Update: HB 120 is dead. March 18, 2022 – Crossover Day has come and gone and HB 120 is still back in the House High Ed committee where it was returned last year when it failed to see a floor vote. Unless some Kamikaze legislator tries to attach it to live legislation, Pancho Villa is as viable as this ‘Americans last’ legislation. We were happy to have led the fight.
“It was amazing to see that none of the legislators seemed to note or care that neither “DACA” nor “DACA recipient” appear anywhere in Carpenter’s tuition amnesty bill.”
State Rep Kasey Carpenter (R- Dalton) presented the latest version of his legislation to grant instate tuition to illegal aliens in the House Higher Education Committee last Friday morning. He was on Zoom from his car parked “on the side of the road” somewhere between the Gold Dome and Oklahoma. He was retrieving flour for one of his restaurants.
It got wackier from there.
Carpenter’s opener was to assure all concerned that his legislation rewarding illegal aliens with lower tuition rates than Americans or legal immigrants from most other states pay “is not a bill about immigration.” He went on to outline HB 120 with “all right, so what this bill does, is it, it, it basically allows DACA students that are in Georgia, they graduated from a Georgia high school, to attend certain colleges and universities in the, in the college system, at an in-state tuition rate.”
‘DACA’ is the acronym for the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy put in place by then candidate for reelection, President Barack Obama. The action being deferred is deportation proceedings.
It was more than a little amusing to watch Carpenter pepper his online sales pitch with the terms “DACA” and “DACA recipients.” The same terms were used in the resulting Q&A with gushing Democrat committee members who had only praise for the concept in their questions. It was equally entertaining to see the long line of witnesses – one who is currently a DACA recipient and one who was in the past- stand up in support of the bill inserting the “DACA recipient” term into their testimony.
It was amazing to see that none of the legislators (or the liberal media) seemed to note or care that neither “DACA” nor “DACA recipient” appear anywhere in Carpenter’s tuition amnesty bill.
The entire event would only have been slightly more comical if Rep Carpenter had taken the time to hawk his bill dressed in a wide striped suit with a wink and grin from a used car lot with balloons and a megaphone.
In the current version of his proposed law, Carpenter does have wording that permits illegal aliens to pay less tuition than Americans if they meet “the eligibility criteria set by the United States Department of Homeland Security for deferred action in enforcement of federal immigration laws.” Italics mine.
But, there doesn’t seem to be set eligibility criteria for deferred action on enforcement – it is a discretionary tradition in federal law enforcement and (like DACA) not a result of congressional action. Lines 34 & 35 in HB 120 would be laughed out of a well-informed committee. ‘Journalists’ should not be running stories that report HB 120 somehow applies to “DACA recipients.” It doesn’t.
Deferred action is not DACA. Sometimes it is difficult to decide if things that are just plain screwy are a result of ignorance or intent. Deferred action on immigration enforcement is outside of DACA. In the 1970’s, John Lennon obtained deferred action on immigration enforcement. Update/addition: Retired immigration agent letter to the committee here.
All co-signers are not visible online, but at last check with the House clerk’s office, Carpenter’s instate tuition bill has more Democrat cosponsors than Republicans.
As is, HB120 is a hustle that is fully dependent on the oversupply of immigration ignorance on the part of most of the legislators who govern a state with more “undocumented workers” than live in Arizona. This writer started working with state lawmakers on drafting and perfecting illegal immigration legislation in 2005. HB 120 would not have been allowed a hearing in a Republican – run committee ten years ago.
We were happy to post a very critical analysis of the debut of HB120 along with facts the media is suppressing and fully expected to see changes in the bill as a result.
None of the above is intended to indicate certainty that the bill won’t be passed out of the House Higher Education Committee and onto the floor.
I got a sense of the determination to advance the bill in an early morning discussion with the committee Chairman Chuck Martin (R- Alpharetta) in his office when my request for a copy of any committee substitute language was first dodged then tacitly refused.
Read HB 120 for yourself
The Committee Substitute version presented on Feb 19, 2021 in the Higher Education Committee is not online and will not be posted on the House website unless it is passed out. I have scanned in and posted the paper version (with my scribbled notes) I was given by a friend who was able to get a copy from the Chairman’s staffers.
We have posted a link to the official video of the entire Friday hearing and a transcript of Rep Carpenter’s presentation on the Dustin Inman Society website.
Space does not allow a list of all the problems with HB 120. But it should be mentioned that ‘DACA recipients’ are nevertheless illegal aliens according to the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Even the liberal AJC reported that one.
A version of this column originally ran on the subscription news outlet Insider Advantage Georgia on Feb 22, 2021. We are grateful for the space.
D.A. King is president of the Dustin Inman Society and proprietor of Immigration Politics Georgia.