Tag Archives: in-state tuition

Still favor in-state tuition for all Texas residents

You are welcome to call me a bleeding-heart liberal if you wish, but I am going to make this point once again.

Texas is blessed with a large body of young people who want to improve themselves and who want to attend our public colleges and universities. Even those who are living here illegally because Mom and Dad sneaked them into Texas from somewhere else.

Accordingly, those de facto Texans, people who have grown up here as full-blown Texas residents, deserve to pay in-state tuition to attend those higher education institutions.

I wrote about this most recently three years ago:

Texans split on in-state college tuition issue

I still believe to this day in that policy. The state’s two previous Republican governors — George W. Bush and Rick Perry — both supported the idea of offering in-state tuition privileges to these students.

I’m unclear where Gov. Greg Abbott stands on this. My guess is that the GOP base is pressuring him to kick those students out of Texas. Were he to do that, he would perform a profound disservice to the state.

I wrote in 2015, “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.”

They are making their dreams come true.

Bush, Perry are right about in-state tuition issue


Two former Texas governors, both Republicans, have become targets of the righter-than-right wing of their own party.

First it was George W. Bush, then it was Rick Perry who said that children who were raised in Texas by undocumented immigrants deserves to be allowed to public colleges and universities by paying in-state tuition.

No can do, says the state’s lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick, who now plans to seek to remove that perk when the Texas Legislature convenes in January.

Bush and Perry were right. Patrick is wrong.


These students are Texans. They have been raised as Texans — and Americans. They came here as children when their parents fled their home countries south of us. They grew up to become fine citizens, good students and are able to achieve great things for their adopted home country.

Why deprive them of the chance to further their education by removing the in-state tuition opportunity?

Perry was pilloried by the TEA Party wing of the GOP when he ran for president in 2012 and again this year simply because he supports the long-standing tradition of granting in-state tuition privileges to these young Texans.

As the Texas Tribune reports: “Passed with near-unanimous consent in 2001, the policy allows non-citizens, including some undocumented immigrants, to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges if they can prove they’ve been Texas residents for at least three years and graduated from a high school or received a GED. They must also sign an affidavit promising to pursue a path to permanent legal status if one becomes available.”

Regular readers of this blog know I’m no fan of Gov. Perry or of Gov. Bush.

On this matter, though, they showed a humane side to their conservatism that has gone missing in action.

Rubio makes sense on immigration

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland March 14, 2013. Two senators seen as possible candidates for the 2016 presidential election will address a conservative conference where Republicans will try to regroup on Thursday after their bruising election loss last year. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3EZQO

Lo and behold . . . I heard Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio make sense on one element of immigration policy.

When the young U.S. senator was serving in the Florida legislature, he backed a provision that would allow the children of illegal immigrants to be granted in-state tuition privileges.

Rubio today reaffirmed that view in an interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos.

You go, Marco!

He was careful — naturally, given the nature of the GOP voter base — to say he doesn’t favor “amnesty” for those who are here illegally. He did say, though, that children who were brought here when they were young, say 5 years of age, and who grew up speaking English and whose only outward loyalty is to the United States of America deserve to be pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities.

Does that sound familiar? It should. Two former Texas governors — Republicans George W. Bush and Rick Perry — stood tall on the same principle. Perry, though, was pilloried during the 2012 GOP primary campaign for standing on that notion; the TEA Party wing of the Republican Party would have none of it.

I’m no fan of young Marco. However, I was heartened this morning to hear him speak with a sense of humanity and compassion that has been lacking among many in the still-large field of GOP presidential candidates.

Donald J. Trump gets high-fives and hosannas from the base over his plan to round up all 11 million illegal immigrants and toss ’em out of the country.

Meanwhile, at least one of his Republican presidential candidate colleagues demonstrates that the Grand Old Party isn’t speaking with one voice on a critical national issue.


Texans split on in-state college tuition issue

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.


In-state tuition becomes key GOP flashpoint

It is no surprise to anyone who reads this blog regularly that I am not a fan of Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

I dislike his policies, his approach, his style and his mean streak.

However, when it comes to one key issue — whether to grant in-state tuition privileges to Texans who were brought here illegally by their parents — he is spot on. He favors granting those privileges to those who want to attend Texas’s many fine public colleges and universities.

Many in his Republican Party, though, do not. They oppose granting individuals who’ve grown up as Texans and who are here only because they were forced to come here by their parents those privileges.


It’s going to become a flashpoint on a couple of levels.

First, Republicans running for office in Texas don’t want to alienate the far-right wing of the party’s base, which is where the opposition is coming from. Even though Perry isn’t on the ballot this year, his support of in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants well could become a key issue among candidates running for statewide office or the Legislature.

Second is Perry’s own political future. He is sounding and acting like someone who wants to run for president in 2016. He tried it in 2012 and fell flat on his face. Perry reportedly is in the midst of an extreme political makeover to create a new brand for himself.

Here’s how the Texas Tribune portrays the political split in Texas on this issue:

“Texans’ attitudes on in-state tuition are closely divided, though polarized along party lines. In the February 2014 University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll, 40 percent of registered voters said that illegal immigrants who graduated from a public high school in Texas and lived in Texas for at least a year should pay the lower in-state tuition; 47 percent thought they should pay the out-of-state rate. A slight majority of Democrats, 55 percent, opted for in-state tuition while a majority of Republicans, 61 percent, opted for out-of-state tuition. Maybe not surprisingly, 54 percent of Anglos supported out-of-state tuition, compared with only 34 percent supporting in-state tuition. Hispanics displayed the opposite attitude, with 31 percent supporting out-of-state rates and 51 percent supporting in-state rates.”

If Perry runs for president in two years, will the hard-liners in his party beat him bloody over what I believe is a common-sense, compassionate view of how to assimilate immigrants into Texas society?

I see no problem with granting these privileges to young Texans who know nothing other than life in the Lone Star State. Many — if not most — of them have assimilated already. They sound like Americans. They act like Americans. They have allegiance to this country and this state. Why not let them continue their education at a price they can afford?

Perry has taken the correct course on this issue. I hope he has the courage to stick with it if he enters the ’16 presidential race and starts taking body blows from those who disagree.

Immigrants’ tuition becomes key issue

I am appalled at the four major Republican candidates for Texas lieutenant governor.

First, state Sen. Dan Patrick runs an ad alleging he is the “only” candidate for that office who opposes in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants. Not true, say the other three.

The incumbent lieutenant governor, David Dewhurst, says he’s never supported in-state tuition for these students; Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, who served in the Senate and voted for the issue in 2001, now says he opposes it; Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson has called Patrick a liar and says he never backed the issue.


These guys make me sick.

The only prominent Texas Republican who stands out on this issue is Gov. Rick Perry.

Perry and other immigration reformers have supported granting in-state tuition privileges to Texas high school graduates and college applicants who happened to have moved here as children of parents who came here illegally.

It wasn’t their fault that their parents entered the state without legal documentation. They merely grew up and came of age as Texans. They attended high school, they graduated and applied for entrance into a Texas college or university. They have been accepted and plan to continue their lives as productive residents of the only place they’ve known as home.

Why punish these young people because of something their parents did?

Yet, we hear now from the four GOP candidates for Texas lieutenant governor that none of them supports this compassionate measure. They’re trying to out-menace each other at the expense of young Texans seeking to make good lives for themselves.