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Leibee: Amy Klobuchar is a good choice for students

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 Amy Klobuchar’s policies on the environment, education and immigration. 

Environment: 

Amy Klobuchar is a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, stating climate change as a major priority. According to her plan for what she will do during her first 100 days in office, she says she will get the United States back in the International Climate Change Agreement on day one. 

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She wants America to be a global leader for climate change, reversing the work that President Donald Trump has done. While it’s questionable if she will truly be able to get America back in the agreement on her first day in office, it’s a large promise that proves her dedication to environmental issues.

She lists seven climate related actions that she will take on day one of her presidency, including restoring the Clean Power Plan and setting goals to reduce the carbon footprint of the federal government.

Even if she is truly not able to accomplish all of these things on her first day, any student whose top priority for a presidential candidate is a commitment to the environment can count on Sen. Klobuchar. Her plans are progressive, as she will attempt to ultimately reverse all of Trump’s environmental actions and strengthen the federal government’s protections over the environment.

Education:

Klobuchar doesn’t have a strong plan to make four-year college free or to even lessen the tuition. Instead, she believes it’s more important to make one- and two-year degree programs affordable. This includes community college degrees and technical certifications.

Her plan of establishing “multiple paths to success” aims to invest in a system where a technical or two-year degree can earn you a sustainable wage and get you into a desired career path. For students who want to pursue a four-year degree, she wants to double the maximum Pell Grant and make the financial aid process simpler altogether.

Her plan largely relies on more people wanting to go into technical or two-year programs. For college students, they may look to another candidate who will try to help them get their four-year education in a financially feasible way rather than encourage them to go down another route that is already more financially feasible.

Her plan for education doesn’t seem to drastically change the real issue we have right now, which is that a public four-year education is not accessible to most people in America.

Sen. Klobuchar’s plan is beneficial for students in that it acknowledges the cost of education and tries to find an alternate route to a living wage that doesn’t rely on a four-year program. However, this plan is likely not appealing enough for college students. Students already enrolled in a four-year program that are looking for a solution to their student debt likely would not benefit from Klobuchar’s plan.

Immigration:

As expected, Klobuchar’s plan for immigration is very progressive. She wants to protect Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, and reverse the immigration actions of President Trump. Klobuchar agrees that, as far as immigration goes, America should focus on convicted criminals and threats crossing the border rather than everyone. 

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She said at the first Democratic primary, “I believe that immigrants don’t diminish America; they are America.” However, it doesn’t look like her plan for immigration is very extensive. She says she wants to increase legal immigration and reform U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but she is not in favor of abolishing ICE altogether. 

Immigration is not one of Klobuchar’s top priorities, but that doesn’t mean she will not be a good candidate for students or a good candidate overall. There are too many issues on the table for every candidate to prioritize each one or put them in their first 100 days plan.

Admittedly, most of Klobuchar’s plans are ambiguous. Any citizen trying to figure out what direct actions she will take would be hard-pressed to find anything that is not vague and open for interpretation. However, this is not to say that Sen. Klobuchar doesn’t have the interests of students at heart.

Katrina Leibee can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @KatrinaLeibee.

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About the Contributor
Katrina Leibee
Katrina Leibee, Editor-in-Chief
Katrina Leibee is serving as The Rocky Mountain Collegian's editor in chief for the 2021-22 academic year. Leibee started at The Collegian during the fall of her freshman year writing for the opinion desk. She then moved up to assistant opinion editor and served as the opinion director for the 2020-21 academic year. Leibee is a journalism and political science double major, but her heart lies in journalism. She enjoys writing, editing and working with a team of people to create the paper more than anything. Ask anyone, Leibee loves her job at The Collegian and believes in the great privilege and opportunity that comes with holding a job like this. The biggest privilege is getting to work with a team of such smart, talented editors, writers, photographers and designers. The most important goal Leibee has for her time as editor in chief is to create change, and she hopes her and her staff will break the status quo for how The Collegian has previously done things and for what a college newspaper can be. From creating a desk dedicated entirely to cannabis coverage to transitioning the paper into an alt-weekly, Leibee hopes she can push the boundaries of The Collegian and make it a better paper for its readers and its staff. Leibee is not one to accept a broken system, sit comfortably inside the limits or repeat the words, "That's the way we've always done things." She is a forward thinker with a knack for leadership, and she has put together the best staff imaginable to bring The Collegian to new heights.

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