How do you like this one? Texans are split nearly evenly on whether illegal immigrants should be allowed to pay in-state tuition rates if they choose to attend public colleges and universities in Texas.
This issue has brewed hot and hotter for a long time in Texas.
Here’s the deal: Lots of young Texans were brought here illegally their parents. These young people have grown up as Americans, living in Texas, adopting in many cases to our state and national culture. They want to improve themselves, so they seek to attend a public university.
Some folks, though, don’t want to allow them to pay in-state rates, which are a lot less expensive than out-of-state rates.
The University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll shows 43 percent of Texans oppose granting in-state waivers, while 42 percent favor it. The vast majority of Republicans oppose the waiver, while a large number of Democrats favor it.
I’ve long believed that granting the in-state tuition waiver for these young students is a humane policy. Even some key Republicans — such as former Republican governors, George W. Bush and Rick Perry — have favored it. Indeed, Perry’s support of allowing in-state tuition for these undocumented immigrants made him a prime target of other Republicans campaigning for president in 2012.
Allowing the in-state tuition rates for these students does not harm the public university system in Texas, as some have contended. It enriches the system by granting young students a chance to attain the goals they have set for themselves — while living as Texans.