In an August 2001 speech given during a border summit, Gov. Rick Perry delivered a stirring endorsement of a law that passed through the Texas Legislature
In an August 2001 speech given during a border summit, Gov. Rick Perry delivered a stirring endorsement of a law that passed through the Texas Legislature earlier that year with bipartisan support:
We must say to every Texas child learning in a Texas classroom, “we don’t care where you come from, but where you are going, and we are going to do everything we can to help you get there.” And that vision must include the children of undocumented workers. That’s why Texas took the national lead in allowing such deserving young minds to attend a Texas college at a resident rate. Those young minds are a part of a new generation of leaders, the doors of higher education must be open to them. The message is simple: educacion es el futuro, y si se puede.
Complete with a Spanish “yes we can,” that speech used rhetoric very similar to language from Democratic politicians today to support the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act — otherwise known as the DREAM Act.
Perry signed House Bill 1403 into law a few months earlier, effectively granting undocumented immigrants in Texas the ability to receive in-state tuition at publicly funded colleges and universities.
A decade later, that law is the centerpiece of growing conservative criticism of Perry’s record as Texas governor.
While the law has been compared to the federal version of the proposed DREAM Act, the Texas version has significant differences. The law requires student to reside in Texas with a parent while attending high school, and graduate from a high school or receive a GED in Texas after living in the state for at least three years.
An amendment by Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) requires students to sign an affidavit indicating they will apply for permanent resident status as soon as they can — a measure similar to the federal bill.
The federal DREAM Act, though, is much larger in scope, and requires much more of undocumented students hoping to qualify. The bill’s most recent incarnation requires students to prove that they arrived in the United States before their 16th birthday, and requires them to register for the military draft. There is also the so-called “good moral character” requirement, a sort of criminal background check.
The Texas bill was introduced by former state Rep. Rick Noriega (D-Houston), who would run an unsuccessful campaign for U.S. Senate against Sen. John Cornyn six years later. Noriega had 19 co-authors on his bill, which passed unanimously through the House Higher Education Committee, where nobody testified against the bill.
State Rep. Will Hartnett (R-Dallas) was the only House member to vote against the bill, joined by Mike Jackson (R- Flower Mound), Jane Nelson (R- Denton), and Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio) in the Senate.
Lately, Perry has made a point of mentioning how little resistance the bill met at the time.
As the Texas Independent reported in 2010, Noriega said the passed thanks to “the efforts of a very large coalition of businesses, chambers of commerce and advocacy groups. The lone voice in opposition would always be the anti-immigrant community.”
The support for the bill was bipartisan, including some of the staunchest immigration opponents the Capitol has to offer — even state Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler), who’s known for far-right positions on undocumented immigrants, Sharia law and the enduring mystery of President Obama’s birth certificate.
But other Republicans have grilled Perry in presidential debates over the Texas version of the DREAM Act. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said he “just can’t follow” the argument for offering in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants, calling it a “$100,000 discount if you’re illegal aliens,” and a “magnet” that draws people into the country.
According to the Dallas Morning News, last year Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board reported that 12,138 undocumented students, or about one percent of all Texas college students, received in-state tuition.
As the Teas Independent reported, even Texas’ Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst piled onto the criticism of the 2001 law, saying that he “would not have signed that law.”
The National Review Online’s The Corner blog called the Texas law “mini-amnesty.”
Perry defended the Texas law during last week’s Fox News/Google debate. “I don’t think you have a heart,” Perry said, if you would limit access to education for people who’ve come to the country through “no fault of their own.”
Rep. Patrick McHenry: Please, Conservatives, Fill Out Your Census Forms!
The conservative congressman from North Carolina, a constant critic of the census -- one of the people who sounded the alarm about politicization when the
Rep. Paulsen allies with medical device industry to relax FDA oversight
Source: Flickr; Republicanconference (www.flickr.com/photos/republicanconference) On the heels of the Minnesota Independent story last week about U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen’s cozy financial relationship with the medical device industry, the New York Times reported Tuesday that some health professionals are alarmed by Paulsen’s push to relax Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight
Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.)
One of the most conservative Democrats in the House -- a freshman who said he couldn’t support Nancy Pelosi again -- is going to switch over to the GOP. Josh
Rep. Paulsen touts balanced budget constitutional amendment
In a post for the conservative blog True North , U.S. Rep
Rep. Paulsen, Karl Rove the latest to get ‘glittered’
Rep. Erik Paulsen and former Bush staffer Karl Rove were both showered with glitter at the Midwest Leadership Conference Friday
Rep. Paul Ryan to deliver SOTU response
Chairman of the House Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union Tuesday, according to Mike Allen
Rep. Perlmutter criticizes House measure that would eliminate 800K federal jobs
Congressman Ed Perlmutter today issued a scathing statement criticizing the House of Representatives for passing a spending bill that could put nearly a million federal employees out of work. The Colorado delegation voted strictly on party lines, with all four Republicans voting in favor of the bill and the three Democrats voting in opposition. Perlmutter’s statement: “My number one priority is to get people back to work because that’s the best thing we can do to pay our debt and move forward toward economic stability
Rep. Perlmutter to hold constituent meet-up in grocery store
Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter will hold a Government in the Grocery constituent meet-up this evening from 5-7 at the Safeway at 38th and Wadsworth in Wheat Ridge. The address is 3900 Wadsworth. The meeting, where Perlmutter typically sits at a folding table and talks to whomever shows up, is free and open to the public
Rep. Peace, ACLU seek investigation of soldier’s allegations of racial discrimination in Afghanistan
Both Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) and the American Civil Liberties Union agree: There needs to be an investigation into Spc.
School of Hock
A growing number of college grads are defaulting on their student loans as the economy worsens.