Coming to America ...