College Daze

Of late, more and more states have started finding their own remedies to the illegal alien problem. Leading the charge is Arizona, which is finding that if you simply make it uneconomical to be an illegal alien, they’ll go elsewhere.

But of course, not every state is quite so perceptive. And leading THAT charge is — who else? — Massachusetts.

A couple of years ago, there was a push to grant in-state tuition to illegal aliens who resided in Massachusetts. This was, amazingly enough, defeated in the legislature (but only after huge howls of protest from the electorate.)

Well, some ideas are so foul that you can’t even flush them away. Massachusetts’ governor, Deval Patrick (a guy with no prior electoral experience, but he had served as a Director of Ameriquest, one of the main “bad guys” cited in the sub-prime mortgage mess), has decided that it really is a good idea — and doesn’t need the legislature’s approval.

Under the defeated bill that Patrick is attempting to pass by executive fiat, the student must have graduated from a Massachusetts school or “equivalent,” lived in Massachusetts for three years, and make at least a token gesture towards becoming legal.

The Boston Globe weighed in, too, and both papers were quick to find Republicans to criticize the plan.

This is amazing.

No, not that Republicans would criticize the plan. That either paper would be able to find Republicans in the first place. Massachusetts is the bluest of blue states — the Democrats hold both Senate seats, all ten House seats, all state-wide offices, and 85% of each house of the legislature. This means that the Republicans quoted are essentially irrelevant on this issue, as they are on almost everything in Massachusetts — everything that happens, politically, in Massachusetts can be laid at the feet of the Democrats, for good or ill.

I can kind of understand why Patrick would try this tactic. As we saw in the gay marriage debacle, you can pretty much count on the Massachusetts legislature to do everything it can to do no thing on any issue that might smack of controversy. They were warned by the Supreme Judicial Court that they had to address the legal status of gay marriage, or the Court would do their job for them — and they did. And then, when the people tried to undo the Court’s action, the Legislature threw all of their resources into keeping the matter from going anywhere — because it would eventually have to go through them.

And in the case of the Big Dig, the legislature thwarted every single effort Governor Mitt Romney made to wrest control of the project, to bring some accountability and common sense into the huge disaster. They saw the Big Dig as a fountain of money, a place to feed at the trough and put relatives and cronies on the public payroll. Right up until the sheer ineptitude of the project finally killed a woman — and then they couldn’t give Romney all the authority he wanted and more, as long as it meant they could now blame him for the failings of the project.

So here’s a controversial issue where the legislature tried to take a stand, and got spanked by the public. Patrick (wrongly) believes that it’s a good idea, and he knows that he has at least some sympathy from the legislature — after all, it was a fairly close thing when the plan was defeated. So why not follow the precedent set by the Big Dig and gay marriage, and just bypass the legislature entirely?

I’m wondering if there’s another factor here. This move would add to the draw of the Bay State for illegal aliens across the nation. There is also a move afoot to have illegal aliens counted as part of the census, at least as far as Congressional redistricting and reapportionment of Representatives goes. As of right now, Massachusetts expects to lose at least one and possibly two House seats in 2010. Could this be part of a plan to staunch that loss of power?

The cited rationale simply doesn’t hold water. One person argues that the students would end up being a net plus to the state’s economy. But there’s no requirement that the student actually achieve legal status, just “pursue” it. When they graduate with that degree, there’s no guarantee that they will be able to legally work in Massachusetts.

As the old saying goes, “in a democracy, the people tend to get the government they deserve.” The people of Massachusetts freely elected Deval Patrick and the 85% Democratic legislature. They have absolutely no grounds for complaint about how they act. If they really cared, they’d stop re-electing the same incompetent, corrupt busybodies.

In the meantime, though… thanks again, Massachusetts, for serving as such a great bad example.

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