President

Letter to the Boston Globe: In-State Tuition for Immigrants

This letter ran in the Nov. 28, 2012 issue of the Boston Globe.

Re “Immigrant tuition plan could be a model” (Metro, Nov. 21): I applaud and support the Patrick administration’s decision to extend in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants who qualify for a work permit.

Since returning to Massachusetts in 2011 to serve as Emerson College’s president, I have been deeply troubled by the apparent lack of support for the Commonwealth’s growing population of young people who are here through no action of their own and are striving to be productive members of our society. Thanks to the recent change in federal law, if these folks have a work permit, then they are now legal residents of Massachusetts, and should be eligible for all the rights and privileges therewith.

Denying access to those young people wishing to pursue higher education, in a state that is home to the greatest concentration of institutions of higher learning than perhaps anywhere else on earth, is, for me, a moral outrage. This is an issue of fairness, civility, and civil rights.

Lee Pelton
President
Emerson College
Boston