In-State Tuition and a Banquet of Red Herring

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare

Recently
by Becky Akers: The
TSA: Protecting Us From Bald Women and Artificial Knees

 

 
 

“In-state tuition!”

It doesn't
seem like much of a battle cry, but link it with "illegal immigrants"
— in fact, link any term with that incendiary phrase — and suddenly
a full-scale war rages.

One of the
latest casualties is Rick Perry, Republican governor of Texas. It
was bad enough when he denounced those who "say
that we should not educate
children who have come into our state
for no other reason than they’ve been brought there by no fault
of their own" as "heart[less]." But then he defended
a law passed ten years ago requiring Texas' public universities
to charge "illegals" the discounted tuition they do the
Lone Star State's other denizens.

(Hold your
outrage a moment: the law isn't quite as easy on these criminals
as it first seems. "To
qualify, undocumented immigrants
must show that they have lived
in Texas for at least three years," — dodging ICE (Immigration
and Customs Enforcement) and cops the while — "graduated from
a state high school and sign an affidavit stating that they plan
to seek citizenship. In contrast, U.S. citizens from other states
can qualify for in-state tuition rates at Texas colleges and universities
a year after establishing residency.")

Back east,
Perry's Independent counterpart in tiny Rhode Island has gone even
further. Gov. Lincoln Chaffee is not only "leading
a campaign that last week
granted in-state tuition to unauthorized
immigrants," he's also dismantl[ing] Rhode Island's vigorous
campaign against illegal immigration …, ditching the E-verify system
for checking workers' status, revoking the State Police's authority
to enforce federal immigration laws, and … [h]e is even considering
driver's licenses for immigrants living here illegally." Sure
enough, "critics [are] vowing to fight Chafee's actions."

Wow,
you're marveling, didn't this moron learn anything from Perry's
travails? What's he thinking — or isn't he?

Here's his
explanation: "'The big thing was that it wasn't working,' Chafee
said …, describing his predecessor's efforts to curb illegal immigration.
u2018The idea was that it would help us with our economy. It didn't
accomplish that.'''

Common sense
and the usually incoherent Alan Greenspan bear him out. Testifying
to Congress in 2009, the latter
noted, "…[T]here is little

doubt that unauthorized, that is, illegal, immigration
has made a significant contribution to the growth of our economy
…
economists generally view the overall economic benefits
of this workforce as significantly outweighing the costs."

In addition
to these "economic benefits," "illegals" seldom
if ever apply for the programs that xenophobes swear they swamp,
such as food stamps and Medicaid, because legislation passed in
1996 prohibits them from collecting these goodies. Indeed, "the
only services that illegals can still get are emergency medical
care and K-12 education
."

But even if
the full panoply of the welfare-state were open to them, "illegals"
are unlikely to register with any governmental bureaucracy since
they fear deportation. In fact, so strong is their anxiety that
if they're able, they
walk away from car accidents without that "emergency medical
care"
lest hospitals turn them over to ICE.

On the other
hand, "illegals" have to eat and dress and shelter themselves
and their families, just like everyone else. All those paychecks
from back-breaking
jobs Americans don't want
enrich the neighborhood every time
they shop. What community in Obummer's bankrupt fiefdom wouldn't
welcome extra business, regardless of where the customer was born?

That said,
I'm still with the "heartless" crowd, so much so that
Perry would probably dub me downright stingy. I don't want to subsidize
anyone's higher education — or lower either, for that matter.
"Illegal" or legal, I don't care. Politicians and bureaucrats
have no business forcing us to buy pupils a career in college, whether
the student's name is Sally Smith or Jose Mirandez. Let them pay
their own way.

Elemental and
obvious, right? Yet we've waited lo these many weeks for any of
Perry's supposedly conservative critics — you know, all those legions
who claim they crave smaller government — to ask why in the heck
Texas and its 49 cohorts rob citizens to subsidize the fourth-rate
indoctrination centers dupes dignify as "public universities."
But no: "conservatives" are too busy fulminating against
"your
tired, your poor,
/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,/The
wretched refuse of your teeming shore" to damn Our Rulers'
rank communism.

And it's not
as if the private market suffers any shortage of educational enterprises
— though with state and federal grants, governmentally sponsored
"research," accreditation, and reflexive lauding of Leviathan,
"private" increasingly mimics "public" except
for the superior quality it almost always enjoys. Yet the State
squanders the money it steals from us on needless competition in
these hard times.

Ironically,
folks who decry the abysmal academics and even more appalling immorality
of public schools begrudge both to "illegals." Shouldn't
they'd be thrilled that these hordes may help push public "education"
over the cliff one joyous day, freeing us all from its predations
and propaganda? Instead, they shriek that "illegals" are
crowding "our" schools.

They remind
me of the two little old ladies complaining about the new restaurant
downtown. "Ach, the food's awful," complains the
first, "I can't even eat it, it's so bad."

"I know,"
the second nods, "and they give you such tiny little portions,
too."

Yet the "limited-government"
devotees fiercely defend their exclusive rights to garbage.

Impoverishing
taxpayers to propagandize students is the issue, not the price an
"Illegal" — or anyone else — pays for said propagandizing.
Shame on conservatives for not only swallowing this red herring
but feasting on it with such relish.

October
15, 2011

Becky
Akers [send her mail] writes
primarily about the American Revolution.

The
Best of Becky Akers

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare
  • LRC Blog

  • LRC Podcasts