Immigration issues continue to dominate the political debate as Texas makes a move to repeal a bill that offered in – state tuition for undocumented immigrants. Caught squarely in the middle of this debate is former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. In 2011, Perry signed the controversial Texas “DREAM” act into law and it was a move that landed him in hot water almost immediately. During his 2012 Presidential bill, critics were quick to question the wisdom behind his decision to back a law that offered educational benefits for undocumented immigrants. At the time, Perry’s response to the criticism was passionate. Perry exclaimed that depriving the children of undocumented immigrants of a decent education would be a heartless move. Perry went on to state that extending these benefits to immigrants would ensure that they would become productive and not prove to be detrimental to the state’s development.
The current situation surrounding the future of the Texas “DREAM” act is grim. A Texas State Committee is in the process of taking up a bill that would effectively dissolve the Texas “DREAM” act and with it, the benefits that it provided various immigrants. The “DREAM” act allowed immigrants residing in Texas to avail of tuition benefits. Undocumented immigrants who have resided in the state for at least 3 years without graduating from high school could avail of the tuition benefit for as long as they substantiated that they intend to apply for citizenship at the earliest possible opportunity.
Immigrants who are looking for the same measure of support from Perry may be in for a bit of a surprise. Perry is expected to make a bid for the Presidency again this year but he may take a step back from the passionate stance that he’s displayed during his previous bid. This move might be largely borne out of a response to some of the concerns that the conservative sector possesses when it comes to immigration issues. Conservatives who want a tighter rein on immigration reform policies might not look too kindly on his continued support for the Texas “DREAM” act. A spokesperson from Perry’s camp has expressed a message that is decidedly more calculated than the previous emotional exhortations that were employed in 2012. Using the inability of the federal government to secure the Texas border as a backdrop, Perry’s representative expresses that the “DREAM” act was an economic response that Texas was forced to make to deal with the border issue.
If you or someone you know needs legal counsel regarding immigration regulation changes and other benefits for undocumented immigrants, please contact the immigration attorneys at Lyttle Law Firm in Austin, Texas by visiting our website or calling us today at 512-215-5225.