A shameful, shameful, and exceedingly bad vote in a Senate committee advanced a bill that would revoke the availability of in-state tuition for Dreamers, the child arrivals who lack all but the documentation that would otherwise assure them of a reasonable tuition rate if they graduate from high school and gain admittance to a public university in Texas.
The Houston Chronicle published this excellent editorial about how we have real need of someone, anyone in the legislature’s majority party finding and using a brain to stop this short-sighted and mean-spirited bill:
A Senate subcommittee voted along party lines earlier this week to send the repeal measure to the full Veterans Affairs and Military Installations committee. The legislation, Senate Bill 1819, is sponsored by state Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels.
It didn’t matter to Campbell and her subcommittee cohorts that out of the 176 people who gave public testimony regarding her bill, only five, the Texas Tribune reported, were in favor. It didn’t matter that she and her group heard story after story of young people whose lives will be adversely affected by what she wants to do. It didn’t matter that fellow Republicans told her the current policy makes sense economically.
Campbell and her other Republicans on the subcommittee — Brian Birdwell of Granbury and Bob Hall of Edgewood — are card-carrying members of the tea party cadre that first surfaced in 2011 when former Texas Gov. Rick Perry was running for president. They typify the audience members who booed Perry during a presidential debate when he mentioned that Texas allows young people who are here without documents to pay in-state tuition. “I don’t think you have a heart,” Perry told them. “We need to be educating these children, because they will become a drag on our society.”
Whether Campbell has a heart is not for us to decide — she did shed a tear during testimony from young Dreamers on Monday night
— but we would question whether she, like most ideologues, is willing to use her brain.
As I contemplated, in despair, the likelihood of any leader in the Texas Senate mustering the heart, courage, or brain to stop this nonsense, a song echoed through my head.
A tribute, really, to Sen. Donna Campbell, a craven and base politician if ever oh ever a craven and base politician there was.
Now, with apologies to the Scarecrow, a song for Senator Campbell:
I could sit through a whole hearing, not be all smug and sneering,
Good judgment, I could feign.
And their heads they’d be scratchin’ while
I voted with compassion
If I only had a brain.
I’d make fun of Debbie Riddle for any individ’le,
And others in her vein.
With the thoughts I’d be thinkin’
I would still not be like Lincoln
But at least I’d have a brain.
Oh, I could tell you why
We fear the plaintiffs’ bar.
I could care ’bout things I never did before.
Like the Valley, places like Pharr.
I would not be just a nothin’ my head all full of stuffin’
My bills all full of pain.
I would dance and be merry, life would more parliament’ry,
If I only had a brain.
Maybe click that picture and give Senator Campbell a call to let her know how you feel about Texans who vote to kill the dreams of young Texans seeking an education in the one place they know is home.