When Elected Representatives are Ignorant of the Law

Part of our job via this blog is to dispel myths and lies about the DREAM Act, and factors relevant to our lives as undocumented students.

In the Missouri State Legislature, Rep. Jerry Nolte, R-Gladstone is sponsoring a bill (HB1463) to bar undocumented students from attending public colleges. Never mind that the legislation is constitutionally suspect in itself, Rep Nolte has argued that "federal law already barred illegal immigrants from attending public colleges…Our state-supported institutions should also be required to obey the law." Of course, the news article did not provide any rebutal to this fallacious statement and the writer probably did not bother to research this claim before print. It is scary to think that such a gross mis-statement can go unnoticed BUT (see here) if you repeat an untruth many a time, you start to believe it yourself, and also convince others of it. That untruth quickly becomes 'common knowledge' especially if the speaker is in a position of power.

Lets make this clear. Federal law does NOT prohibit postsecondary educational institutions from admitting undocumented immigrant students. While higher education institutions are not required to admit undocumented students, they are certainly NOT prohibited from doing so. If you find a piece of legislation that contradicts this point, please comment on this post. Otherwise, you can contact Rep. Nolte and work on his knowledge of federal and state laws.

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