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Educating Illegal Immigrants

Rick Perry says educate the children of illegal immigrants, all the way to college. Mitt Romney says no. We’ll talk with a Mexican-American brain surgeon who jumped the fence.

A protester blocks a street during a rally protesting Georgia's new immigration law on the Capitol steps Monday, June 28, 2011 in Atlanta.  (AP)

A protester blocks a street during a rally protesting Georgia's new immigration law on the Capitol steps Monday, June 28, 2011 in Atlanta. (AP)

Texas governor Rick Perry took a lickin’ at the GOP debates last week over his policy of helping children of illegal immigrants get a college education in Texas. Mitt Romney attacked that as “a $100,000 discount for illegal aliens.” Perry said you don’t “have a heart” if you won’t educate the kids. And they’ll be a “drag on our society.” Everybody was listening.

Dr. Alfredo Quinones has a special perspective. He jumped the fence. No papers. Now, he’s a Mexican-American brain surgeon.

This hour On Point: “Dr. Q,” illegal immigration, and the education issue.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, a former illegal immigrant, he is now an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, Neuroscience, Oncology and Cellular and Molecular Medicine, and the Director of the Brain Tumor Stem Cell Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He’s the author of “Becoming Dr. Q: My Journey from Migrant Farm Worker to Brain Surgeon.”

Jessica Vaughan, director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, a research organization that supports stricter immigration rules.

Tamar Jacoby, President and CEO of ImmigrationWorks USA, a national federation of small business owners that supports immigration reform.

From Tom’s Reading List

NPR “The life of Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, a former illegal immigrant, may sound like a movie script, but it is no fiction.”

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