Just when you think the Patrick Administration couldn’t be any more out of touch, it goes and outdoes itself! According to the Boston Herald, a report commissioned by Governor Patrick to study how to better integrate legal and illegal immigrants and refugees into the Bay State has just been released. In the report, there are 131 recommendations made and many of them are not going to sit well with the public and are not sitting well with the Republican Caucus.
Here are some of the recommendations highlighted by the Boston Herald:
• Provide in-state tuition rates for state college and universities for immigrants who have lived in the Bay State for at least three years and have a high school diploma from a Massachusetts school or GED;
• Allow illegal immigrants to access state financial aid programs to pay college tuition;
• Expand access to driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants;
• Require state agencies to provide information about basic services in multiple languages;
• Expand state funding for legal services to help immigrants become citizens;
• Ask the Department of Revenue to study the “feasibility” of creating a tax credit for naturalization expenses;
• Improve access to capital for immigrant-run businesses.
The one thing all of these have in common is they all cost money and in many instances they reward illegal behavior. Now is not the time to be focusing on providing services to those here illegally. Instead, this is a prime opportunity to institute real cost savings reforms and to focus on getting unemployed Commonwealth residents back to work.
This example of Governor Patrick’s misplaced priorities is further proof that he is disconnected from his constituency.