Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Linda Greenhouse of the NYT Writes a Story on Florida’s Treatment of Legal U. S. Citizens That Cannot be True

She Says in  Florida Citizens Whose Parents Were Illegal Immigrants Are Denied In State Tuition Rights

Usually one can read the New York Times and know that the story is correct.  This is especially true if one is reading Linda Greenhouse, an excellent legal reporter who regularly writes on legal matters.  But recently Ms. Greenhouse wrote of a situation that forced The Dismal Political Economist to go to other sources because he could not believe that what she was saying was correct.  Here is what she said.

Beginning last year, the state’s higher education authorities have been treating American citizens born in the United States, including graduates of Florida high schools who have spent their entire lives in the state, as non-residents for tuition purposes if they can’t demonstrate that their parents are in the country legally.

No, that cannot be right. These are American citizens.   Florida is controlled by Conservatives and the bedrock of the Constitution and the United States political system is equality under the law.  Really, look at the statue of justice that’s on all the buildings.  Conservatives adore the Constitution and the United States, there is no way they would allow such a thing. 

Ms. Greenhouse must be wrong, a fact which Ms. Greenhouse herself admits.

Yes, you read that correctly – although when I first came upon a description of the policy a few weeks ago, I was sure that I had misunderstood something.

And so we had to check it out, and lo and behold this is true.

In Florida, the policy is the result, not of a law, but regulations handed down by the state Education Department and the Board of Governors, which oversees higher education.

Ms. Greenhouse goes on to provide the legal basis for why Florida’s policy is unconstitutional, as if one had to ask. And she also says this.

the Florida situation is something deeper and uglier. Its victims are, after all, American citizens, as fully American as Rick Scott, Florida’s scary governor, who said last month that the state’s universities should focus on practical subjects that create jobs rather than on the study of such subjects as political science, psychology, or anthropology. (“We don’t need them here,” Governor Scott said of anthropologists. University students in Florida are circulating petitions to have the governor’s name kept off their diplomas.)

 But one should ask the government of Florida and its education commissioner just one question.  Why do they hate America and our Constitution?

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