Last month Ohio’s Board of Regents ruled that Ohio’s public universities must offer in-state tuition rates to students participating in President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows undocumented individuals who arrived in the US before they were 16 to live and work here for two years.
In response, State Rep Matt Lynch plans to introduce a bill that would force schools to charge these students international student rates, which can be double the in-state rates.
A co-sponsor request letter sent by Lynch on August 15th claims Lynch will be introducing a bill to “reverse the recent decision by the Board of Regents to allow in-state tuition to illegal immigrants in Ohio.” In the letter Lynch calls the DACA program an “unprecedented exercise of ‘executive action’ by President Obama” and claims his bill would help avoid “creating further incentives for illegal immigrants to move to the state.”
August 15th was also the one year anniversary of the program.
According to a July report from the Brookings Institute nearly 2500 applications for the program have been received from Ohio, with 62% of those applications being approved.
Back in April Lynch sponsored a bill (HB 114) that would prevent the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles from granting drivers licenses the same set individuals accepted into the DACA program. Last year he introduced an Arizona-like bill (HB 580) that would require Ohio police officers to check the immigration status of anyone pulled over during a traffic stop if the officer has a ”reasonable suspicion that an individual is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States.”
You can watch Lynch espouse his views on immigration policy in this video from a Tea Party event in 2010 where he claims the Arizona anti-immigrant law (which he later copied) would help prevent the “real problem” of “suffering and dying” that immigrants are having on ”the American population.” He also claims that Democrats only support immigration reform because they want a new set of “underclass” voters for the Democratic Party.
Just in case you think Lynch’s anti-immigrant opinions aren’t shared by the rest of the Ohio Republican Party, remember this last bit of craziness: In June, House Speaker Batchelder appointed Lynch to the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs - ”a diverse group of Latino community leaders from different parts of the state” tasked to help government and community organizations deal with issues affecting Hispanic Ohioans.
According to state law, voting members of the commission “shall speak Spanish” and “shall be of Spanish-speaking origin”. Non-voting members like Lynch, it seems, can be wackadoodle Tea Party folks who think Hispanics are an “underclass”.
Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee just launched a program aimed at Latino voter outreach for the midterm elections.