By Gary P Jackson
We’ve been hearing a lot of spin on Rick Perry’s DREAM Act, which gives in-state tutions to illegal aliens. His supporters say this only allows then a chance to go to school [at a sizable discount] and nothing more. That however, is anything but the truth.
Fact is, illegals apply for and receive millions of taxpayer dollars to subsidize their education. And, like every other hand-out, the number of illegals applying for and receiving aid is only growing.
Perry’s DREAM Act, which he says you’re “heartless” if you don’t support, is a magnet for illegals to come to Texas, and a drain on a Texas budget that is already stretched to the limit.
As long as Rick Perry supports incentives like the DREAM Act, and refuses to address the Sanctuary City issue, Texas will continue to be a magnet for illegals who want to take advantage of everything great Texas has to offer, without respecting Texas enough to do it legally.
Remember, no matter how well educated these illegals become, they still can’t work legally in the United States. We are wasting money educating people who, by law, can never be productive members of our society.
Honestly, I don’t have a problem if they want to seek higher education. What I have a problem with is taxpayers funding it. Especially when there are Texans who could use the aid but aren’t getting it.
A little flashback from The Dallas Morning News: [emphasis mine]
Number of illegal immigrants getting in-state tuition for Texas colleges rises
The number of illegal immigrant college students paying in-state tuition and receiving financial aid at Texas’ public colleges and universities continues to climb, according to state higher education records.
During the fall semester, 12,138 students – about 1 percent of all Texas college students – benefited from the state law granting in-state tuition, according to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Most of the immigrants among those students are illegal, and some others are not legal permanent residents or U.S. citizens.
Texas awarded about $33.6 million in state and institutional financial aid to those students between fall 2004 and summer 2008.
In 2001, Texas became the first state in the country to pass an in-state tuition law. The law created a national movement. Many private universities also now award aid to illegal immigrant students.
Now some of the students are graduating but unable to work legally as professionals. Julie, 29, who moved from Mexico to Austin at age 12, earned a degree in nursing from the University of Texas. She is unable to work, so instead she volunteers in Dallas.
“You have people here, and they’re trained,” said Julie, who did not want her last name used because of her immigration status. “The state has invested in us, so why not let us be contributing members of society and our community?”
But immigration reform has stalled. Congress has repeatedly failed to pass the Dream Act, a proposal that would put the students on a path to citizenship.
Critics question how much tuition discounts and state financial aid cost the state, especially during tough economic times. A lawsuit has been filed challenging the law.
Even so, Gov. Rick Perry supports the law aiding illegal immigrant students. In a recent debate, he said the students are on the path to citizenship. However, they actually won’t be on that path unless the Dream Act passes.
Illegal immigrants entering Texas’ higher education system are direct beneficiaries of a 1982 Supreme Court decision, Plyler vs. Doe. Parents in Tyler sued after the state began charging tuition for illegal immigrant children. The court ruled that Texas and the rest of the country must educate illegal immigrant children free of charge in public schools.
Some of the most vocal illegal immigration opponents don’t oppose the decision. But they say higher education is different, because it is tuition-based.
Suit challenges law
A lawsuit was filed in December challenging Texas’ law providing the students in-state tuition and state aid. The students are not eligible for federal aid such as Pell Grants.
Attorneys for the Immigration Reform Coalition of Texas sued the University of Houston, Houston Community College and Lone Star College systems in Harris County District Court, but the case was moved to federal court. “It’s not like we’re swimming in budget surpluses,” said attorney David Rogers. “It’s the responsibility of the government of Mexico to educate Mexican citizens.”
Read more here.