State senator Morgan Carroll goes against the grain again on in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants bill

Morgan Carroll, a state senator from Aurora, is making a habit of pissing off her fellow Democrats. Carroll made a splash last month when she tattooed Dem leaders in her blog for undermining what she saw as an important health-care-reform measure. And yesterday, she voted with Republicans (and four fellow Democrats) to kill Senate Bill 170, the so-called "Dream Act," which would have granted in-state tuition to the children of illegal immigrants.

As before, Carroll posted her rationale on her website -- and the six comments it's attracted so far are split, with some folks lauding her boldness and others declaring that she's proven herself to be a faux-progressive and has therefore smothered aspirations for higher office in their bassinet. Click "Continue" to read her explanation and the responses:

Statement on SB 170

I cannot support SB 170 in a climate where the state is cutting or eliminating over $1 billion of benefits to the people and is facing a $300 million cut to higher education, which virtually ends higher education as we know it in the State of Colorado.

The plight of children who have done nothing wrong nor know no other country as home is a real one but would not be solved by this bill because under current federal law they remain at risk for deportation and have no lawful path to employment. Federal immigration reform is desperately needed to bring a real solution to this and many other problems. The process for legal immigration in this country is broken and needs to be fixed.

SB 170 identifies a real problem but does not provide the solution. I believe the bill is currently at odds with federal law (8 USC 1623) and brings a real risk of the state being sued -- and losing.


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David & Glenna Gieck Says: April 6th, 2009 at 7:06 pm We want to thank you for not supporting SB 170.

David & Glenna Gieck Colorado Natives

Michael Says: April 6th, 2009 at 7:34 pm So if the DREAM Act passes and you could see that SB 70 (or something like it) would be a fiscal + for CO would you support it then?

I don't necessarily disagree- but which part of the federal law do you see SB70 at odds with?

Jessie Ulibarri Says: April 6th, 2009 at 11:17 pm As a Colorado native, community organizer, and someone who has long been an admirer of your political career, I was appalled to hear the vote this afternoon. As you pursue further political office, your vote today will follow you, as similar votes followed Joan Fitzgerald, with likely similar career results. It's a sad day in Colorado.

Marie Says: April 7th, 2009 at 1:35 am Thank you for representing us, your constituents! So many of us will be happy to sing your praises during the next election. The overwhelming majority of AMERICANS want the laws enforced, and are not for open borders. Thank you for taking a courageous stand. Perhaps more politicians will listen to what the people truly want, rather than the lobbyists!

James Dodd Says: April 7th, 2009 at 7:56 am I know you are taking a lot of heat for your vote on the SB 170. I listened to Senator Baca calling you every name in the book and accusing you of not being a progressive. Having followed you tenure at the capital, I know better. Many progressives had problems with this bill and the entire concept. We have limited resources. These resources should first go to citizens, then to those who obeyed the rules.

If admission to state universities were available to all Coloradans who wanted to go at a cost which the middle and working class could afford, I would probably not have a problem with the concept if there were money in the budget. But, we don't live in this ideal world. With limited resources, choices have to be made. I know this was a difficult one, but I want you to know that I, a progressive - from the days I marched for civil rights and against the war in Viet Nam to my years as a union lawyer to my current work for the adoption of a single payer health system - support you.

Janet Says: April 7th, 2009 at 8:38 am Thank you for not voting along party lines and putting the welfare of our state before politics with your no vote on SB170. Our state is in financial trouble and we will end up like California, if we are not careful.

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