The ongoing debate surrounding the rights of undocumented students has taken an interesting twist in Massachusetts, where Governor Deval Patrick, has taken a firmer stance on the issue. The issue in Massachusetts centers on whether undocumented Massachusetts students should continue to pay out of state tuition at the state’s universities. Twelve states, including California and Illinois allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition.
Patrick, citing an increase in state revenues and also a chance to help longtime residents, has urged the state legislature to change the current law and allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition. Patrick’s latest move is in keeping with his overall firmer approach to the immigration issue in Massachusetts. Last month, he rejected the Secure Communities program because he felt it was unfairly deporting immigrants without criminal histories. It is estimated that Massachusetts has over 14,000 undocumented students under the age of 18, less than 2% of all public school enrollment.