DREAM Act Advocate Confronts Mitt Romney

By Stanley Renshon and Stanley Renshon on January 27, 2012

On January 18 presidential candidate Mitt Romney met immigration DREAM activist Lucy Allain. He hadn't planned to, but she crashed a fundraiser for him and gained access to the candidate by repeatedly misrepresenting herself as a Romney supporter. Allain says she was brought to the United States as a ten-year-old by her mother, who had overstayed a tourist visa.

When she was able to engage Mr. Romney, who has said he would veto the DREAM Act if it crossed his desk were he to become president, she asked, "Why are you not supporting my dream?" And what is her dream?

To go to college.

Mr. Romney was confronted again on this again in an interview the other day during the Univision Forum. The host Jorge Ramos, had this to say to Mr. Romney (at 2:12, emphasis added):

Ramos: A few days ago, I had a conversation a Dreamer...her name is Lucy Allain. I think you met her here in New York. She was brought here when her parents...she was only ten, her parents brought her from Peru, and she wants to go to college...But if you became president, she wouldn't be able to go to college. Why are you punishing here? What has she done wrong?

Romney: Well, actually, I'm not punishing her. I don't think she should get….

Ramos: You would because she wouldn't go to college.

Romney: Well, she can go to college. There's no requirement that she go to a college that provides a in-state tuition break.

Ramos: She can't pay for that.

Romney: Well, there are many colleges in the United States and there are some that are relatively inexpensive. One can go to a college that is not as expensive as the others as shop for those that have a better deal. I'm not sure what the price is here at Miami Dade, but my guess is that it's not terribly exorbitant, and so people can choose a college, and so the idea that we have to provide an in-state tuition break to people, to allow them to come to college. I reject that.

It turns that Mr. Romney was more right than he knew. This is how the Fox News story about the fundraiser incident described Ms. Allain:

"Allain, a freshman at Queensborough College with a 4.0 grade point average, has made the DREAM Act a priority in her life since she was 10, when she learned she was undocumented."

That's right, you read it correctly. Ms. Allain is a freshman at Queensborough College. So, Ms. Allain is already in college and so is already following her dream. Mr. Ramos is very obviously misinformed about Ms. Allain's status. Clearly, she can and is going to college despite her immigration status.

Yet, there is even more to the story.

Ms. Allain is a resident of New York State and the college she attends is Queensborough Community College, not Queensbourough College.

Ah… I can hear some folks saying. So it's true. She can't go to a four-year college and all she can afford is a local community college. Well, sadly for the amnesty narrative, that's not true either.

Her community college is part of City University of New York system that consists of 24 community colleges, senior colleges, and professional schools. The community and senior colleges are structured so that a student who completes community college in good standing will find a placement in a senior college.

But wait. What about in-state vs. out-of state tuition? Isn't the former less expensive that the latter? Yes, it is.

However, in New York State:

The right of undocumented students to get in-state tuition stems from a state law passed in 2002.Under that law, an undocumented student qualifies for in-state tuition if he or she; a) was enrolled in CUNY for the fall 2001 semester and qualified for in-state tuition at that time; b) attended a state high school for two or more years, graduated and applied to attend CUNY within five years of receiving a high school diploma at a state high school, or c) received a state GED and applied to attend CUNY within five years of receiving the GED.

Oh, and one more thing:

Students about to graduate will be interested to know that undocumented students who attend CUNY within one year of having graduated from a city high school with at least a "B" average, qualify for the Peter F. Vallone Academic Scholarship Program. The city finances the program. Truly outstanding undocumented high school students qualify for full scholarships in CUNY's Honors College.

Kept from college indeed. Ms. Allain was described in the Fox News article as "an Internet sensation for confronting GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney – who has vowed to veto the DREAM Act – during a fundraiser for the former Massachusetts governor in midtown Manhattan."

The facts suggest something else. She is a dishonest advocate who is more than willing to misrepresent her circumstances to sympathetic and non-sympathetic persons alike.

She may be a 4.0 college student, but in my view she flunks elementary ethics.

Topics: DREAM Act