Mass. Governor Deval Patrick creates controversy on immigration

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November 27, 2012


By: George Sousouris

BOSTON, Massachusetts: Governor Deval Patrick (D) issued an executive order allowing some illegal immigrants in Massachusetts to pay in-state college tuition rates, as opposed to the higher out-of-state rates that many had been paying previously. This move comes amid a new federal policy enacted by President Obama which allows children of illegal immigrants to obtain a work permit, and prevents the federal government from deporting many young illegal immigrants who are under the age of 30, and brought here before the age of 16.[1]

As a result of this new federal program, Gov. Patrick argued that he did not need the legislature's approval in order to make the tuition change. He also stated that, "this is a matter of basic fairness and economic competitiveness. Indeed, our Commonwealth is stronger when we embrace the talent, ideas and work ethic of all immigrants."[2]

However, this move was not met so warmly across the aisle. Not only is the policy change itself controversial, the manner in which it occurred has also angered some in the legislature. House Minority Leader Bradley Jones, Jr. argued that this was a power grab by the Governor, and usurped responsibilities normally reserved for the legislature. He said, "Instead of engaging elected officials from both political parties in constructive conversation and debate, he has put his interests, both politically and personally, above those of Massachusetts residents."[3]

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