Maybe it's just people steeped in Aggie stereotypes who hold their breath when hearing Texas A&M is wading into something like the debate on illegal immigration, but it's certain that breath is being held. (In terms of political discussion, after all, A&M is the school that gave us the doctor bragging of laying off an Obama supporter.)
So when three student senators announced they planned to ask the Student Senate to "oppose measures to give in-state tuition to persons residing in the United States illegally," well-reasoned debate, or the chance of not going Full Arizona ASAP, seemed small.
"The outpouring of support for this bill from the student body has been encouraging," said Steven Crumpley, an "off-campus" senator, told Hair Balls by e-mail yesterday. "But it has also caused quite a stir on campus, which is good. We welcome student input and participation."
Last night the bill came up before a packed room and....senators basically decided they didn't know enough about the issue to vote on it.
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Which is a good thing.
The Bryan-College Station Eagle reports senators sent the bill to a committee after "an emotionally charged but respectful debate."
"This isn't a financial issue. This is about what's right and what's fair," said Justin Pulliam, one of 10 co-sponsors of the bill. "It isn't fair to out-of-state citizens who are here legally."
Others disagreed, and some didn't think the issue was appropriate for student government.
"This is an immigration issue," said student senator Taylor Barron. "It does not belong in the student senate."
A 2001 bill allows the children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition in Texas, which is about a quarter of the out-of-state tuition of about $20,000, the Eagle says.