Supporters of the measure make all the compassionate and compelling arguments they can muster. These immigrants, brought here illegally as children by their parents, had no say in their families’ decision to break the law. Making it easier for them to obtain higher education likely will make them more productive citizens, who as such likely will be taxpayers rather than benefits recipients.
All this is true. But it does not change the fact that they are here illegally. We should not be rewarding illegal behavior, nor should we grant them a benefit unavailable to legal U.S. citizens who do not live in Massachusetts.
And most importantly, our leaders, when they cannot get their way in a legislature or in Congress, should not take it upon themselves to rule by decree. That is a characteristic not of America, but of many of the nations these immigrants fled.