Romney Deprives Illegal Aliens of Drivers licenses – Except It Never Happened
The Romney campaign has made an issue out of opposing the practice of granting driver licenses to illegal aliens:
Let me tell you what I did as governor, I said no to driver licenses for illegals. (24)
Indeed, Romney’s television ads also said he “opposed driver’s licenses for illegals.”
The clear implication is that as Governor, Romney dealt with this issue and rejected it. But that didn’t happened. Romney never “vetoed” any such proposal since no such legislation ever made it to his desk. As is common with Romney, he often makes statements completely contrary to what he actually did or didn’t do, so no one really knows what he really would have done had this issue reached his desk.
Romney Prohibits Illegal Aliens From Obtaining In-State Tuition but Allows Non-Citizens to Attend K-12 Schools
Another hot issue during the 2008 presidential campaign was the issue of allowing illegal aliens to attend colleges at the in-state tuition rate. Why this issue became such a big issue is a mystery since the discussion should be about why illegal aliens are attending public colleges to begin with. Nonetheless, Romney vetoed the bill, arguing against it mostly on fiscal grounds, claiming it would cost the state $15 million. (25)
However, contrary to the tough language the Romney campaign uses today to describe Perry’s support for this policy, the reality is that he very reluctantly vetoed the bill:
I hate the idea of in any way making it more difficult for kids, even those who are illegal aliens, to afford college in our state. But equally, perhaps a little more than equally, I do not want to create an incentive to do something which is illegal. (26)
But Romney’s overall position on benefits for illegal aliens does not give one much comfort. He appears to give wide latitude toward a U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding the education of illegal aliens. During a debate with Rudy Giuliani in St. Petersburg,Florida, Romney argued that the law required states to educate illegal aliens:
If you’re here illegally, you should not be here. We’re not going to give you benefits, other than those required by the law, like health care and education, and that’s the course we’re going to have to pursue. (27)
While federal law does indeed require states to educate illegal aliens in our K-12 schools, states are NOT required to admit illegal aliens in our higher education institutions. If Romney was serious about saving the state funds by denying illegal aliens a lower tuition rate, then why didn’t he use his position as Governor to push for legislation banning illegal aliens from enrolling in higher education altogether? There is no record he ever did so.