What makes this an even harder pill to swallow is that Patrick is turning his back on a promise he made during his campaign.
We will have in-state tuition for undocumented aliens when I am governor.Deval Patrick – WBZTV (4 April 2006)
If these promises hadn’t been made by Patrick, I’m sure immigrant communities and their allies would have thought twice about supporting him. They certainly wouldn’t have been out campaigning for him.
I defended Patrick in January when the press pounced on an off-hand comment Patrick made about pursuing administrative options for migrant in-state tuition, but no longer. Patrick doesn’t want to take the heat that comes along with standing up for justice. It looks as if all his “inspirational themes of inclusiveness and hope” were for naught. Migrant youth aren’t high enough up on his priority list.
I would have thought twice about writing this post if I hadn’t seen another shift towards the anti-migrant in Patrick’s positioning, announced just yesterday.
The Patrick administration is stepping up its efforts to shine some light on the state’s “underground economy.”
The administration on Tuesday unveiled a new hotline for anonymous
tipsters to report examples of employers paying workers under the
table, avoiding mandatory insurance payments or misclassifying
employees as independent contractors.Jon Chesto – MetroWest Daily News (21 May 2008)
Sure, the article says the “task force has not focused on looking for immigrants who are in the country illegally”, but that doesn’t mean that an anonymous hotline will not be abused by those that have a bone to pick with migrants, racial minorities, or their employers.
It’s a lesson we learn all too often in politics. Politicians don’t keep their promises. Call me stupid for thinking that someone with campaign rhetoric as lofty as Patrick’s would be different. Fool me once Patrick. Shame on you. Fool me twice. Shame on me.
Send in letters to the Boston Globe telling Deval Patrick you’re disappointed with how he sold out migrant youth. Give his office a call (617-725-4005), too, if you have the time.
UPDATE (by David): Doug Rubin, Governor Patrick’s chief of staff, responds in the comments:
The Governor’s position has not changed – he supports the issue and continues to believe this is an issue of fundamental fairness and that young people that graduate from Massachusetts public schools should be eligible for the same tuition rates as their peers regardless of their immigration status.
Based on a request from the Legislature and advocates, we conducted a legal review to see if these changes could be made by regulation instead of through legislation. However, after an exhaustive review of the issue by our legal team, they believe that there are significant legal impediments to implementing this change administratively. This is a change that will need to be enacted through legislation, legislation that the Governor does support.