Immigration reform focus of Governor Rick Perry
United States, 4th October: Rick Perry, Governor of Texas and GOP candidate, has made his entry in 2012 presidential election race and his immediate focus is immigration reform in New Hampshire.
Perry’s in-state tuition program for immigrants criticized--Perry has been favoring in-state tuition program for undocumented immigrant students in Texas and this has invited strong criticism.
However, taking a tough stand on the issue, Perry retorted back to his critics saying denying education to children for no fault of theirs is a heartless way of treating immigrant students.
Rick Santorum, a former Pennsylvania Senator, said extending in-state tuition program for children is not the right approach for educating children.
Perry’s standing in favor of controversial in-state tuition program for undocumented immigrant children upset many present at the Hampton forum in New Hampshire.
It may be mentioned that a similar bipartisan legislation providing in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants studying at Texas colleges and universities passed without any noticeable opposition around a decade back.
Perry has, meanwhile, refused to step back from his stance despite criticism from several opponents.
And it is being hoped that his position is likely to win him favor with business leaders, independents and Hispanics in the forthcoming general elections, stated a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Cal Jillson.
While affirming his tough standing on the issue of immigration, Perry said that he had vetoed a legislation to provide driver’s license to undocumented immigrants in Texas. Presently, around 1.7 million undocumented immigrants are living in Texas.
What is the in-state tuition program—The in-state tuition program meant to benefit undocumented immigrants living in Texas is applicable only for those having established US residency.
That is to say that such undocumented immigrants who have lived in Texas for a minimum of three years duration, have successfully graduated from a Texas high school and are ready to sign an affidavit mentioning they want to seek US citizenship are eligible for receiving in-state tuition for studying in Texas college or university.
Those supporting the law say it enables undocumented immigrants in Texas who had come to the US as children to contribute positively towards the society.
Opponents, on the other hand, allege such opportunities are being extended to undocumented immigrants while legal US citizens are being robbed of such opportunities.