Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Education fairness for all Bay Staters

By Zac Bears

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On Nov. 19, Governor Deval Patrick confirmed that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would offer in-state tuition to children of illegal immigrants qualified for amnesty under new Obama administration policy. The President’s policy allows any persons that, “arrived in the United States before turning 16, has lived here for at least five years, is under the age of 31, has no serious criminal record, and either is in school, has a high school diploma or equivalent, or has been honorably discharged from the armed services,” to qualify for U.S. citizenship.

The stance of the President and Democratic Party is that any young person brought to this country against their will by their parents and knowing no other country as home, shall have the opportunity to become a citizen of the United States.

Under a 2008 Massachusetts law, federal work permits can serve as evidence of state residency, and thus qualify students for in-state tuition. If a person receives formal recognition from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, they are automatically eligible for a work permit. The Governor has simply confirmed that the 2008 law applies to newly eligible young Americans.

While this action seems procedural, controversy exists around whether these young Americans will reduce the acceptance of natural-born citizens into state universities and colleges. However, this argument rests on the idea that some people are, essentially, not American.

First, most of these children have limited memory of life outside of the United States. Many of them went to American public schools, learned English, and have led fulfilling and productive lives. If deported, these students would return to a country where they are outsiders instead of contributing to the American culture and economy.

Second, the executive order outlining amnesty specifically prohibits non-productive persons to remain in the United States. The concern of those opposed to amnesty is that it allows a criminal or unproductive element of society to reap the benefits of American taxpayers without contributing to the common cause. A close reading of the policy should quell those fears because it specifically prohibits any persons with a “criminal record” and only allows those who are “in school, [have] a high school diploma… or has been honorably discharged from the armed services” to remain in the country.

Soldiers that have given time, service, and even blood for the United States will not be forced to leave the country that they swore to protect. Students that work hard in an attempt to better themselves — and through that the country — are productive members of society who have taken advantage of the opportunity of America; the sum of their future contributions to America are unknowable, but we will lose that hard work if we force them to leave.


Third, this change will have little effect on currently enrolled students, but it will encourage many other students to enroll. The Commonwealth estimates that about 15,000 to 17,000 residents will be affected by the new policy, and, according to Massachusetts Secretary of Education Paul Reville, “Our experience has been that the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition is a prohibitive barrier.” In-state tuition at the University of Massachusetts is $13,230 per year while out-of-state tuition is $26,645 per year.

The benefits we afford to these children allow them to become far more productive than they could have hoped to be in their native countries. By affording these children with the education they need to succeed in a globally interdependent world, we have done a service to humanity. We have the capacity, the wherewithal, and, God-willing, the motivation to help these children succeed. American children have lived for years dreaming of going to college, getting a job and living the American dream — we have the responsibility to afford them that opportunity.

Zac Bears is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at [email protected]


19 Responses to “Education fairness for all Bay Staters”

  1. Rob on November 30th, 2012 9:04 am

    How’s this fair to the legal immigrants who waited their turn and followed the rules?


  2. David Hunt '90 on November 30th, 2012 9:21 am

    What part of “illegal” is not clear?

    You get what you reward. By continually granting amnesty, by constantly kissing illegals’ *sses, we get more and more illegals?

    It’s all part of the plan – replace the “ungovernable” native population with immigrants dependent on the government, so they vote Democrat. The same policy is being pursued in Europe.

    How the Left Wins Elections by Transforming Nations

    When I brought my immigrant (non-caucasian!) wife to the US, we spent a YEAR apart waiting for all the paperwork to go through. We did it legally. We both joked that we should have had her fly to Mexico and stroll across the border – it would have been cheaper and faster. But that’s… ILLEGAL!

    And as my wife took ESL classes, almost everyone in the class was latino of one form or another – and ALL swore they’d be Democrats when they became citizens.

    I have to admit, winning elections by replacing the population is ingenious. Until they get strong enough to elect their own corruptocrats.


  3. alum on November 30th, 2012 2:02 pm

    Hey Zac-

    These Illegal Immigrants are jumping ahead of Legal Immigrants, getting a benefit that kids who are Legal Immigrants or American citizens who are from out of state and whose parents work every day and pay taxes for years in Mass,and will ultimately take university spots from your friends or siblings or your children someday. “Fair” includes following the rules and laws. If a 30 year old Illegal Immigrant adult has still not become a citizen or obtained a green card after as many as 9 or 14 years, it’s pretty clear they have no intent to assimilate with American culture and law. I wish I could believe you would someday see the light but all I can really hope is that you’ll pull the blinders on a little tighter for the next election and be unable to find your local polling place. Good luck to you and your friends, siblings, and children.


  4. David Hunt '90 on December 2nd, 2012 4:03 pm

    Accusations of RAAAAACIST in 3… 2… 1…


  5. Caitlin on December 3rd, 2012 11:22 am

    No, David, I will not accuse you of being racist. However, I just want to point out that you are both correct and incorrect about two major point. First, you are correct that there is a enormous problem with the efficiency of the system for legal immigrants. The fact that you pointed out that it is cheaper and faster to stroll across the border of Mexico is obviously a huge issue influencing the number of people who decide to immigrate illegally.
    But, to think that granting amnesty to the children of illegal immigrants (who were taken to the US against their will) is only about giving the left more voters? Well, that is fundamentally screwed up. The point of the law is to allow more productive individuals access to the citizenship process in order to better our country. More productive students or veterans = a more productive country.
    Now, yes, there is a correlation between those who vote Democrat or Republican and those who are of certain backgrounds. Perhaps that is a fundamental problem with the Republican party? That they discriminate against and alienate a large group of people? Think about that.


  6. David Hunt '90 on December 3rd, 2012 2:05 pm


    I readily concede that children of illegal immigrants – who, even if they were brought here against their will / unknowingly – are by definition also illegal, have a raw deal. By all means, let us discuss how to deal with them in a way that does not give them an edge over people who follow the law. But blanket in-state tuition?

    Did you read the essay from Sultan Knish? Across Europe, politicians are thumbing their noses at their own, indigionous populations by allowing the immigration of vast numbers of foreigners, who are beholden, by virtue of their immigration and welfare benefits, to those same politicians.

    The Vote Pump

    Lastly, it was the Republicans who campaigned to end slavery – the Democrats worked to maintain it. It was the Democrats that founded the KKK; it was the Democrats that passed the infamous “Jim Crow” laws.

    Video: Bill Whittle – Racism – Democrats and Republicans switch sides?

    Examining Black Loyalty to Democrats

    Caitlin – what’s a working definition of a racist? I’d argue that it’s someone who makes a prediction of beliefs, character, and behavior of an individual based on one characteristic such as skin color, sex, or religion. So the GOP is racist? So please explain to me the utter vitriol aimed at “Uncle Toms” who voice their support for the GOP, e.g., the storm of comments aimed at Stacy Dash for her support of Romney, or the vitriol dealt with on a daily basis by Conservative blacks Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams, or the vile comments made about Filipina Michelle Malkin… all of whom are excoriated for not being Democrats. I.e., groupthink.

    What about the hatred upon hatred piled on Sarah Palin, a career woman, the governor of America’s largest state… because she dared to think with more than her vagina and worship at the shrine of abortion? Or any other pro-life woman who questions that women are more than their “ladyparts”?

    WHO defines people by superficial characteristics? That would be the Democrats.


  7. The Juggernaut on December 3rd, 2012 2:15 pm

    I’d rather give this opportunity to out of state American citizens, as they pay taxes too that support UMass.

    Illegal immigrants should gain citizenship first, begin to pay taxes, and then be eligible, but this is just vote buying buy Deval.


  8. Zac Bears on December 5th, 2012 2:27 pm

    Rob, David Hunt, and “alum”:

    Do you not consider these children to be Americans?


  9. alum on December 5th, 2012 5:24 pm


    No. They are not, by definition, Americans if they were not born in this country (which is a discussion for another day)or have become citizens. There is no need to elaborate. If they were here as Permanent Resident Aliens, as many folks are, then it would be a different story.

    Please tell me how they have magically become “Americans”.


  10. David Hunt '90 on December 5th, 2012 7:13 pm

    If they came here because their parents acted illegally, by coming here illegally, then – by definition – they too are illegal immigrants.

    If they were born here to illegal immigrants then they are, by current definition, American citizens – but we’re not talking about birthright citizenship (though IMHO we should).

    Does that mean we a priori deport them? No. Especially if they are attempting to assimilate and be productive citizens. But it DOES mean that they should NOT be rewarded for not getting caught.

    Whatever is done needs to be done in a way that doesn’t put them ahead of American citizens, and immigrants who took the time and had the care (e.g., my wife) to do it LEGALLY. AND… in such a way that we aren’t back in this same situation in another decade.


  11. txr on December 6th, 2012 2:37 am

    What’s the difference between a legal immigrant and an illegal one? The legal one filled out a lot of expensive paperwork, followed a complex application process, and got lucky (because the number of green cards offered each year is limited, so there is an element of luck involved in getting one). So why do we assume that being a legal immigrant makes you better than being an illegal one? All it really means is that you had the time and money to deal with US immigration bureaucracy. It doesn’t mean you’re more hard-working, or smarter, or better in any way.

    If people are coming here illegally, maybe the problem is not them, but the law that makes it too hard for them to come here legally.


  12. The Juggernaut on December 6th, 2012 2:59 pm

    No txr;

    Being a legal immigrant means you have to know a substantial amount of US history and culture. More importantly it means, unlike the cowards who sneak across, you must pay tax and register for the draft.

    That means financial sacrifice, and possible physical sacrifice, for their new nation, rather than taking advantage of the social services offered by it.


  13. txr on December 7th, 2012 1:46 am

    Crossing a heavily patrolled border, after passing through territory controlled by Mexican drug lords, and starting a new life in a country where you have no rights and have to live in fear that the police might find you and deport you at any time – that’s not what I would call cowardly. If anything, it’s the opposite: it’s reckless.

    Registering for the draft is meaningless, as the draft hasn’t been used in decades and isn’t likely to be used again any time soon. As for learning about US history and culture and paying tax, I’m sure every single illegal immigrant would be EXTREMELY happy to do those things in exchange for a green card.

    Don’t believe me? Let’s put it to the test. Let’s have a law that gives all illegal immigrants amnesty in exchange for them doing the things you listed (paying tax – which they’d have to do anyway as legal residents – registering for the draft, and taking a course on US history and culture and passing the exams at the end). I bet they would line up for this program in droves.

    In fact, I bet that if the US simply allowed in anyone willing to pay taxes, register for the draft and take a course on US history and culture, there would be no more illegal immigration.


  14. txr on December 7th, 2012 2:02 am

    Look, the fact is that it’s almost impossible to move to the US legally unless you (a) have family here or are marrying an American, (b) have a job in the US lined up and waiting for you, or (c) have already been admitted to a US educational institution. Also, the Immigration and Naturalization Act enforces a limit of 675,000 permanent legal immigrants per year (with some exceptions for family members). So even IF you meet the criteria for becoming a legal immigrant, you might still not be allowed to come here because the limit has already been reached.

    Here’s a description of current US immigration policy:

    So is there any wonder that people come here illegally? If you just want to move to the US and become a productive member of American society, but you don’t really know anyone here (so you don’t have family members or a job offer), current rules PROHIBIT you from entering the US legally.


  15. David Hunt '90 on December 7th, 2012 9:50 am

    txr: So what’s your point? To allow anyone and everyone who wants to come to the US in?


  16. txr on December 8th, 2012 5:20 pm

    Anyone who doesn’t have a criminal record and passes a background check, yes.

    It’s not a new idea. Before the 1920s, the US allowed in almost everyone who could get on a boat to New York.


  17. David Hunt '90 on December 9th, 2012 9:02 am

    We will have to agree to disagree on that, then.


  18. mason on December 9th, 2012 6:17 pm

    I wish the Daily Collegian would ban david hunt from partcipating in the comments sections. He manages to distract and divert every article, so the majority of the discussion involves an angry middle-aged alumni opposed to a discussion taking place between informed and polite students.


  19. The Juggernaut on December 18th, 2012 7:26 pm


    Bravery and stupidity are two different things. Criminals are the second.


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