Recently, Senator Chuck Colgan’s campaign manager Roger Snyder made a comment giving us “Colgan Straight Talk” that is anything but straight. Today, we go to the second item on this list:
Colgan: I do NOT SUPPORT allowing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants
If this is true, this has to be a recent development in Colgan’s approach to this issue, as in “this week” recent. During the 2003 session of the General Assembly, HB2339 was sponsored by Thelma Drake, who was then representing the 87th House District. It was a pretty simple bill, which read:
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 23-7.4:01 as follows:
§ 23-7.4:01. Alien in-state tuition.
An alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, and therefore ineligible to establish domicile pursuant to § 23-7.4, shall not be eligible on the basis of residency within Virginia for any post-secondary educational benefit, including in-state tuition, unless citizens or nationals of the United States are eligible for such benefits in no less an amount, duration, and scope, without regard to whether such citizens or nationals are Virginia residents.
In other words, you can’t give illegal aliens tuition benefits that you don’t make available for American citizens. This passed the house by a margin of 88-10 (Delegate Bob Brink of the House Homosexual Lobby was among those voting no) and went to the Senate, which decided that this wasn’t good enough for them. Senator Dick Saslaw proposed a substitute bill which added the following language:
B. However, subsection A shall not apply if such alien has:
1. Graduated from a public or private high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in Virginia;
2. Resided in the Commonwealth for at least five years as of the date the individual graduated from high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma;
3. Registered as an entering student in an institution of higher education; and
4. Provided an affidavit to the institution stating that he has already filed an application to become a permanent resident of the United States and is actively pursuing such permanent residency.
This pretty much guts the intent of the bill that had overwhelmingly passed the House over Bob Brink’s objections and created a great opportunity for illegal aliens to qualify for in-state tuition rates as long as they graduated from High School in Virginia and falsified a few documents.
This substitute version didn’t pass the Senate, but Chuck Colgan voted for it. Then an amendment was offered that the original bill could only go into effect if the next session of the General Assembly again passed the same bill. Colgan voted for that amendment, also. Finally, after all of the attempts to weaken or gut this bill — all of which Colgan supported — failed, Colgan finally voted to pass the original bill as written by the House.
And now Colgan is trying to tell everyone that he opposes in-state tuition for illegal aliens. He’s not telling the whole truth here. He did everything he could to stop this bill from passing before it came to a final floor vote.
This past year the Senate had an opportunity to revisit this issue with SB1204. This bill, as passed in the Senate had substantially the same language that had been rejected in 2003:
D. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, any person shall be eligible for in-state tuition who:
1. Has resided with his parent, guardian, or other person standing in loco parentis while attending a public or private high school in this state;
2. Has graduated from a public or private high school in Virginia;
3. Has resided in the Commonwealth for at least three years as of the date the individual graduated from high school;
4. Has registered as an entering student in an institution of higher education;
5. Has provided an affidavit to the institution stating that he has filed an application to become a permanent resident of the United States and is actively pursuing such permanent residency or will do so as soon as he is eligible; and
6. Has submitted evidence that he, or in the case of a dependent student, at least one parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis, has filed, unless exempted by state law, Virginia income tax returns for at least three years prior to the date of enrollment.
Did Chuck Colgan vote for this? You bet he did. Unfortunately, so did everyone else, so I have to assume that the intent by many here on the right side of the issue was to get something out of the Senate, have the House fix it, and then deal with this in Conference Committee, which is exactly what happened. A much better substitute, almost identical to HB2339 from years before passed out of the House of Delegates over the objections of Amundsen, Brink (again), Caputo, Marsden and twelve other disgraceful illegal alien apologists, and the Senate rejected the substitute. In the 5-35 vote in the Senate rejecting the House version, Chuck Colgan was among the majority of Senators that demanded this initial language that would allow illegal aliens to obtain in-state tuition as long as they falsified a sufficient number of documents. The bill went to conference, and never got brought to the floor of the Senate, dying an unceremonious death.
So here we have another instance of Colgan voting for in-state tuition for illegal aliens. To top this off, in the 2007 Virginia Catholic Conference Survey Colgan affirmed his support for giving in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.
Cogan’s “Straight Talk” says he doesn’t support giving in-state tuition to illegal aliens, in defiance of his record. This “Straight Talk” is a bag of horse puckey, and Colgan should be ashamed of himself for lying like this. Does he really think his constituents are so stupid they can’t look up what really happened here?
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