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UT Chancellor McRaven Wants In-State Tuition For All Texans

Courtesy UT Arlington
William McRaven during a recent visit at the University of Texas at Arlington.

The chancellor for the University of Texas System, William McRaven, says Texans should be charged in-state tuition at Texas colleges, regardless of their immigration papers. That’s the law right now, although it’s become a hot debate among legislators who want it repealed. 

McRaven isn’t one to back down from a fight. The man orchestrated the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, after all. He’s been chancellor of the UT system for a month, and thinks that in-state tuition should be here to stay.

“To me as an educator, I think it’s the morally right thing to do,” he said in an interview with Evan Smith of the Texas Tribune. McRaven said he wants to help young people be successful in college, not to change America’s immigration policies.

“That’s not as important to me as educating the young men and women of Texas. If we’ve been doing that for the past three years in high school, I think it’s appropriate to continue to educate them,” he said.

Immigration and education policy is Don Huffines’ job. The state senator from Dallas is on the education committee this year, and is one of many state legislators who wants to repeal the benefit, sometimes called the Texas Dream Act.

“It’s important that we don’t keep any magnets or anything that would attract and promote illegal immigration,” he said.

Someone in the state legislature has tried and failed to repeal the Dream Act every few years since it passed in 2001.

This year may be different. “A lot of Republicans ran on this,” said Ross Ramsey, executive editor of the Texas Tribune.

“Those from some of the really conservative districts around, including quite a number of them in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, came away from their primaries with a pretty clear message from their voters that they wanted this to stop,” Ramsey said.

Others with strong opinions on the Dream Act include the Texas Association of Business, who want a more educated workforce no matter their immigration papers.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick wants it repealed. Gov. Greg Abbott, who once supported the law, now says it's flawed.

McRaven, a Navy SEAL and decorated military hero, hopes to sway a few votes in a year when every vote counts.