1/29/2010 9:05 PM
Andy Hogue on our staff was present in Dallas for The Belo Debate between the Republican candidates for governor, and I'll let him comment later on the merits of the debate. But there are some factual issues that deserve clarification on the topic of in-state tuition for illegal immigration.
At tonight's debate, KHOU's Len Cannon asked Gov. Rick Perry an excellent question. Noting that U.S. Citizens from other states cannot get in-state tuition at Texas universities, Cannon asked whether it is fair that Texas grants in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. (A law signed by Gov. Rick Perry in 2001 granted illegal immigrant graduates of Texas high schools in-state tuition at state universities and colleges.)
First, many categories of LEGAL immigrants are ineligible for in-state tuition, including student visas. That's right -- foreign students who obey the law pay more than illegal immigrants whose parents broke the law.
Second, Gov. Rick Perry's claim that the Texas Education Agency follows up on whether illegal immigrant recipients of in-state tuition actually file for permanent residency is just plain false. The Texas Education Agency has no authority over higher education or determination of residency status for tuition purposes. The Higher Education Coordinating Board is the agency that makes rules on Texas residency for tuition purposes.
The law does not require illegal immigrants who get in-state tuition to apply for legal status. It requires illegal immigrants to sign an affidavit claiming they will apply when they become eligible. For example an illegal immigrant who will never become eligible for permanent residency can honestly sign the affidavit, since no obligation attaches until a person becomes eligible to apply for legal status.
if the person is not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, an affidavit stating that the person will apply to become a permanent resident of the United States as soon as the person becomes eligible to apply.
No regulation, law, or policy requires any university or the coordinating board to follow up on whether the application for legal status mentioned in the Education Code is ever filed.
In short, in-state tuition for illegal immigrants discriminates not only against citizens from other states -- as stated in the debate. It also discriminates against certain types of legal immigrants.
1 comment(s) so far...
By Louise Whiteford on
1/30/2010 4:59 PM
Besides the added expense for citizens of Texas to provide for illegal students Governor Perry's comment that students from other states can come here and establish residency and avoid out of state tuition completely ignores the reasons for the law in the first place. I thought his comment was thoughtless. Does he know that women fly in from other countries just to have a baby here in Texas? They return to their real homeland with plans to send that child here for a cheap education. The taxes I pay will provide for this instant citizen baby to go to college and his family will not have paid for one dime for his or her education through taxes. This is done by the distortion of original meaning of the 14th Amendment regarding birthright. Must Texas taxpayers now foot the bill for out of state students twisting our TX laws. Most families who send their children off to Texas colleges and universities have been paying Texas taxes for many years. And so have the parents in other states which is why most of those states have for years provided their citizens with less tuition expense for their students. When someone establishes residencty for the sole purpose of avoiding out of state tuition that is dishonest, plain and simple. Says a lot about Perry's thinking processes We are rapidly reaching third world status and need to be vigilante about accepting more expenses that cannot be funded without hurting those who are here legally.