By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Howie Carr’s non-exposé

Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr tries to slip a fast one by his readers today. In the midst of a sneering screed denouncing Deval Patrick supporters as gay, bicycle-riding (gasp!) tax-hikers, Carr goes after Patrick for supporting in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Carr “explains”:

And by the way, despite what you’ve read, the tuition bill Deval backs says nothing about the “children” of illegal aliens. It only says that any illegal who spent three years in a Massachusetts high school “or the equivalent thereof” is eligible for in-state tuition.

In other words, anyone in the world can get in-state tuition, as long as they’re in the U.S. illegally.

How misleading is this? If a child of illegal immigrants is born in the United States, then he is automatically a citizen, and in need of no help from Patrick or anyone else. If a child of illegal immigrants is born aboard, then that child is herself an illegal immigrant and is thus the proper focus of Patrick’s efforts.

Logically, if you tried to write a piece of legislation aimed solely at the children of illegal immigrants, you couldn’t do it. Helping such immigrants who’ve gone to high school in Massachusetts is the closest you can come, and that’s what Patrick proposes to do.

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  1. Anonymous

    Dan, as long as you don’t address the “or the equivalent thereof” then you’re the misleader, not Howie Carr.

  2. Anonymous

    The way I understand the bill, an illegal immigrant must live in the state for three years and graduate from a mass. high school. The “equivalent” probably means a GED, but it wouldn’t change the 3-year residency requirement. It’s important to note that, as the law now stands, any US citizen can qualify for in-state tuition by residing in Mass. for just one year, so the residency requirement is still three times as tough on a Mass. high school graduate smuggled over the border at age five than someone who just moved here from, say, New York.

  3. Anonymous

    Nah, “Progressives” never use loopholes to further their agenda. It’s just those nasty “far right wing” conservatives.

  4. bostonph

    Muffy’s big problem is figuring out how to get the taxpaying middle class interested in politics again. Yesterday, obviously, most working people deduced that they had no dog in the fight. The fact that Ward 19, Jamaica Plain, home of many people who are, shall we say, deeply interested in the gay marriage issue, had a higher turnout percentage-wise than Wards 6 and 7 in South Boston tells you all you need to know about who was excited, and who wasn’t. Wait a minute. Gay people don’t work or pay taxes? Please sign me up!…last I checked, this state was bleeding jobs and people. How exactly are we better off from 16 years of Republican rule? I liked Bill Weld, but I’d just moved here from Texas. To my eyes he was a Democrat.

  5. Anonymous

    What’s irritating to me about Howie Carr’s writing on this topic is that he continually refers to in-state tuition as “free”.Writing about Marie Parente’s loss this week: Marie was part of what started as a tiny band of solons determined to stop another handout for illegal aliens — in-state (i.e., free) tuition at public colleges. On Sept. 12: ” Deval Patrick and Tom Reilly support (what amounts to) free tuition for any illegal alien…”On Sept. 20 “Deval doesn’t just want to give them in-state (i.e., free) tuition, he wants to give them drivers’ licenses, too.”Yeah, it’s an opinion column but this is a matter of facts, and the fact is in-state tuition isn’t free.I don’t know where Howie’s kids go to school, but one of mine goes to a state college. Here’s his bill for the first semester:Tuition in state: $485General fee: $,1,485Technology fee $700That’s $2,670, plus $3,022 for room and board. Add it up, and it comes to $11, 324 per year.That’s not free. For the record, for an out-of-state student, it costs about $6,100 more.This is a simple, important fact Howie has gotten wrong three times in two weeks. Are there any standards at all at the Herald?

  6. Anonymous


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