September 24, 2011

In-State Tuition for Illegal Aliens: The Misinformation and Non-Responsive Justifications Persist

Monique Chartier

On Thursday morning, a member of the Board of Governors for Higher Education, Attorney Eva Mancuso, appeared on WPRO's John Depetro Show to explain why the BOG was considering extending in-state college tuition to illegal alien students.

Unfortunately, her answers fell short in a couple of key areas.

Asked by her host why the BOG would even consider such a policy, Attorney Mancuso referenced that infinitely elastic yet highly selective quality of fairness. "Infinitely elastic" because there are no end of government policies that could be implemented and tax dollars that could be spent in its pursuit. "Strangely narrow" in this case because fairness is sought only for one group of college-aged students. How is it fair to require out-of-state students to pay a much higher tuition than in-state ones? How is it remotely fair to give such preferential treatment to illegal aliens but not to legal immigrants? Wherever they reside (in state or not), the latter group immigrated here the right way, in conformance with our laws. If it's "fair" to reward illegal aliens with in-state tuition (and it is a reward, however else advocates wish to portray it), on that basis, how much more do we owe legal immigrants?

Asked by yours truly about the substantial tuition shortfall that would be generated by each additional student to receive this benefit, Attorney Mancuso stated that out-of-state tuition would pick up this shortfall.

This is false.

Before describing why it is false, we should pause to note here that, with this statement, it appears that the Board of Governors has changed their position as to the cost of this initiative and is now acknowledging that there would, indeed, be a cost attendant to it.

Now the question becomes, who would pick up this cost?

Returning to Attorney Mancuso's statement, undoubtely, out-of-state tuition picks up a percentage of the current shortfall of in-state tuition. However, state taxpayers also pick up a substantial portion of that shortfall, demonstrating that current receipts from out-of-state tution does not remotely cover the current shortfall.

Does the BOG intends to expand one for one the number of out-of-state students who attend state colleges so as to partially defray each of the new in-state tution paying illegal alien students admitted? Presumably not.

It is safe to conclude, then, that Rhode Island taxpayers would have to pick up 100% of the cost of expanding the number of students receiving in-state tution.

It appears that, in considering and discussing this proposed new policy, for whatever reason, the Board of Governors had failed to sufficiently inform themselves as to its cost and the source of its requisite funding. Now that some of these facts have become clearer, they would be wise to reconsider implementing the policy.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Rick Perry defended his support for Texas’s in-state-tuition policy for illegal aliens in Thursday night’s Republican debate:

"If you say that we should not educate children who come into our state for no other reason than that they’ve been brought there through no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart.”

Posted by: Sammy in Arizona at September 24, 2011 2:52 PM

Interesting thing about having a heart... much of it depends where your eyes are looking.

The other week, I couldn't afford $10 for the official Town of Tiverton garbage bags that would allow me to dispose of my rubbish (a service for which I already pay via property taxes). That's not an exaggeration. After paying the bills that were due immediately and depositing all pay checks, we didn't have $10 for five 30-gallon garbage bags.

That includes change, because I've already poured all of the quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies from drawers, dryer, and couch cushions into the machine at the bank. The Katz family just did not have $10 for a package of bags... or even the $2 that would have been necessary if they were available on a per-bag basis.

Now, I don't know what the ultimate cost of in-state tuition for illegal immigrants will be for my household, but it's at least plausible that it will wind up being the difference between disposing of the ~30 gallons of non-recyclable trash that my family creates each week or not disposing of it.

Does your having a heart require that my family collects garbage (and rats) on our property for lack of resources to dispose of it so that families that couldn't be bothered to follow immigration laws can send their children for bachelors' degrees at a subsidized rate?

Posted by: Justin Katz at September 24, 2011 5:44 PM

Dontch'a love it how the left wing phonies like phil,sammy and russ jump on a particular statement by someone they hate to make a point?
I personally don't rely on left wing scum to validate anything I believe.
One note:Nat Hentoff is often considered left wing and I often appreciate his point of view.
Personally,I think he's a left leaning libertarian,so that's different from the party line pukes we get treated to here.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 24, 2011 7:03 PM

Progressives either don't understand or don't acknowledge the concept of opportunity cost. They see only the value of what government creates, not the value of what could have been created in its absence.

Posted by: Dan at September 24, 2011 8:53 PM


Nice hearing from you. I hope all is well.

Posted by: Phil at September 24, 2011 11:01 PM

"I personally don't rely on left wing scum to validate anything I believe."

H'mmm. Interesting point.

Posted by: Monique at September 25, 2011 7:32 AM

My son-in-law respects our laws on immigration enough to follow them. He does not wish to commit a crime by breaking into our country. He is also very upset that our country just lets these B&E artists steel from this country and we sit back and take it. It's not a matter of hate, it's a matter of following the law. Shame on the law breakers, shame on the law makers for letting this happen and putting our citizenry in danger.

Posted by: Kathy Santos at September 25, 2011 12:26 PM

phil-I could care less about hearing from you and how things are going is nothing I'd share with you anyway,you phony.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 25, 2011 1:49 PM

If there is a finite amount of money available via taxes to cover the tuition break for instate students, then doesn't it follow that being "fair" to illegal alien students will cause "unfairness" to some other group? Government, in my opinion, shouldn't be in the "fairness" game. They should be in the "lawful/unlawful" game. Life is not fair. Choices matter and they cause consequences, and while a child who didn't chose to come here unlawfully is deserving of pity, I don't think they are deserving of special opportunities that are only lawfully due legal citizens. Their "unfair" predicament is entirely the result of choices their parents made to break the law. Taxpayers shouldn't be forced to make up for that choice.

Posted by: Bucket Chick at September 25, 2011 10:09 PM

Here's a little talked about unintended consequence that I heard today. If the policy is modeled after the California law, then any out of state student who attends private school in Rhode Island for the minimum three years is also eligible for in state tuition. I'd rather be called heartless thank you.

Posted by: Max Diesel at September 26, 2011 7:55 PM

What's in a name?
I notice that Justin refers to "illegal immigrants" as opposed those who refer to them by the pejorative term, "illegal aliens". Justin is usually careful about his word choices. I'd like to hear more from him about it. Could it possibly show a wedge between him and Monique?

Justin, I don't hang on your every word, but I'd love to hear you expound on your word choice here!

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at September 27, 2011 1:51 AM

OTL-the term "illegal alien"derives directly from Title 8 of the US Code.
"Immigrant"specifically refers to "lawfully admitted permanent residents"and no one else.
The "pejorative" nature of the term,as you put it has been promoted by people like you.
In it's legal meaning,it's descriptive,nothing more or less.
You could reference Title 8,but I guess that would be too educational for you.
You just don't like being confused by the facts.
"Undocumented"is an invented conversational term with no legal significance.
People like you are always braying about the "law of the land"whenever it's convenient.Otherwise,you prefer to ignore it.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 27, 2011 8:12 AM

Thanks for your comments. I still love you, but I was hoping to hear from Justin on this. Obviously, you missed both the point of my comment and to whom it was directed.

As to what's legal and what's underlying the language, I will remind you that Jim Crow laws were once "legal". It didn't make them right or proper.

Your Pal

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at September 27, 2011 12:13 PM

OTL-you ahve presented a serious question-namely Jim Crow laws.
Here's the difference-those laws always violated the 13th,14th,and 15th amendments and it took FAR too long to get to that conclusion.
Most on this site don't have the experience in real time,so it's old farts like us that have to discuss this.
Immigration laws have been even WORSE than Jim Crow stuff in the past,but that is long,long gone.
Nowadays they are just normal adherence to Constitutional common sense.
Take some(truly) friendly advice-don't look for race poison where it doesn't exist.
It's out there,but most normal people know it for the dogsh*t it is.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 27, 2011 2:57 PM


It's sad that you are trying to drive a wedge with semantics between Justin and Monique. I'll go one better: illegal
alien invaders.

Your idea about the Jim Crow laws is invalid because black Americans were brought here enslaved against their will. There is no comparison. Illegal alien invaders come here of their own free will.

They also transmit their utter contempt for us as a people,for our laws and for our nation to their children.

Posted by: helen at September 27, 2011 10:43 PM

I must amend my comment about black Americans being brought against their will. It was not precise enough. In the past the enslaved blacks were brought against their will.

Posted by: helen at September 27, 2011 10:48 PM


Those mandates are a kicker! Probably well intentioned environmentalists who want everything green causing unintended consequences.

I share your concern about rats after seeing what my super cat ratter brought home as "prizes". Some of them were big as baby puppies. Disease carriers,biters of babies,rats are to be feared.

I want to make one other point here. Last week I purchased two whole Perdue chickens,almost four pounds of hamburger and 25.5 ozs.of Berio olive oil for around $20. Think of the food that provides for a family in comparison to the cost of the mandated trash bags.

Posted by: helen at September 29, 2011 8:21 PM
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