The Sound of Your Last Name


During the presidential debate in Tampa last night, in the midst of a discussion about illegal immigration, Texas governor Rick Perry defended granting lower in-state tuition rates to illegals as follows:

In the state of Texas, if you’ve been in the state of Texas for three years, if you’re working towards your college degree, and if you are working and pursuing citizenship in the state of Texas, you pay in-state tuition there.

And the bottom line is it doesn’t make any difference what the sound of your last name is.  That is the American way.  No matter how you got into that state, from the standpoint of your parents brought you there or what have you.  And that’s what we’ve done in the state of Texas.

And I’m proud that we are having those individuals be contributing members of our society rather than telling them, you go be on the government dole.

This was Perry’s low point, and it’s exactly the kind of insulting garbage we don’t need out of Republican candidates, because we’re going to get plenty of it from the Democrats.  So the opponents of providing taxpayer-funded lollipops to illegal immigrants are reacting badly to the sound of their last names?  What a vile insinuation. 

And what kind of reasoning is this?  We either have to give illegals discounted tuition rates unavailable to legal residents of other states, or we put them on “the government dole?”  Are there no other choices or intermediate steps?

How about if residents of other states announce their intention to “work toward citizenship in the state of Texas” by promising to move to the Four Aces State after graduation?  Can they have in-state tuition rates too… or is it a privilege reserved for people who broke the laws of the United States to gain entry?

The entire point of in-state tuition rates is to reward longtime residents, on the general assumption they and their families have made contributions to the state prior to entering college, and stand a reasonable chance of sticking around and providing increased value to the state after graduation.  Among those contributions would be the payment of state taxes to fund the university system.  This reasoning might be flawed in general, but it’s completely absurd to apply it to illegal aliens.  If they’re really so hot to “earn citizenship” in Texas, why shouldn’t they be willing to pay the same price for higher education as legal residents of New Jersey or California?

Contrary to Perry’s assertion, “the American Way” does not involve rewarding lawlessness, especially when legal immigrants must join the native-born inside an endless maze of laws and requirements.  We’re told that failed government programs have an eternal right to demand our obedience, while people who break the most fundamental laws of citizenship skip past us to collect special benefits we don’t qualify for.  When a fantastically expensive socialist program like ObamaCare is proposed, its advocates feel free to lie to us about whether it will cover illegals.

If we’re going to have a massive central government that grabs trillions of our dollars, to spend as it sees fit for “our own good,” it’s a non-negotiable minimal requirement to insist that all of the beneficiaries fill out the correct paperwork, obtain legal status, and suffer under the same obligations as the rest of us. 

There is a very clear, if somewhat cumbersome, procedure available for anyone who wants to “pursue citizenship” in Texas, or any other state.  Rewarding those who decide to breeze past that system, because the rules don’t apply to them, is wrong no matter what their last name sounds like.