NOVEMBER 29, 2012
The governor of Massachusetts abused his executive authority when he ordered all of the state’s public colleges and universities to give illegal immigrants discounted in-state tuition, according to local officials who want the mandate reversed.
Last week Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick took the liberty of ordering the state’s Department of Education to immediately begin offering illegal aliens the perk that’s supposed to be reserved for the state’s legal residents. Even U.S. citizens who didn’t graduate from a Massachusetts high school must pay the higher out-of-state tuition at taxpayer-funded colleges. This policy applies to publicly-funded, post-secondary education in virtually every state.
But the increasingly powerful open borders movement has been pushing hard to get every state to participate in the costly initiative of subsidizing illegal immigrants’ college education. Several—including California, Illinois, New York, Utah and Texas—already offer illegal immigrants discounted tuition. Others, such as Arizona, Georgia, Ohio and Indiana, have laws barring illegal aliens from qualifying for in-state tuition.
Massachusetts is estimated to have 15,000 to 17,000 residents in the age group that could qualify for cheaper tuition, according to a mainstream newspaper report that quotes the state’s secretary of education. “Our experience has been that the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition is a prohibitive barrier,” the education secretary said. As an example he revealed that the state’s flagship college, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, charges state residents $13,230 in tuition and fees; students from outside the state pay more than twice as much, $26,645.
Governor Patrick’s order will apply to 29 campuses throughout the state. This has incensed officials in Oxford, a town of about 13,000 residents. They accuse Patrick of overreaching and abusing his authority. This week Oxford’s council voted unanimously to send the governor a letter decrying his executive order. One lawmaker was quoted in the town newspaper saying that it will be a letter “outlining our dismay over his abuse of his executive authority.”
A second letter will be fired off to state lawmakers “asking them to advise college administrators not to follow this policy until the state Legislature acts.” The governor should not have taken this upon himself, according to an Oxford council member who indicates that he favors discounted tuition for illegal aliens but says it should have gone through the legislative process. A fellow council member wasn’t so diplomatic: “What values is this teaching our children—that you do something illegal and benefit from it?”
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