Wayne Christian: State Rep Hilariously Backtracks from That "In-State Tuition for Illegals" Vote

christianw.jpg
Wayne Christian explains furiously away.
Note: There was some confusion between me and Christian's office -- when I talked to them, my understanding was that they confirmed the red- and green-type in the letter, and they said they'd send me a copy.

I never got it, but they now say the original letter did not include green and red ink, and they did not mean to confirm that it did in our conversation.

East Texas state rep Wayne Christian, like most other legislators, voted for a bill in 2003 that allowed children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition for colleges.

As the hardcore rightwinger notes, the vote was not even a bit controversial at the time, coming as it did as part of a more comprehensive higher-ed bill.

But now, because of the GOP presidential primary which made a huge issue that such bills "provide an incentive" for illegals to come here, Christian is backtracking. Furiously. And hilariously.

In an overwrought letter to constituents -- filled with underlined type in both green and red, for some reason -- Christian says he no way, never ever, never ever ever intended that the bill to allow in-state tuition to illegal immigrants would actually allow in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.

Telling his constituents they "may have received a letter in the mail or a phone call from my opponent claiming that I am weak on immigration because of a vote I cast in 2003 to set college tuition rates of the children of illegal immigrants at the 'in-state' rate," Christian explains "the rest of the story."

Which is basically that "Unfortunately, a big and unintended loop hole existed in the bill." (You'll have to imagine that quote in green type.)

He and his conservative colleagues "have introduced numerous pieces of legislation to repeal this provision since the ugly truth was revealed," he writes (in red type this time).

In-state tuition should only be for Illegals who were in the process of becoming U.S. citizens, Christian says. (Still sounds dangerously liberal to us, or it would if we were a member of the Tea Party.)

Anyway, some highlights from the stark depiction of a man who's realizing a seemingly innocent past vote may now come back to bite:

4. We knew nothink

First and most importantly, this bill was treated on the House floor as a higher education bill, not an illegal immigration bill. The legislation (HB 1403 in the 77th session) laid out who would be considered a Texas resident for the purpose of tuition rates for our state's public universities.

3. It's not just me!

No one thought this bill would become controversial. In fact, after the session none of the conservative think-tanks used this bill in their ratings of the Legislature, because it appeared to be a simple and straightforward higher education bill defining residency.

2. The attempt to re-establish his East Texas right-wing bona fides
In red type:

I was named one of Top Ten Worst Legislators in Texas by the liberal Austin press for my attempt to prevent scholarships from being awarded to the children of illegal immigrants, as I do not believe that any public money should be diverted away from hard-working Texans and their children who are seeking to better themselves.

1. Finally, he inadvertently argues why giving in-state tuition to all children of illegals is a good thing

Because we had already invested your precious state tax dollars in giving these children a public education (an unfunded mandate of the federal government) and they were on the path to US Citizenship, we thought it would be beneficial to our state to give these children a better chance at becoming productive members of society. By allowing them to pay for their tuition at an in-state rate, they would have a better chance of graduating from college and becoming taxpayers and independent citizens that would raise future generations of self-sufficient and productive Americans. It was by no means a give-away of taxpayer funds, as these children would be expected to pay for their education in full just like everyone else in Texas.

It's worth it to read the whole thing, if only for the colors:

Christian Letter


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32 comments
Liz Theiss
Liz Theiss

If you live in Houston and are a registered voter AND oppose illegal immigration visit: www.stopthemagnet.com. We are currently gathering signatures to place two proposals on the ballot in Nov. to bring in citizen-led enforcement. Never mind the politicians they get bought off.

David Houston
David Houston

Read this if you are in any doubt, and then ask yourself why it is that your kids aren't also getting the same benefits...  Your tax-dollars at work people...

"The number of illegal immigrant college students paying in-statetuition and receiving financial aid at Texas' public colleges anduniversities continues to climb, according to state highereducation records."

http://www.dallasnews.com/news...

David Houston
David Houston

If I'm not mistaken they (the illegals) get their courses funded for free anyway.  It's the legals who don't and can't get funding for their children...

Wyatt
Wyatt

" my attempt to prevent scholarships from being awarded to the children of illegal immigrants"

Aren't the children of illegal immigrants U.S. citizens? If you don't like that law that's one thing, but it is the current law, so how do you go about denying Americans the right to collect scholarships?

Duce630
Duce630

Red and green on white paper? Smells like the Mexican flag to me.

Gforde41
Gforde41

 I receive Rep. Christian's newsletter and he DIDN'T send out anything with these red and green colors. Driveby journalism at its best. Do better research.

Wyatt
Wyatt

If I had kids, they would get the same benefits (in-state tuition, aid if necessary). Why wouldn't they?

That article says absolutely nothing about illegal immigrants getting free college. Still waiting on an appropriate citation.

And you know there's a "reply" button, right?

Wyatt
Wyatt

 Illegal immigrants get their college for free? Citation needed.

Smiley Moon
Smiley Moon

Got to have been born here or been legally naturalized to be a US Citizen.  So no the children of illegal immigrants are not U.S. citizens unless those conditions are met.  They are citizens of wherever they were born and registered!

Richard Doll
Richard Doll

  Children of illegal immigrants are US Citizens if they were born here.  Not if their parents brought them here in violation of immigration law.

Rich Connelly
Rich Connelly

 Christian's office confirmed to me the red and green printing.

James Krankie
James Krankie

"The number of illegal immigrant...receiving financial aid at Texas' public colleges..."

What part of that do you find hard to understand?

David Houston
David Houston

It states very clearly "The Texas law also allows illegal aliens to receive state student financial aid."

Consider that it is very difficult for the children of working people (even on a medium income) to get ANY financial aid through FAFSA.  Meanwhile the law allows illegals to get financial aid, and with large low-income families they almost always invariably get financial aid, hence free college. 

This is one of the reasons that places like HCC have a graduation rate of just 10%, and an abnormally high drop-out rate.  Once the checks are cashed (allegedly) some students are long gone, those who at least stay are getting free school.

David Houston
David Houston

"Several states -- Texas, California, New York, Utah, Illinois, Washington, Nebraska, New Mexico, Maryland (community colleges), Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Kansas -- have passed state laws providing in-state tuition benefits to illegal aliens who have attended high school in the state for three or more years. Similar legislation is pending in Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. (Connecticut also passed such a law, but the governor vetoed it.) The Nevada system of higher education does not consider immigration status for in-state tuition, but does require it for a state-sponsored scholarship. Also, some schools in Georgia provide in-state tuition benefits to illegal aliens. The Texas law also allows illegal aliens to receive state student financial aid."

It goes on...

Federal Student Aid

If the student is a US Citizen but one or more parents are undocumented, the student is eligible for federal student aid.

- finaid.org

Now having qualifIied for financial aid as an illegal immigrant, it depends on the salaries of the parents.  Most DOCUMENTED American families [in contrast] however cannot qualify for financial aid through FAFSA because their salaries are higher than the figures used by FAFSA which are actually not very high.  Conclusion: Many middle-class Americans will not get to college, or enjoy the same benefits given to illegal immigrants.

James Krankie
James Krankie

You cannot possibly get any funding through FAFSA if you are from a middle-class home with working parents!  I know because I am currently enrolled at a local college.  There is no money for the rest of us.  I am a native Texan!

James Krankie
James Krankie

You are a troll.  The poster was right to stop responding to you.  What you have presented here only proves that it's true, because you said nothing to disprove it.

James Krankie
James Krankie

That is very unlikely.  Your parents earnings would have prevented you from getting any money, unless of you course you went through college decades ago.  Right now you'd be lucky to get offered loans.  And yes as the poster pointed out there is no money left.  Illegals are indeed at Texas Colleges on funded courses.

Liz Theiss
Liz Theiss

Illegal aliens are receiving GRANT funding that is "first come,first serve" that means when the money runs out citizen students do not have access to this resource. Further the DREAMERs are the target group for guiding into this funding source. The bill adopted by such as Christian used a smoke and mirrors technique bypassing Fed code against giving such benefits to illegals without doing the same for the citizens and avoiding the legal term US citizen while birthing the new term "Texas resident" That was the floodgate.I learned alot about this issue working under a Democrat during the elections. She was FURIOUS.

Wyatt
Wyatt

(slow clap)

Except I think he might be one of those Inception trolls that trolls you by accusing you of being a troll. Damn, the internet can be hard.

Allison
Allison

I am the child of middle-class Americans who went to a state college and received financial aid (as well as a couple scholarships). Shocking I know, but just because I actually got financial aid that doesn't mean my education was free. I still had to rely on my parents and work throughout college myself. ALLOWING a certain group of people to receive financial aid does not mean everyone from that group will receive it. And financial aid != free college except in some rare circumstances.Your arguments do not even follow from the sources and quotes you are posting.

David Houston
David Houston

Whatever you say.  :-)  People should look at all the facts though, and not simply take your word on it.  Fact remains, the children of many middle-class Americans cannot afford to go to Higher Education.  Meanwhile illegals are filling those funded seats.

Wyatt
Wyatt

State aid and FAFSA are not the same thing, you know that, right?

Illegal immigrants cannot get federal aid. (U.S. citizens who are the children or illegal immigrants will have their FAFSA applications rejected if their parents list a fake/stolen SSN.) You've been misinformed about that. I'm not too sure about the applciation process for official grants/aid on the state level. But you're wrong about the FAFSA.

In addition, in-state tuition/school-based scholarships that are open to everyone is not the same thing as "free school for illegals."

James Krankie
James Krankie

Clearly you are a troll and a Mexican one at that.  When did you arrive in Texas?  The poster is spot on.  You know it.  Americans are being stitched up.  There is no money left for kids to go to college.

Wyatt
Wyatt

I'm not sure you know what "trolling" means. It's not synonymous with "disagrees with David Houston."

You never came close to showing what I had a problem with in the first place - "(the illegals) get their courses funded for free anyway" - and in the meantime posted some incorrect info about federal aid.

Plus, I bet you do read it. :-)

David Houston
David Houston

 Going now, don't bother replying, I won't be reading it.  :-)

David Houston
David Houston

I could spend all day picking holes in your arguments, but I really don't have the time to play your trolling game, or to get into a debate on who's legal and who's not.  There are undocumented people enrolled at colleges and getting their courses funded, simples.

Wyatt
Wyatt

 I'm not trolling at all. And I'm not insulting you personally. But you're claiming that illegals get free college. They don't. You insinuated that they can use the FAFSA to get aid that others can't. They don't; only U.S. citizens can get federal aid.

I mean, look at what you said. You quoted this: "If the student is a US Citizen but one or more parents are undocumented, the student is eligible for federal student aid."

And then said yourself: "Now having qualifIied for financial aid as an illegal immigrant..."

Did you not see the "if the student is a US Citizen" part?

Look, if you'd rather fall back on the "Shucks, he's trolling me, I quit!!" cop-out than actually address the holes in your argument, then fine. Have a good one.

Wyatt
Wyatt

 "If the student is a US Citizen but one or more parents are undocumented, the student is eligible for federal student aid."

So, the kid in question is a U.S. citizen. Of course he/she is eligible for federal aid.

David Houston
David Houston

Never said what I am opposed to, just stating the facts and the law as it stands which leads to illegals getting free college, is that a problem for you?  Last I'll be answering you troll, have a nice day.

Wyatt
Wyatt

 So illegal immigrants' children get the exact same FAFSA and in-state benefits as their legal counterparts, and you are opposed to that. I understand. But I'm still waiting to hear about the "free college for illegals" thing you mentioned.

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