Tag Archives: DREAM Act

Here we go again, Gov. Perry

Rachel Maddow is no fan of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

There. I’ve stipulated what many folks know already about the liberal commentator for MSNBC.

That all said, she noted Friday night that Perry is about to break another “glass ceiling” for Republican presidential candidates. He’s about to become the first candidate under felony indictment to seek his party’s presidential nomination. He’ll make his announcement on June 4.

The Texas Tribune has posted a fascinating analysis on the pluses and minuses of a Perry presidential campaign.


You remember the indictment, yes? A Travis County grand jury indicted Perry in 2014 on charges of abuse of power and coercion when he tried to get the Democratic Travis County district attorney to resign after she pleaded guilty to drunken driving; if she quit, he’d then let the DA’s Public Integrity Unit have the money appropriated by the Legislature. She didn’t quit. So Perry vetoed the money.

The grand jury said that sequence constituted an indictable offense.

Hey, that doesn’t matter. He’s going to run for the presidency a second time, hoping that all will be forgiven from his first — and disastrous — run for the White House in 2012; he actually lasted only a few days into 2012, as he dropped out of the race in January of that year.

Will the indictment hold him back? Will it matter to GOP voters who are looking for a right-wing darling to embrace as an alternative to squishy moderates such as Jeb Bush, Rob Portmand, John Kasich, Lindsey Graham or Chris Christie? All of those guys — and the others who already have declared their intentions to run or are about to declare them — will seek to paint themselves as hard-core conservatives.

Perry, though, is the real thing … he says.

He’s got this chink in his conservative armor, however. It’s immigration. You see, as the governor of a border state for a bazillion years, he has this idea that we really ought to have immigration reform. He also favors something akin to President Obama’s DREAM Act, which grants amnesty to illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents, when they were children. And … he also favors granting in-state college tuition waivers to those very illegal immigrants.

That area is where I happen to agree with the former governor.

The rest of it? No thanks.

Plus, he’s got that indictment matter to settle before he thinks about taking the presidential oath on Jan. 20, 2017.

Something tells me it won’t come to that.


DREAM on, Sen. Patrick

Texas Republicans have this problem with Hispanics, who see them as hard-hearted and uncaring about the needs of the state’s fastest-growing demographic group.

The state GOP is trying some outreach to the Hispanic community. Then along comes the party’s nominee for lieutenant governor to say that if he’s elected he’ll work to repeal the DREAM Act for young Texans seeking to enroll at public universities.

Well done, state Sen. Dan Patrick. You just might have shot yourself — and your party — in both feet.


Current state law, the DREAM Act, allows undocumented immigrants to enroll at Texas colleges and universities and pay in-state tuition. This law applies to those who were brought here illegally as children by their parents. They are here because their parents decided to come to Texas to seek a better life.

So the state has allowed them to enroll in public colleges and universities as if they are Texans, which they are, given that they’ve grown up here, come of age here, known only life in Texas.

Dan Patrick says he’ll do away with that, toeing the conservative line so popular among Texas Republicans.

Let’s back up, though, for just a second. Two other prominent Texas conservatives support the DREAM Act. One of them is Gov. Rick Perry, who’s leaving office at the end of the year. The other one is Perry’s predecessor as governor, George W. Bush, who then went on to be elected to two terms as president of the United States.

Perry and Bush get it. They understand what the DREAM Act does for young Texans who want to get an education at a price they can afford.

Patrick doesn’t get it. All he gets is what his party’s “base” keeps shouting in his ear.

The most interesting push back to Patrick’s vow to kill the law comes from a group that has endorsed him, the Texas Association of Business. Its executive director, Bill Hammond, a former legislator from Dallas said this: “We think in-state tuition is a very appropriate response to the fact that we need more Texans going to college and completing college. We choose to disagree with him respectfully on this issue.”

Bill Hammond and the TAB get it, too.

DREAM Act not related to current crisis

Let’s try to end this nonsensical discussion about whether the DREAM Act has played a role in the crisis on our southern border.

It hasn’t a thing to do with it.

The DREAM Act — which stands for Development, Relief, Education for Alien Minors — is intended to give a break those who were brought here illegally by their parents when they were children. It’s meant to clear a path toward citizenship if these individuals meet certain requirements.

The principle — supported by none other than Texas Gov. Rick Perry, among others — is to give those who have known only life in the United States to become citizens. It’s akin to Perry’s support of providing in-state public university tuition to these young Texans.

Some critics of President Obama have sought to suggest that the DREAM Act is a code for “amnesty” for the children who are flocking to this country from Central America. The actual attraction comes from a 2008 law signed by President Bush after it was approved unanimously by Congress. The law is intended to strike back against child pornographers and other human traffickers by making it more difficult to deport those who are here illegally.

With the border being choked with young refugees from Latin America, some now want to tweak that 2008 law to speed up the deportation process.

The hysterical criticism that gets tossed around, however, needs to be reeled in.

The border crisis really isn’t a function of a “porous border.” It’s a lengthy border along our southern flank, to be sure. However, to suggest that the U.S. Border Patrol isn’t doing its job requires one to examine all the children who have been taken into custody.

They are being held in detention centers. The system has been choked by the sheer volume of refugees who have fled here. It needs serious repair.

How about we deal with the real problem and stop casting blame in search of scapegoats?

The DREAM Act isn’t the problem.