MacDonald: Elizabeth Warren is a good choice for students

Alexandra MacDonald

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

In the weeks leading up to Colorado’s primary, the opinion desk will be going head to head on individual candidates’ policy choices. We’ll be focusing on some of the issues we think will affect student lives and whether or not we think that individual candidate’s plan has what it takes. This week, two columnists are discussing Elizabeth Warren’s policies on the environment, education and immigration. 

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Environment: 

According to Warren’s website, she expresses a clear policy for 100% clean energy by “decarbonizing our electricity, our vehicles and our buildings.” Warren’s website states that about 70% of our carbon emissions are a result of transportation, industry and electricity greenhouse pollution and that, right now, we have the ability to reduce that cost to the environment.

The Green Manufacturing Plan is a $1.5 trillion investment over 10 years in American-made clean energy products. It’s meant to fund the “transition for federal, state and local governments.”

As a part of this overarching plan, Warren’s Green Marshall Plan will commit $100 billion to support an export of these products and help other countries support this project as well. Additionally, the Green Apollo Program is a $400 billion dollar investment set to take place over 10 years, meant to “spur innovation” and develop the technology we need to reduce our emissions and help save the environment. 

Warren’s third plan for public lands is to generate 10% of our electricity from renewable sources offshore or on public lands. Warren hopes to use the Clean Air Act to set high standards for this project and limit the dangerous emissions that may offset her plan. Warren has a clear outline of how to help save the environment, making her a great choice for students who care about the planet.

Education: 

Warren’s policy on education is that everyone should be able to afford higher education. When Warren attended the University of Houston, a semester’s tuition was just $50. Considering the prices for attending a university have exponentially risen since Warren’s graduation date in 1970, she has set a clear goal to make attendance affordable for everyone.

Warren’s first education policy is to eliminate student loan debt of up to $50,000 for 42 million Americans. She plans to cover the cost in her Ultra-Millionaire Tax, which is a 2% annual tax on the 75,000 American families that have $50 million or more in wealth. 

Under this plan, anyone who makes under $100,000 would be eligible. However, anyone with an income over $250,000 would not be eligible for debt cancellation. Warren’s plan would also create a $50 billion aid package for historically black colleges and universities.

Additionally, Warren’s policy will make way for students to enter a two- or four-year university without fear of paying tuition fees. She intends to make college “truly universal” and make higher education more inclusive of all races, not just a demographic that is socioeconomically stronger — something that would greatly benefit students.

Immigration: 

Warren’s immigration policy is centered around “a fair and welcoming immigration system.” She positions herself clearly against Donald Trump’s current policies and stances as an introduction to hers, stating that “He’s advanced a policy of cruelty and division that demonizes immigrants.”

Warren’s first step is removing abusive enforcement of the current policy. Warren said crossing the border without authorized permission has been a criminal offense and has been used to host a massive detention facility. Illegal immigration violations have made up just over half of criminal prosecutions in 2016. Warren’s intention for immigration reform is to end all criminal prosecution and “to refocus our limited resources on actual criminals.”

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Warren intends to separate common law enforcement from immigration enforcement in order to alleviate fear of tearing communities apart. Warren speaks on how people are less willing to report crimes for fear of stating their citizenship status. Ending programs like 287(g) will prevent cops from acting on “additional” duties such as immigration enforcement so they can focus on maintaining the security of their communities.

She also plans to remake Customs and Border Protections and Immigration and Customs Enforcement and hold them to the same due process as other law enforcement agencies. Warren hopes to reform Homeland Security and change the process “from top to bottom.

Warren’s plans are a great option for students that seek to help other people reach success. 

Alexandra MacDonald can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @alexandramacc