Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Tuition Breaks For Illegal Aliens?

Many of you are probably wondering why I have yet to chime in on the pending legislation on Beacon Hill that would grant in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens looking to attend state colleges in Massachusetts. Truth is, I had to wait for the blood pressure medication to kick in, so that I might stop pulling my hair out, freeing up my hands to type this post.

I'll spare you the excessive cut-n-paste job here. If you want more background information on this, here are some recent local news stories/columns on this matter.

Boston Globe - Reilly, Romney spar over immigrant tuition bill
Boston Herald - Healey, Reilly face off on tuition breaks
Boston Globe - Healey tuition remarks draw outrage
Boston Globe (editorial) - Educating immigrants

I want to focus here on the actual text of the bill - Senate 764. I strongly suspected the above-referenced Boston Globe pieces wouldn't be providing all the information necessary to form a valid opinion on this subject.

SENATE, No. 764

By Mr. Barrios...

Jesus, I'm not three words in, and it's already setting off my Raging Bullshit Detector.

...a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 764) of Jarrett T. Barrios, Marie P. St. Fleur, Deborah D. Blumer, Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr. and other members of the General Court for legislation relative to in-state tuition rates and fees at public higher education institutions.

No mention yet of illegal aliens. I'm sure they're not trying to hide anything. Why, they wouldn't do that, would they? I mean, the Massachusetts General Court has long been a pillar of arrogance and corruption openness and ethical transparency.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:


Section 9 of chapter 15A of the General Laws, as most recently amended by section 52 of chapter 26 of the Acts of 2003, is hereby further amended by adding the following paragraph:

Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, for the purpose of determining eligibility for in-state tuition rates and fees at public institutions of higher education, except the University of Massachusetts Medical School,

Blah, blah, blah, let's get right to it.

...any individual, other than a non-immigrant alien within the meaning of paragraph 15 of subsection (a) of Section 1101 of Title 8 of the United States Code, who has attended high school in the commonwealth for 3 or more years and has achieved graduation from a high school in the commonwealth or attained the equivalent thereof, shall be eligible for in-state tuition rates and fees at the University of Massachusetts, or any state or community college.

"The equivalent thereof". Well, there's certainly no gray area there. I'm sure there isn't a single judge in Massachusetts who would interpret that as granting eligibility to anyone carrying a diploma from Sao Paulo High. Nope.

To anyone reading this who might be new around here, that was sarcasm.

Don't think for one second that the inclusion of the phrasing "the equivalent thereof" was a mere oversight on the part of the drafters of this piece of crap bill. The assholes who write legislation like this are all highly skilled lawyers who review every letter of every word and every piece of punctuation used therein.

This bill is a traveshamockery of epic proportion. Let's read a little more, though, shall we.

In the case of an individual who is not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States...

(also known as illegal aliens)

...the individual shall provide the University of Massachusetts, or the state or community college with an affidavit stating that the individual has filed an application to become a citizen or permanent resident of the United States...

You got that? All they have to do to be eligible for this handout is "file an application" for citizenship or legal residency status. Attorney General Tom Reilly is quick to point out that the people who will benefit from this bill have "already begun the process of becoming legal citizens".

News flash for you, Tom. "Beginning" and "completing" a process that involves multiple layers of governmental paperwork and bureaucracy - are, for all intents and purposes, polar opposites of one another.

Further, do you mean to tell me, Tom, that I wasted 106 days waiting for my gun license to show up before going out and buying a handgun? Shit, Tom, I had already "begun the process" of obtaining a gun permit the day I picked up the fucking application over a year ago.

This guy Reilly would piss on your leg and tell you it's raining. And he wants to be governor? Shit, and I though this was scary.

Don't despair, dear readers. It gets worse.

...or shall file an application at the earliest opportunity the individual is eligible to do so.

It pays to read these things all the way through. Apparently, this bill would make illegal aliens eligible for in-state tuition who aren't even eligible to apply for citizenship. So much for Reilly's key talking point.

Reilly and the editorial staff at the Boston Globe are either idiotic liars or lying idiots. Six of one, half-dozen of another - take your pick. I'm going with "C" (all of the above).