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Catch-22, Massachusetts style

Recently, I discussed the push in Massachusetts to grant in-state tuition to illegal aliens who live in the state. Now, the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune has more details on the proposal, including the thoughts (if I may use the term loosely) of one of its proponents.

State Representative William Lantigua (D-Lawrence) is one of the bill's backers, but he wants to put a condition on the tuition break for illegal aliens: they have to agree to work in Massachusetts for three years after they graduate.

Mr. Lantigua explains his sympathies; he himself is an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, and has been a citizen for over 20 years.

But I have just a few questions for Representative Lantigua, and I might call his office and ask them.

1) The requirement that the illegal aliens "repay" the state by working in the state for three years is interesting. But under current law, illegal aliens can NOT work legally. Any employer that hires them risks substantial fines. How do you plan on getting around this?

2) A lot of people currently live in New Hampshire, but work in Massachusetts. Since they are already contributing to the Massachusetts economy, why couldn't they get the "in-state" tuition breaks, too?

3) When a college is making admission decisions, should they give any extra weight to legal residents over illegal ones? And just how would you explain to those legal residents that they have been denied admission in favor of those who are here illegally?

Now, Representative Lantigua's amendment was defeated, but the measure did pass on a voice vote. That was despite testimony from the state's Lieutenant Governor, who pointed out a few facts. The biggest one was that there is a federal law that prohibits states from offering any kind of educational benefits to illegal aliens that are not available to any American citizen, regardless of their residency.

Massachusetts' Republican governor, Mitt Romney, has pledged to veto the bill should it reach his desk. But the Massachusetts legislature is so overwhelmingly Democratic (137 of 160 Representatives, 34 of 40 Senators) that overriding his vetoes is a simple matter of marshalling enough of their troops.

My long history of observing Massachusetts politics has led me to a simple rule: when given a choice between doing the smart and responsible thing or the politically correct and stupid thing, bet on them doing the latter. With that in mind, I predict that it will pass.

(Update: two screamingly stupid grammatical errors corrected, courtesy of perpetual pain in the ass Sortapundit. I shouldn't post on less than 4 hours sleep.)


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Comments (12)

when given a choice bet... (Below threshold)

when given a choice between doing the smart and responsible thing or the politically correct and stupid thing, bet on them doing the former.

Surely you mean the latter, Jay.

and

The most biggest one was that there is a federal law that prohibits states from offering any kind of educational benefits

No need for the 'most'.


You can tell I've yet to have my first cigarette of the day when I start correcting grammar. I am such an ass.

Everyone knows illegal alie... (Below threshold)

Everyone knows illegal aliens are just here getting the degrees that Americans don't want.

Any idea what that federal ... (Below threshold)

Any idea what that federal law is because California has been violating it for what seems like forever. We unfortunatly give illegals a full ride in the bear flag state with not only subsidized tuition since illegals get in-state, but free education since they don't pay property taxes.

And the obvious valid defen... (Below threshold)
KenS:

And the obvious valid defenses do not depend upon immigration status or statute at all...

A person cannot be held to employment against his will anywhere in the US, although restitution for non-compliance may be sought in civil court if the person cannot be replaced: e.g. a specific actor.

There is obviously no intention whatever of enforcing the law. I doubt it would be legal to keep track of where the person is. The immigrant would win the legal civil-rights lottery if he found he was observed by the police.

The person, can simply state they intend to comply, they just have not started yet.

Gabriel: Best description o... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Gabriel: Best description of the law I've found so far is at http://www.fairus.org/ImmigrationIssueCenters/ImmigrationIssueCenters.cfm?ID=79&c=13 .

Ken, you're technically right, but here are a couple other points:
1) Such conditions have already been used for years, including military service after educational assistance.
2) Should the illegal really make such a stink, then they are just begging to be deported. Being an illegal is one thing; declaring one's self as such and then demanding benefits is another; and then reneging on an agreement with the government is beyond the pale.
But if they were to get away with it, it would probably be in Massachusetts...

J.

I had this crazy idea that ... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

I had this crazy idea that all those student visa programs and scholarships for foreign students meant that people didn't need to sneak across the border to get a degree. The requirements don't seem too tough.

Foreign students seeking to study in the U.S. may enter in the F-1 or M-1 category provided they meet the following criteria:


The student must be enrolled in an "academic" educational program, a language-training program, or a vocational program;
The school must be approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS);
The student must be enrolled as a full-time student at the institution;
The student must be proficient in English or be enrolled in courses leading to English proficiency;
The student must have sufficient funds available for self-support during the entire proposed course of study; and
The student must maintain a residence abroad which he/she has no intention of giving up.

http://uscis.gov/graphics/services/tempbenefits/StudVisas.htm

Doesn't seem to tough to me. I don't see any exclusions, it doesn't name any nations the student can't be from.

When a state is run by an o... (Below threshold)
johnny7:

When a state is run by an overwhelming, Democrat majority and that majority is led by a majority of socialists... one can only assume that socialist idiocy will always prevail.

A law that makes a cigarette go out by-itself is an obvious by-product of this idiocy. Why not... “a d_ _k that never goes soft”? Surely the Boston Globe can get 'behind' something like that!

I live in Texas. We have ou... (Below threshold)
Zsa Zsa:

I live in Texas. We have our share of illegal aliens!...I think that most Texans would say we love our mexican neighbors!...I just don't think we want terrorists coming in through the Mexican Borders...Isn't this the real issue?

Brilliant! State-sanctione... (Below threshold)
flea:

Brilliant! State-sanctioned indentured servitude. I wish I still lived in Massachusetts. I'd have the best looking lawn on the block. All at the same time, this law would

1. Sanction illegal behavior.
2. Displace legal residents from an education
3. Present employers with untold liabilities
4. Give some sense of dignity to illegal aliens
5. Totally degrade them by making them prisoners to the commonwealth


questions:

1. Who, besides military members, are obligated to work somewhere by law for a certain period of time?

2. Will the state keep track of their employment -- absence of tax revenue from illegal immigrant's payroll checks triggers the cops to go track him down and force him to work?

Jeez

<a href="http://www.thosesh... (Below threshold)
Darby:

Liberals

Not related. But funny

Frenchmen

Ok, lets try this again...<... (Below threshold)
Darby:

Ok, lets try this again...

Liberals

More immigrant bashing. Pe... (Below threshold)
Eoin:

More immigrant bashing. Perhaps if all of you out there in Yahoo-land bothered to look into how difficult it is to get a student visa, there would be less vitriolic pap being spead over the net. News flash: illegals pay taxes. They may not be able to file tax returns, but they are paying through the nose for all the same services you pay for (e.g. gas taxes, clothing, meal tax, etc.). They work, and they are not eligible for welfare payments. They are caring for your parents in the nursing homes, serving you at your restaurants, and clipping the grass at your country clubs. Those seeking the in-state tuition came here as kids because they were told to do so by their parents. How many of you told your parents where to get off when you were eight or nine years old? So crawl back into your caves or wake up and smell the coffee: this is an immigrant nation; always was and always will be. Please leave your blind prejudices at the door.




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