With a reminder about Georgia Gov. Brain Kemp’s silence on illegal immigration in Georgia
Carpenter’s legislation (HB 131) creates a new tier of tuition for illegal aliens with Obama’s illegal DACA status. It would be instate tuition plus 10%. Carpenter is calling it “Opportunity Tuition” and the illegal aliens students who benefit would be known as “Opportunity Students.” Americans attending public colleges from outside Georgia would not have the opportunity to access the new tuition tier and are required to pay the out-of-state rate.
If put into law by the General Assembly and Gov. Brian Kemp, illegal aliens in Georgia would pay about $7000.00 per semester less than Americans and legal immigrants who come from other state states to attend full time classes at Kennesaw State University. Similar gaps would apply in all other public colleges where illegal aliens are admitted.
It is interesting to note that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is pushing to scrap state law there that grants instate tuition to illegal aliens in a move to make his state less attractive to illegal immigration and to restore fairness.
Florida Gov. DeSantis quoted in the Washington Examiner:
“If we want to hold the line on tuition, then you have got to say, ‘You need to be a U.S. citizen living in Florida,’” DeSantis said. “Why would we subsidize a non-U.S. citizen when we want to make sure we can keep it affordable for our own people?”
Readers may remember that Georgia Gov. Brain Kemp ran on a tough on illegal immigration platform in 2018, then went silent on the issue in his state after the (primary) election that year. While Georgia does not enforce numerous state laws put in place to fight illegal immigration, it is rare to see the topic mentioned by legislators unless the illegals are painted as victims or valedictorians. Kemp does not enforce the two “anti-sanctuary city” laws now in place here. One of those laws went through the Senate Public Safety Committee in 2006 that Kemp chaired and he voted for final passage on the senate floor. Kemp called illegal immigration in Georgia “a burning issue” at the time.
Here in Georgia, Carpenter seemed angered at testimony against his legislation in committee citing the special treatment of illegals as “un-American” and calling opposition remarks “straw arguments” that were “untrue.” while telling all concerned that Americans can access lower rates if they move to Georgia and wait twelve months.
From the initial hearing on Carpenter’s HB 131, Feb. 22, 2023.
Rep. Kasey Carpenter:
“Thank you, Chairman. Thank you, committee. Sorry I had to bounce out, I’m presenting another bill downstairs in a different category. Um… but I would just follow you up by listening to all that we’ve heard today… there is not a single US citizen that is planning to go to college that can’t move to Georgia and in 12 months pay in-state tuition. If they establish residency in the state of Georgia for 12 months, they can pay in-state tuition. In-state tuition.
What this bill says is that if you’ve been in the state of Georgia since 2013, you can pay an opportunity rate for these certain individuals. So, uh, we are not giving something that any US citizen couldn’t come to Georgia and in 12 months get. Even a better rate.
So the straw argument that has been on display here today is completely untrue. You read it in the paper, you get a email, I bet you got six emails in your account right now that says, “I can’t believe you’re doing it.” And I’m telling you, that’s not what this bill does. That argument does not hold water. This simply says, if you’ve been a DACA recipient since 2013, not that you’ve moved to Georgia, that you literally have been here since you’ve got your DACA, uh, which happened in 2012, 2013, if you’ve been here the whole time, if we’ve educated you, if Georgia’s all you know, then you get a chance to pay an opportunity rate in the state of Georgia.”