National Review has surrendered to the radical left and is slowly adopting the Obama Regime Administrative Amnesty. It all centers around the ratchet effect, abject surrender, and much ignorance on immigration law.
NRO's resident illegal alien Kevin Williamson, while officially claiming to be "agnostic" on the in-state tuition for illegal aliens, Rick Perry's DREAM Act assistance to illegal aliens, in fact is a big supporter of illegal aliens, and always looking for a reason not to enforce immigration laws, or build fences. Perhaps that would keep out too many illegals, like himself.
I’ll have something to say about “binational health insurance” in a bit, but first, college tuition: Under a Supreme Court mandate (Plyler vs. Doe), Texas and every other state is obliged to provide K-12 education for illegal immigrants. What Texas has decided, under Rick Perry, is to treat Texas high-school graduates like Texas high-school graduates for the purposes of calculating college tuition, including those who were brought here illegally by their parents, with a couple of provisos: They have to have been in school in Texas for three years prior to graduating from a Texas high school, and they have to be on their way to becoming legal permanent residents of the United States. About 1 percent of Texas’s college students fit the bill.[Perry and the Illegals, September 23, 2011]
Actually, none of them fit the bill. The bill states that the student must make a claim in writing that they are pursing American citizenship, not legal permanent residency. And they satisfy this provision by making a legally binding claim with the State of Texas that they are doing so. However they are not required to provide any evidence that they are pursuing American citizenship. It is not certain why there is this provision, as it is both not enforced in any meaningful way, but it is also impossible for an alien unlawfully present to pursue citizenship, except in one very narrow exception. The alien in question must have fraudulently enlisted in the Armed Forces of the United States, usually by falsely claiming citizenship, then admitted that fraud to the military and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). After that, and the policy of the military is not to court martial the soldier, sailor, Marine, or Coast Guardsman for false statements, but to allow him to remain in the service while USCIS then processes his citizenship application, which is always approved. Quite a number of illegal aliens have obtained citizenship by this ruse.
Otherwise, illegal aliens cannot pursue citizenship. They may under certain circumstances apply for legal permanent residency, but they must have an application on file with USCIS, but under the Texas law, that is not accepted for DREAM Act benefits. What is accepted is the fiction of a claim that they are pursuing citizenship. None are and to repeat the claim that illegal aliens are pursuing citizenship is just a dishonest rationalization.
I’m mostly agnostic on in-state tuition. On the one hand, you want to draw a bright line in the sand regarding illegal immigration; on the other hand, it’s hard to blame the kids for their parents’ wrongdoing, and the fact is that they’re here — some have spent practically their whole lives here — and we have to decide what to do with them. (I was once an illegal immigrant myself, so maybe I’m biased by experience.) In either case, it seems to me a pretty small thing compared to the robust border-security measures that are needed.
Here Williamson is just surrendering. They're here, but not necessarily queer, so just ignore the problem. And he wants "robust" security measures, but not a fence, and does not deal with the magnet of jobs, welfare, and a free education. That is why they come.
Deciding what kind of tuition to charge illegal immigrants who have graduated from high school and who meet the criteria for university admission is a very nice, rich-nation problem to have. (Seriously, you’re pretty well-off when your “problems” include college students.) That being said, in Texas the relevant question isn’t what we charge illegals for tuition, but whether we admit them to state universities at all. That’s because tuition in Texas is modest, even at the flagship universities, covering something on the order of one-fourth of the cost of operating the schools. Tuition and direct state funding together amount to about half, and then there’s the Permanent University Fund: Early in the 20th century, the state of Texas gave the universities a whole bunch of land, which turned out to have a whole bunch of oil on it, and West Texas is full of wells bobbing up and down and pumping grade-A education out of the ground. That, too, helps keep the professors in tweed.
The University of Texas System and the Texas A&M System like having that tuition cash flow — and rely on it, to be sure — but they really use tuition as an expedient tool of enrollment control. It is politically difficult to raise admission standards at public universities, but they can only take so many students. Once you’ve decided to admit an illegal on any terms, you’ve decided not to admit somebody else: The number of university seats is limited, and that is a more binding constraint than raw dollars, of which there are many billions in the Permanent University Fund.
I wonder how many of those lambasting Texas for its tuition practices would support banning illegals from the universities full stop — especially after the state has had to pay for a K-12 education for them? And, if so, why stop at illegals? The University of Texas, my alma mater, is home to a very large number of non-U.S. students (here legally), a tenth of the student body or more...
Of course, Williamson does not seem to understand, or more likely care, that illegal aliens, despite age or student status, are still illegal aliens subject to removal. He also conflates university students with children. University students are adults. And illegal aliens are, in fact, prohibited from attending universities in the United States, as are most aliens present legally in the U.S. in non-immigrant status. The law states quite clearly that only certain classes of non-immigrants may legally attend post-secondary educational institutions. In fact the law prohibits aliens, most non-immigrants and all illegal aliens, from attending public primary and secondary educational institutions. Plyer v. Doe only prohibited States from enforcing federal law in their primary and secondary educational institutions by expelling or refusing to enroll illegal aliens. It is clear the illegal alien Williamson thinks that illegal aliens have some immunity from enforcement action once they are here long enough, or attending school, or whatever reason he makes up for nothing to be done.
There may be a reason for that, from the first Bush Administration forward, the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and now Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have refused to enforce laws against illegal alien minors and have had an ongoing administrative amnesty for illegal aliens attending universities. It is clear that an illegal alien like Williamson is not a rule-of-law conservative, but a RINO. Illegal aliens are his people. But he is clearly dishonest when he hyperbolicly asks if we should prohibit all illegal aliens from attending universities. Well, they cannot attend legally and they are subject to removal. Why not remove them? Why would we keep them around in an illegal status since they can't work when they graduate? Is Williamson arguing for a more formal amnesty? Yeah, obviously, but just can't make it honestly.
Which leads us to the real concern of Williamson, it is the Chipotle Business Model:
...and Texas’s main concern for many years has been keeping those overseas students in Texas post-graduation: Dell and Freescale Semiconductor and Whole Foods have the help-wanted sign out most of the time. Likewise, if you have a student who has graduated from a Texas high school and who has lived for years in Texas, who isn’t going back to Mexico any time soon, and who qualifies for admission to a Texas university — it is not obvious to me that the most intelligent course of action is to make it more difficult for that student to go to college, rather than less.
Aside from his sympathy for his fellow illegals, Williamson's other concern is to be driving down wages by encouraging employers to use illegal alien labor. Now it is clear that Dell and Whole Foods will not be hiring all these illegal aliens that are graduating from UT and Texas A&M. Dell, Whole Foods, and Freescale are more or less technically in compliance with hiring standards, at least they don't openly hire illegal aliens like Chipotle and Chuy's. I am certain they are playing games with H-1Bs and L-1s, but they don't hire DREAMers. It appears that Williamson does not understand that Dell does not hire illegal aliens. Once these illegals graduate, they don't have much opportunity other than cleaning rooms at hotels and working dead end jobs in a restaurant. That is certainly not a productive use of a UT or Texas A&M degree. A degree that they should not be obtaining nor assisted by taxpayers to obtain. And given that Texas admits to universities by the 10% rule rather than absolute standards, those who do enter who are illegal aliens are of low potential anyway. They will contribute little and certainly not in technical fields required by Dell and Freesquare. The illegals who graduate will have useless degrees in Ethic Studies, law, or Mexican-American Studies. Useless when competing with the Chinese, Japanese or Europeans.
And frankly, Texas has no interest in the issue of legal foreign students and how they get hired by Dell or whatever. That is a function of the Federal government. Williamson is either ignorant or dishonest here. Texas doesn't issue green cards or H-1B visas.