Reader: Jeb defends Perry on DREAM Act, Florida threatens to move up primary, Christie wows at Reagan library

Welcome to the Lunchtime Reader, where we assemble important stories to keep your eyes on.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush defended Gov. Rick Perry’s support for in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. “I think that is a fair policy,” Bush said in an e-mail to National Journal on Tuesday, adding that the students who benefit from the tuition breaks find themselves in the United States through “no fault of their own.” National Journal notes that Sen. Marco Rubio, hero to many conservatives, also supported Florida’s version of the DREAM Act.

Speaking of Florida, the Sunshine State is threatening to make Christmas miserable for political reporters and presidential candidates by moving their primary up to Jan. 31, which could have a domino effect and make New Hampshire and Iowa to move their primary and caucus to December.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie received a standing ovation and thunderous applause at the Ronald Reagan Library last night for a speech that including references to foreign policy. Despite many categorical no’s earlier this year, he didn’t out right rule out a presidential campaign in 2012, but it still seems unlikely he will run. Note: I listened to the speech last night and it was outstanding. Of course, if he decided to run, the public swooning by conservatives over Christie would immediately change and he’d face criticism over his stance on cap and trade, civil unions and other issues. Nonetheless, he remains a popular figure among conservatives for his no nonsense approach to reigning in spending in New Jersey.

Other articles of interest:

With his presidential campaign over, Michigan Rep. Thaddeus McCotter’s now faces a primary challenge in the 11th District. State Sen. Mike Kowall announced this week he’s challenging McCotter for the GOP nomination.

Observers say the gay agenda is a major threat to religious liberty.

Pennsylvanians are opposed 52-40 to GOP proposal to apply electoral votes to Congressional district.

Matt Archbold slices through the myth of the “personally pro-life” Catholic who supports abortion.



  • Andy Kirchoff

    Also, regarding the federal DREAM Act, the most recent version had far more requirements to attaining eligibility for college tuition benefits than Perry’s bill or any version of the DREAM Act prior. The main difference with the federal legislation, though, is the “amnesty” for undocumented youth – no longer would an undocumented immigrant have to live in fear of deportation merely for not having an ID. State-level legislation is incapable of addressing that issue.

    • Tom Crowe

      Andy— The other main difference is that federal law cannot force states’ university systems to grant different rates to anyone based on residency, let alone based on legal immigration status residency. The Federal DREAM Act doesn’t actually guarantee in-state tuition rates, my understanding is that it repeals the provisions of a previous federal law (still on the books but not enforced) that prohibits states from granting in-state rates to those in the state illegally. So while I can see myself softening to a degree on the question of in-state tuition for children brought here by their parents who came illegally (with major strings attached, including the parents doing what is needed to get legal), I still can’t see how it is just to reward illegal behavior with anything resembling the amnesty some in Congress want to include in DREAM.

  • Andy Kirchoff

    Tom, you are correct to note that the bill Perry signed is indeed not called the “DREAM” Act nor was it intended as part of the DREAMer movement among undocumented youth across the country today (not that it could have; the movement came into existence after this bill became law). However, state-level legislation in IL, CA, and RI have all used Perry’s bill as a model whilst utilizing the “DREAM” vocab to get these bills passed, and there is no doubt that Perry’s bill served as a catalyst to get the “DREAM” movement off the ground in the first place. There also seems to be some evidence that Dick Durbin, Jeff Flake, and others who first wrote the original DREAM Act bill a decade ago used Perry’s bill as a model.

    In any case, my only complaint with Perry’s stance on this issue is his inability to defend this law from a conservative point of view. It’s not hard to show that a non-citizen that has lived in TX their entire lives should be eligible for in-state tuition (as opposed to a US citizen that lives in IL or IN). I also shake my head at his opposition to the federal version of the DREAM Act, but I don’t believe for a second that he’d actually veto it if such a bill ended up on his desk as US President. Mitt Romney, on the other hand…

  • Tom Crowe

    Perhaps semantics, but politics is about perceptions so I think this point is important. I cannot find evidence that the acronym “DREAM” was used for the bill passed by the Texas legislature and signed by Perry in 2001 authorizing in-state tuition rates for qualifying children of illegal immigrants. I haven’t compared the DREAM Act proposed in Congress lately against that Texas legislation, but I would be interested in the differences—my understanding at this point is that the federal DREAM Act includes more than what Texas did. But I’m still looking into it when I have time. At any rate, it seems inaccurate and disingenuous to say “Texas DREAM Act,” as though what was proposed recently at the federal level was exact the same as what the Texas legislature passed and Perry signed into law 10 years ago.

  • Davide

    hey! Im a immigrant to the United States ‘through no fault of my own’ where’s my tuition credit? Oh wait! I was here LEGALLY not over, nor under, nor around a fence that might or might not be there. How incredibly insulting it is for us who followed every rule, who overcame obsticles and became citizens.

    • Brian C

      It’s not a tuition credit, it’s the absence of an added cost that would exist if you were a resident of another state or country at the time of application for college. As a legal immigrant you would also be exempt from the added cost. Where did you immigrate from?

    • rosina

      I know what you mean about coming in legally.
      It costs money and we are able to work AND PAY TAXES AND if one wishes, take out citizenship.
      What is not right are all the freebies for illegals.

      • Andy Kirchoff

        Great,the old canard that “illegal aliens” don’t pay taxes…someone has been reading too much NumbersUSA and FAIR propaganda.

    • Richard

      Davide, the dilemma of you and those like you underscores some of the unfairness of these programmes; that is, the fact that those who play by the rules and wait their turn to immigrate effectively get penalised, while the illegals break into line to get benefits that aren’t available to legal immigrants. I know this for a fact as my wife came here legally and we had roadblocks to surmount in the process. It may not be fair, but it is politically palatable, and certain clergy of our Church seem more concerned about the plight of illegals than anything else, including the saving of souls.



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