Pueblo Chieftain buries scoop about GOP lawmaker’s support for lowering tuition for undocumented students

The headline of a Dec. 6 Pueblo Chieftain article, titled “Senator-Elect Has New Idea on Pinon Canyon,” should have actually been, “New Lawmaker To Be First GOP Senator to Support State Version of Dream Act.”

The Pueblo Chieftain’s Peter Strescino began his Dec. 6 story with freshman state Sen. Larry Crowder’s idea, which isn’t so new, for the state to purchase property at Pinon Canyon from the Army.

But the real news, given Republican obstinence to lowering tuition for undocumented college students, was Crowder’s promise not only to buck his fellow Republican Senators’ position on lowering tuition rates, but also his advocacy of a path to citizenship for undocumented students:

The Chieftain reported:

“Crowder also advocated a version of the so-called Dream Act, which would allow lower college tuition rates to children who were brought to the country illegally, have been in Colorado schools systems a number of years and are college eligible academically. 

“If they agree to choose and participate in a path to naturalization, I say, help them with the tuition.”

A path to naturalization! Plus lower tuition! Jackpot!

“A path to naturalization.” I wrote it again to help you appreciate that it’s not a phrase that flows from the mouth of a Republican very often, and hence the news value of Crowder uttering it.

You hear murmurs of support from GOP state  lawmakers for lowering tuition rates, proposed as part of ASSET legislation last year, but when was the last time you heard a Republican at the State Capitol stand up for giving any current undocumented immigrants, even children, the same citizenship opportunities our country gave Italian immigrants, for example, who came to America illegally in the past.

Reporters should find out if Crowder plans to work with President Obama, who supports a path to citizenship, and if Crowder will get on the horn to his fellow Colorado Republicans in the House of Representatives, because they’re the ones who will be working on legislation that deals with the citizenship issue, since that’s obviously decided at the federal level.

And none of them supports any path to citizenship for the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants.



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