Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick vowed to push for in-state tuition for illegal immigrant students at state colleges during his second term.
Patrick announced the plan earlier this month at the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition’s annual Thanksgiving luncheon. Though no specific details were revealed, Patrick’s plans draw on many of the 130 immigration reforms recommended by an advisory panel a year ago.
The vows came weeks after Patrick won re-election with heavy support from Massachusetts immigrant communities and after a unanimous ruling by the California Supreme Court granting illegal immigrants the same reduced tuition at public colleges and universities available to legal residents of the state.
The high-profile immigration issue isn’t confined to California and Massachusetts. Nine other states have laws similar to California’s, and the U.S. Department of Justice continues to challenge Arizona’s controversial new immigration law.
Additionally, The Wall Street Journal today endorsed the DREAM Act, a proposal that would provide undocumented students brought to the U.S. as children with the opportunity to earn permanent legal status.
Massachusetts advocates include Fitchburg Mayor Lisa Wong and Boston City Councilor Felix Arroyo who will join a coalition of religious leaders today to speak at a DREAM Act rally at St. Paul Cathedral in Boston.
Speakers will urge Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown to support the bill in Congress. Brown, who is opposed to the bill, called the program a form of amnesty. “I am opposed to illegal immigration, and I am deeply disappointed that Washington politicians are playing politics with military funding in order to extend a form of amnesty to certain illegal immigrants.”
Related Posts: DREAM Act: What’s It Mean for Waking New England?; Immigrants as “Jet Fuel” for Jobs in Mass.; Papers? Fairfield Gets Grant to Study Undocumented Students; Bipartisan Support for DREAM Act; Immigrant Education