MAY 13, 2011
As local governments nationwide craft legislation to curb the devastating impact of illegal immigration, Connecticut is on the verge of passing a law to give undocumented aliens a valuable taxpayer-funded benefit—discount tuition at public colleges and universities.A similar measure actually passed a few years ago but was vetoed by former Republican Governor Jodi Rell, who said it would encourage individuals to circumvent federal immigration laws. “I understand these students are not responsible for their undocumented status, having come to the United States with their parents,” Rell explained at the time. “The fact remains, however, that these students and their parents are here illegally and neither sympathy nor good intentions can ameliorate that fact.”Connecticut’s current governor, Democrat Dannel Malloy, has vowed to sign the bill into law if gets passed. This week the state House approved it 77-63 and the senate is expected to do the same, according to a local news report. That would make Connecticut the 11th state to subsidize the college education of illegal immigrants. California, Texas, Utah, Washington andIllinois are among the states that already do it.One Connecticut lawmaker pushing for the discounted tuition law offered a rather interesting anecdote featuring Richard Nixon, of all people. The state congressman, William Tong, says his Chinese father was on the verge of getting deported when Nixon, who was president at the time, intervened just one week before he was scheduled to be shipped back to China.“What’s the difference between the kids covered by this bill and me?” Tong said in a local newspaper. “Richard Nixon gave us a break and I was born an American. It’s a very slender strand of difference.”Back to present day. A top official at Connecticut’s premier university (UConn) says enrollment is at capacity at the 20,000-student campus, which has about 10 illegal immigrants who pay the higher out-of-state tuition rate. More illegal aliens will enroll if a law is enacted to reduce the amount of tuition they pay, the university official assures. Out-of-state tuition is currently about $17,000 a year more than in-state rates.With a multi billion-dollar deficit that forced the layoff of thousands of public workers this year, it seems that Connecticut can hardly afford to finance the education of illegal immigrants.
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