NOVEMBER 23, 2009
A special council created by the governor of Massachusetts to help illegal immigrants integrate into society has come up with more than 100 recommendations, including a costly idea that was solidly rejected by the legislature a few years ago.
Among the suggestions offered by Governor Deval Patrick’s advisory council are granting illegal immigrants driver’s licenses and discounted, in-state tuition at public colleges. In 2006 the Massachusetts legislature rejected a measure that would have given the heavily reduced tuition perk to illegal aliens who had graduated from a state high school.
In all, the governor’s council offered 131 policy recommendations—labeled New Americans Agenda—to help better integrate immigrants and refugees into the civic and economic life of the Commonwealth. The policy suggestions cover civil rights, education, employment and workforce development, access to state services and housing assistance.
No word yet on which of the measures the governor will adopt but it’s safe to say that he fully plans to implement several. After all, Patrick created the council with great fanfare last year and the promise of developing and delivering a series of policies that emphasize the “positive integration” of illegal aliens into the state’s economic and civic life.
A renowned illegal immigrant advocate who was in charge of civil rights in Bill Clinton’s Justice Department, Patrick killed a policy designed to curb illegal immigration in Massachusetts upon becoming governor in 2007. The measure allowed local law enforcement officers in the state to detain illegal aliens.
Patrick has repeatedly come under fire for many of his costly leftwing policies, including spending $430,000 to give welfare recipients free cars as an incentive to find work. The Democratic governor has also worked to reverse a longtime state law that allows employers broad access to the criminal records of potential employees because it discriminates against convicted felons and unfairly prevents them from landing jobs and leading productive lives.
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