Texas' Lt. Governor Hopefuls Need You To Know: No College for Illegal Immigrants

Categories: Politics

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It tends to get overwhelmed by the reek of humiliating ineptitude that still wafts from Rick Perry's disastrous 2012 presidential campaign, but there was a moment when he took a principled stand and defended a position that was wildly at odds with the Tea Partiers he was trying so desperately to court.

It came on the issue of offering in-state tuition to young people who came to the country illegally. Here's how he explained it during a CNN/Tea Party debate in September 2011:

The bottom line is it doesn't make any difference what the sound of your last name is. That is the American way. No matter how you got into that state, from the standpoint of your parents brought you there or what have you. And that's what we've done in the state of Texas. And I'm proud that we are having those individuals be contributing members of our society rather than telling them, you go be on the government dole.

True, that position happens to line up nicely with the long-term interests of the Republican Party in Texas, and he pandered to the far right on almost every other issue, but it was admirable nonetheless.

See also: Texas' Next Lieutenant Governor Thinks You Shouldn't Be Trusted to Elect Senators

The candidates to become Texas' next lieutenant governor do not share Perry's compassion for so-called DREAMers. The first to make this clear was state Senator Dan Patrick, who released an ad on Monday claiming to be the only one who didn't support in-state tuition for illegal immigrants:

Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson was the first to object, telling the Texas Tribune simply that "Dan Patrick is lying." Incumbent David Dewhurst and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, who was in the legislature when the in-state tuition bill passed in 2001 and voted for the measure, both said they support repeal.

No shocker there. Dogmatic opposition to anything short of deportation for illegal immigrants has become de rigueur for Republicans. But as The Dallas Morning News points out this morning, it represents a major reversal from years past and is a counterintuitive strategy, given the party's admitted need to woo Hispanic voters in order to stay viable.

When the bill granting in-state tuition was introduced in 2001, it had nearly unanimous bipartisan support. It passed the House on a vote of 130-2, with two members abstaining. The Senate tally was 30-0, with one abstention.

For Republicans at the time, it was a pragmatic, common-sense decision. If children go to college, they become more assimilated and they're better able to contribute to the state's economy in a meaningful way. After all, they're going to be here anyways. Twelve years later, one expects such a bill would be a nonstarter.

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30 comments
bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

So Republicans are okay with convicted pedophiles, murderers, rapists and every other kind of prisoner getting college credits - but if the child of an undocumented worker tires to do so, it's WAR.

MissMacy
MissMacy

There's a lot of right-wing stupid hate going on in here. Get yer tin foil hats!

dsjohnson64
dsjohnson64

I am extremely curious--are you paying attention Eric Nicholson--how anyone can possibly defend giving in-state tuition to those brought into the country in violation of its laws while at the same time charging out-of-state tuition to U.S. citizens from the other 49 states at a rate several times higher!  What does this say about the rule of law and the value of citizenship (not to mention basic equity)?

And why would anyone think Rick Perry's position has anything to do with humanitarianism when there is nothing elsewhere in his public policy record to indicate such?  So let's be honest about his true motivation.  For all his huffing and puffing about border security, Rick Perry has never really been opposed to illegal immigration because it serves the interests of the cheap labor millionaires and billionaires that have been his financial supporters throughout his political career! 

Anonamouse
Anonamouse

Illegal anybodies should get nothing. NOTHING. The point of being an American citizen is that you get the benefits of citizenship - if we give it away (cow/milk analogy pending) then why would anyone go to the trouble of becoming a citizen?

Or we could just have the General Amnesty that so many are pushing for - grant citizenship with a wave of Imperial Federal hand. What's the worst that could happen?

dsmithy3211
dsmithy3211

Ah, another article that brings out the lynch-dem-ferr'ners circle jerk...

Well played, Eric. Well played.

killwhiteprivilege
killwhiteprivilege

Eric, you naive or disingenuous white-guilt libtard propagandist, why are you so eager to facilitate the demographic replacement of your own children? Is it to assuage your pathetic white guilt? You're so "progressive"!

When they grow up and find out about all the damage you helped to inflict upon their futures with your "progressive advocacy journalism", they are going to hate your guts.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

let's hear it for these candidates who say NO! to the idea that merit, and success in reaching one's educational goals, will triumph over their ideology.

dingo
dingo

Why would any Hispanic voter be in favor of in-state tuition for illegal aliens if the illegals could potentially be accepted into state schools in place of their own legal citizen children?

jesdynf
jesdynf

Hah hah, Rick Perry tried to act like a human being and his owners put him in his place. Also, the Dem candidate can say "Governor Perry and I completely agree" on the topic and paint all these people like looney extremists. (Spoilers: They're looney extremists.)

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

Republicans should woo undocumented Russians with special treatment, free shit and elevated respect, because there are so many if them, they're white, and tend to vote republican.

killwhiteprivilege
killwhiteprivilege

Oh look, another naive white-guilt-ridden libtard who can't wait to cheer on the demographic replacement of his own family.

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

Except there's none of what you cite.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

@killwhiteprivilege I had my kid replaced with a cat. It ignores me, stays out 'til all hours, and is hopelessly ungrateful, but on the bright side eats less than a typical teenager.

dingo
dingo

@mavdog Merit. Like in the top 10% get in A&M and top 8% in U.T from every HS regardless of academic rigor measured across schools in order to provide a substitute for affirmative action? 

So the Oklahoma and Arkansas universities are offering tuition breaks to the top Texas students that don't make the 'affirmative' qualifications into UT and A&M to be nice? No, they are attempting to generate the future generation brain drain into their states from some of our most capable students.

So, you are against sovereignty but for the affirmative transfer of wealth that a sovereign government enforces. What a strange ideology.

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

What gave you the notion that the opinion of legal immigrants counts in this argument? All this is for the benefit of certain foreign nationals because they are of a correct color and as a group favor socialism, and will vote for the socialist party.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@ruddski 

if they are "undocumented" they couldn't vote, which of course is why the republicans couldn't care less about them.

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

We have just the woman for you.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@dingo 

do you believe that the UT and A&M campus size is unlimited? the "top %" guidelines are a result of a cap on the student body size as much as affirmitive action. it is indeed merit for a student to acheive the top 10% of their HS graduating class, period. reward their accomplishment.

odd that you reference our neighborig state's siphoning off the brightest TX HS grads. for all intent denying the children of illegal residents who have shown the desire and ability to learn is contributing to a "brain drain". why send these kids away? we shouldn't, regardless of if they are US citizens or not.

"sovereignty"? this isn't anything to do with ceding sovereignty, as the decision is being made by this country only. what a ruse to pull that bit of crap out of your hat. or actually out of your ass.

whocareswhatithink
whocareswhatithink

@mavdog @ruddski I think history will show you, that breaking a simple law about not being a citizen and voting falls on many deaf ears...besides with no ID check, how do you know they are or are not citizens

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

the thing about the undocumented foreign nationals is, they can be given anything they demand, including the right to vote. Bet you thought the dems wanted them legalized because they exemplify the American spirit of cheat whenever you can.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@killwhiteprivilege 

have plenty neighbors of hispanic ethnicity, unlike you they are very friendly towards others. thanks for asking.

killwhiteprivilege
killwhiteprivilege

When are you moving to one of Dallas' beautiful Latino-majority neighborhoods? I hear that Plesant Grove is lovely this time of year.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@ruddski 

"amnesty"? don't know.

what was being proposed in the Senate bill would provide a pemanent resident status for a period of time, I recall about a decade. After the decade of being a permanent resident (which is what we allow for those with a green card now) and an addl 3 years, so after 13 years, they can start the naturalization process.

just like any foreign born person, if they complete the naturalization process they can become citizens. and when and if they become citizens, then they can vote.

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

Mav, did you know that once you become an American citizen, you can vote in our elections? What do you think the end result of amnesty is?

whocareswhatithink
whocareswhatithink

@mavdog @whocareswhatithink I am not a citizen, and somehow I was registered to vote, I never voted but getting my name actually off the voting list was a hassle in itself. So don't know how that theory play out, the only thing I can think of is I am a property owner, that somehow perhaps paying taxes has them turn a bling eye or not a check point in place

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@whocareswhatithink

if you have registered to vote than you know that there is no way a non-citizen can get a voting card.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@ruddski 

oh no, there are many examples of all sorts of people who have ignored American law and got away with it. many politicans come to mind as a matter of fact, as well as some businessmen.

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

The US had and has very strict immigration laws which matter VERY much to those charged with enforcing them, and those who must follow them. History shows that only Hispanics enjoy the special treatment and rewards of ignoring American law. Why is that?

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@ruddski 

"including the right to vote"

that's funny, you really are a jokester.

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