Skip to comments.Romney, Democrats square off over tuition plan for illegal immigrants [Mass. insanity]
Posted on 04/16/2005 6:55:20 AM PDT by johnny7
BOSTON Republican Gov. Mitt Romney and House Democratic leaders are locking horns over the question of whether to give illegal immigrants living in the state the same tuition break at public colleges and universities as Massachusetts residents.
The proposed state budget released by the House Ways and Means Committee this week contains language that would give the lower rate to illegal immigrant students who have attended high school for three years in Massachusetts. Supporters say denying the tuition break unfairly punishes illegal immigrant high school students hoping to further their education. But opponents say the policy, if adopted, would reward those who are in the country in violation of federal law. State Republican Party Executive Director Tim O'Brien criticized Democratic House leaders for wanting to "spend taxpayer dollars to offer in-state tuition for criminals." He said lawmakers should instead be focused on lowering the state income tax rate. "There's a lot of people on both sides of the aisle who don't think this is good policy because you'd be giving illegal aliens, individuals who are breaking federal law, tuition breaks and asking taxpayers to pay the bill," O'Brien said.
Immigrant activists say giving the tuition break to illegal immigrant students will bring money into the public higher education system and help the state build a more educated work force. Without the break, most of the students couldn't afford to attend college, they said. "When the governor says this is wasting taxpayer resources, this is actually investing taxpayer resources into our work force and bringing revenues to our higher education system," said Ali Noorani, director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. Noorani said a handful of states have adopted similar legislation. He estimated that about 400 students a year would take advantage of the tuition break if it were approved in Massachusetts.
The language in the proposed House budget would give the tuition break to an illegal immigrant student only if they have "attended high school in the commonwealth for three or more years and (have) achieved graduation from a high school in the commonwealth." "Massachusetts is the only home that they know," Noorani said. "Their parents have been working in Massachusetts, paying taxes." The plan has already won the backing of the state Board of Higher Education, but its fate in the Legislature is less certain.
A similar proposal made its way into the final version of the state budget approved by the House and Senate last year, but was vetoed by Romney. The issue didn't come up for an override vote. House Republicans accused Democratic leaders of trying to sneak the proposal through the budget process - despite a pledge from House leaders to keep any major policy changes out of the budget debate. Republican opponents of the change said the proposal should come to the floor of the House and Senate for a separate debate and vote. Backers of the tuition break say they're ready to fight for passage of the legislation, whether as a separate bill or as an outside section to the budget.
On Friday supporters, including several immigrant students, launched a lobbying tour of the state to raise public awareness and backing for the tuition proposal. The tour planned to stop at 10 locations across the state including Fitchburg, Barnstable, Framingham, Worcester, Lawrence, Lynn and Lowell before arriving at the Statehouse next Thursday for a rally and press conference.
Will the insanity ever end?
I unfortunately live in Massghanistan. Our DemonRat representative in the House of the General Court (that's what the legislature is called here) is a socialist nutcase named Pam Resor which is pronounced Pam Reese Whore which is what she is for increasing taxes and fees. Why the people here keep electing her is beyond my ability to fathom.
What part of the term illegal do they not understand?
They would certainly understand it if I drove across their state at about 100mph. It's illegal.
We still long for the likes of the late Gussie Hornblower, lone republican rep. from Groton, MA.
No jobs... high taxes... and the people don't care!
i got accepted to a ph.d. program last month in texas.
i got out-of-state tuition, but illegals get in-state.
ironically, i grew up on a farm hoeing beets and beans with migrant workers. also, my natural mother's 3/4 indian but i have yet to prove tribal affiliation so that won't help with the tuition.
i got a t.a. for 20 hours work per week. that covers in-state tuition and $1,000 per month. i haven't heard about the scholarship that may make up the difference between in-state and out-of-state.
Seems to me that what is ok for the illegal alien, should be ok to the non-resident citizen.
It's simple. Positive reinforcement will produce more of that behavior. The more goodies we hand out to illegals, the more pour over the border like lemmings. Only it's looking more and more as if US taxpayers are lemmings headed over the nearest cliff.
Now that Gussie is gone, we can hold the Republican caucus here in the back of an SUV.