More Deception on In-State Tuition for Illegals

Back in October, I pointed out that the academic study on the effects of a policy of offering in-state college tuition to illegal immigrants cited in the media and by the Board of Governors for Higher Education was so erroneous as to be fraudulent. Now, a comment on Newsmakers from the board’s chairman, Lorne Adrain, has brought another bit of… let’s say… creative interpretation to data on the matter. I’ve cued up the video to the relevant moment:

The interviewers chuckle and greet with incredulity Adrain’s assertion that the people of Rhode Island had shown that they “embrace” the notion of in-state tuition for illegals, leading Adrain to draw a distinction between the “loud” people who show up for hearings and residents more generally. As evidence of the latter’s views, he refers back to a Brown University poll showing that “the vast majority of Rhode Islanders felt that this was a good thing.”
Astute viewers will note that Adrain begins by explaining the necessity of having “sufficient conversation about the question to get a sense of how the people of Rhode Island feel about it” and ends by dismissing a broad portion of the feedback that his board received. His conclusion, apparently, is that the people who take the time to opine in public forums and attend hearings don’t count as much as the 508 folks who happened to pick up the phone when Brown randomly called their phone numbers, because he mentions no other source of information about “how the people of Rhode Island feel.”
In order to do a PolitFact-style check on Adrain’s assertion of a “vast majority,” I found the poll release itself, and indeed, it reports that:

Rhode Islanders show strong consensus on issues of immigrant education: 83 percent support programs for teaching immigrant children English, and 68 percent support extending in-state tuition rates to undocumented immigrant children who graduate from Rhode Island high schools.

In modern usage, a 68% majority is close enough to “vast” to count. But the poll also found that 54% of respondents support a law requiring “local police” to “arrest anyone who is present in the country without proper documentation.” How do these two findings coincide? Well, the actual question asked on in-state tuition gives a clue:

Illegal immigrant children attending college in our state should be charged a higher tuition rate at state colleges and universities: a) strongly agree/agree, 23%; b) neither agree nor disagree, 9%; c) disagree/strongly disagree, 68%

It is definitely possible that some of the people who answered “disagree/strongly disagree” might have done so because they think that illegal immigrants should not be attending state colleges and universities at all — they should be deported. As a matter of the question’s construction, though, we also have to note that it does not specify “higher tuition” than what. It sounds more like such students would be charged an “illegal immigrant” penalty, which gives the sense of taking advantage of a captive class. Had respondents been asked whether illegal immigrants’ tuition should be equal to out-of-state tuition, the answer might have been different.
What’s particularly disturbing about this journey of the data from a poorly posed question to a factor in a public official’s policy decision is the place in which most of the shift was made: by the poll takers themselves. It’s not as if Adrain, recalling a survey from last spring, misremembered the specific import of the question. Rather, the Brown University Taubman Center, itself, took a pretty open question and layered in the relevant specifics after the fact. The question says nothing about “in-state” tuition or “children who graduate from Rhode Island high schools.” Those are elements that the surveyors thought it important to insinuate into the news coverage of their results.
And yet, it is on the basis of this sort of information that those who lead our state and our nation choose a way forward — or, more accurately, that they attempt to justify their own preferences to a nation with whom they share an increasingly narrow set of values.

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joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

My objection is mainly that Rhode Island has been subjected to this situation by a distinct violation of Federal law regarding the necessity of legislative action to effect in state tuition eligibility for illegal aliens.
Apparently it all hinges on the word “benefit”,which the US Attorney has evaded addressing.
I believe a substantial financial savings is a “benefit”.
The comparison of the California decision regarding the necessity to extend in state tuition to ANY citizen or legal resident regardless of residence if illegal aliens get in state tuition doesn’t apply here because California didn’t make residence a factor ,merely attendance at a secondary school in California.
Eva Mancuso has lied to the public and so ahs Mr.Adrain.
They have done so at the behest of the Governor in my opinion.
I am sure some brain trust like sammy or Russ will find that I am just a nasty racist,blah,blah,blah.Yawn.

Monique
Editor
10 years ago

“Illegal immigrant children attending college in our state should be charged a higher tuition rate at state colleges and universities:”
What a poorly worded, completely context-less poll question. It might as well have been worded:
“Illegal immigrant children attending college in our state should be punished by being charged a higher tuition rate at state colleges and universities:”
Possible alternate phrasing:
“Illegal immigrant children attending college in our state, who are, by definition, not residents of the state, should be charged, at taxpayer expense, a lower tuition rate at state colleges and universities:”

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

“Illegal immigrant children attending college in our state should be charged a higher tuition rate at state colleges and universities”
It would have taken me a couple of times over the phone to make sure that I even understood what they were asking. Deliberate confusion is not out of the realm of possibility, considering the source. It isn’t even clear whether the children in question are U.S. citizens or not. And charged a higher tuition rate than whom?

Sammy in Arizona
Sammy in Arizona
10 years ago

If any of the far-reight-wing-nuts here knew any of the kids who were brought here as small children I doubt you would take such a harsh tone towards them. If they don’t tell you that they aren’t regular Americans you wouldn’t know it. They are Americans, they are good students, law abiding and decent people who just want to make a better life for themselves

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Sammy The Democratic Troll –
What “harsh tone?” I have no issue with these children whatsoever. Our society simply can not afford to pay for the education, healthcare, housing, food, and heat bills of every child who crosses its borders. In case you haven’t noticed, we are already $15.2 trillion in debt and rising.

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
10 years ago

Question should be:
“Do you support illegal alien ADULTS being given a state subsidized college education?”

Monique
Editor
10 years ago

Excellent point, Tommy C. We’ve forgotten that the vast majority would be 18 years old either upon entering college or by the end of the first semester.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

sammy-my problem is basically with the State officials who are violating the law.Apparently you can’t read any better than you can think straight.
And FYI they are not Americans-they’ve just been raised here,and maybe they ought to be allowed to stay on a case by case basis-there is precedence for such consideration,but it can’t be expanded to include family members under the aegis of “unification”.
Public officials who lie out their asses need to be removed and maybe prosecuted.Or caned.
Short circuiting the legal process is destructive to the integrity of a nation of laws.

Phil
Phil
10 years ago

AR
Thanks for totally blacking out any mention of the Federal and State Holiday on this Jan. 16th 2012.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Because so many people don’t know who Martin Luther King was…

David S
David S
10 years ago

Phil, what should you expect? Tommy Cranston now carries the AR banner and is the Queen’s champion.

Justin Katz
Justin Katz
10 years ago

Ah, yes. We “totally blacked it out.” Among the dozens of posts on other topics that have gone up on Anchor Rising, today, we deliberately didn’t put one up about the holiday. (Personally, I don’t tend to mark any holidays on the site, and anyway, I worked today.)
But I was just watching some MLK speeches online. Interesting to note that he doesn’t seem to believe that religious expression is inapplicable to the civic sphere…

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
10 years ago

Because so many people don’t know who Martin Luther King was…
Posted by Dan at January 16, 2012 6:32 PM
Because “Martin Luther King” never existed. The man was born Michael King, was known as Mikey King while growing up and NEVER legally changed his name.
Google it.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

Phil surfaces for a teaching moment-gee,thanks,Phil.
Were you at the MLK Breakfast trying to bask in reflected glory like so many of those professional ethnics who show up there?
I guess they forgot to mention Arbor Day here too.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

OTOH,maybe the people running this blog should’ve mentioned the holiday so the leftist nitwits could call them hypocrites.
Liberals are often the biggest racists around because they like to patronize “minorities”.

Phil
Phil
10 years ago

Justin
You wrote that dozens of posts went up yesterday. Patrick’s weak thoughts was the day before the Monday holiday and yours about in state tuition was the only post of the day. Where’s the dozens?
DavidS
Be careful. You could get yourself banned if the queen reference was about who I think it was. The other that you mentioned can write the most hateful and vile comments and will not be sanctioned by the people here. Not even a mild rebuke.
bernstein justwhattheworldneedsisanotherangrycoplashingoutinalldirections.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

Phil-did I sound angry?You and your cohorts here aren’t worth getting angry over-I’m just being honest about the way I think.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

“Among the dozens of posts on other topics that have gone up on Anchor Rising, today, we deliberately didn’t put one up about the holiday.” – Justin
“You wrote that dozens of posts went up yesterday.” – Phil

Apparently, Phil doesn’t know what commas signify.

Kathy
Kathy
10 years ago

IF they are here illegally, they should be penalized or deported. When students who are here legally, but may have worked outside of school for a couple of more hours a week than allowed per their immigration paperwork are threatened with deportation, where is the justice? Immigration is on those who are here legally like white on rice, but those who are here illegally are catered to like some sacred cow, no justice.

ANTHONY
ANTHONY
10 years ago

AR posters (the sensible ones) do not allow Sammy,Phil and their minions to “Occupy” AR. They change the subject and imply charges of racism where none exist. This is a not so clever tactic of the looney left. Speaking of “Occupy” I was in downtown Providence over the Christmas (oh-oh..bad word ha Phil?) holiday and saw the garbage occupy encampment. My niece tells me the tents are empty…..just like liberals and their progressive movement.

Monique
Editor
10 years ago

“Immigration is on those who are here legally like white on rice, but those who are here illegally are catered to like some sacred cow, no justice.”
Simply mystifying. I’m still waiting for one, just one, pro-illegal immigration politician to stand in front of a room full of legal immigrants and explain how his/her stance on immigration is not a slap in the face to them – and to all legal immigrants.
“Christmas”
ANTHONY, the preferred term is “Holiday”. Thank you for your politically correct compliance.

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