Here’s another of Rick Perry’s issues from Pesky Truth‘s great write-up called “Seventeen (17) things that critics are saying about Rick Perry“. In fact this is one that I certainly have a problem with. While I may understand why they felt the need to give instate tuition to illegals, I just can’t get over the issue of the rule of law and how this does nothing to solve the problem of illegal immigration, but only rewards it.
Here’s the write-up:
This is true. Perry signed the bill six years ago. Under the law, any student who has lived in Texas at least three years and graduated from a Texas high school qualifies for in-state tuition. The law also requires noncitizens to apply for citizenship. “I’m for leaving the law like it is because I think it serves a good purpose,” Perry said. Texas was one of the first states to pass an in-state tuition bill for illegal immigrants. Ten states currently have such laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. About 12,138 children of immigrants got in-state tuition in 2009, about 1 percent of students in Texas trade schools, colleges, and universities. Of that number, 8,406 were in community and technical schools, only 3,725 at universities, and 7 at health-related institutes. Read a good summary of the current status of this issue here at a Dallas Morning News article.
Critics have said it gives a financial advantage to illegal immigrants while U.S. citizens who are not Texas residents still must pay out-of-state tuition rates, which are higher. Personally, I don’t like giving illegals a favorable tuition rate over other state’s legal residents. I understand his reasoning, but I don’t have to like it. I do think that there was some pandering to the Mexican immigrants (legal and illegal) behind the overwhelming votes for this bill.
As a measure of Texas’ version of the “Dream Act,” popularity, it should be noted that it passed the Texas Senate with NO “no” votes – Perry was not out on a limb on this one, it was overwhelmingly supported. It should also be noted that the Texas “Dream” act should not be confused with the federal version. The Texas version relates to higher education only whereas the federal act would facilitate giving legal status to children who entered the U.S. illegally with their parents.