(FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – A state representative has filed a bill against providing state benefits to illegal immigrants, specifically those who attend state schools; however, this measure contradicts exactly what Gov. Deval Patrick approved earlier in November.
Republican State Rep. Jim Lyons, of Andover, believes his bill would give voters more control over how their tax dollars are spent. The legislation seeks to grant state benefits to only citizens and legal immigrants.
Rep. Lyons also wants the state to provide an ongoing report of who is receiving benefits.
In response to a national policy, on Nov. 19 Gov. Patrick ordered state universities to allow illegal immigrants who have work permits to pay the in-state tuition rate.
"The decision we made is the decision consistent with our existing policies. Now the law has changed at the federal level, so that a limited number of undocumented students are eligible to pay in-state tuition. I'm not interested in changing our existing policies and that wasn't a quarrel that I heard before that," Gov. Patrick responded when asked about Lyons' legislation.
Gov. Patrick told FOX 25's Sharman Sacchetti that he did not feel it was necessary to consult with state lawmakers about a policy that already exists
"This isn't about a change in policy. It's about the right thing to do," the governor said.
Rep. Lyons went through the same motions with the same bill last year; however, the legislation did not go anywhere. He said he's never received so many e-mails from constituents as he did after the governor announced that he would allow for illegal immigrants who have obtained work permits to receive in-state tuition.
Lyons' proposal has Republican support, but Democratic lawmakers haven't backed him.
President Barack Obama issued an executive order allowing illegal immigrants, who came to the U.S. before age 16 and who do not have criminal records, to obtain work permits.
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