by Max Brantley
State Rep. Justin Harris has proved a worthy successor to Moonbeam Mark Martin in the legislative district the expense-account grubbing Martin left to become secretary of state. He's a tax-cutter and government-expense cutter, of course. And immigrants? He doesn't have much use for the undocumented variety, you may be sure. He's sponsored HB 1008 to prevent Arkansas high school graduates with sterling records from qualifying for in-state tuition at Arkansas colleges — unlike students of similar but non-resident stature from Texas, Oklahoma and others.
The BHD Award of the day goes to Rep. Justin Harris.
He makes a supplementary living off a religion-based daycare center, Growing God's Kingdom, which, according to reporting by Blue Hog Report, receives more than 90 percent of its $900,000 in revenue from state and federal government funding. Taxpayers, in other words.
But wait. That's not all. Among the children he's receiving reimbursement for are, drum roll, perhaps a dozen dastardly undocumented immigrants. (This is legal and proper, by the way, he just doesn't want colleges to be able to do the same.)
Jason Tolbert's occasional even-handedness is lost in this report. Harris' blithering, hypocritical dickishness is minimized in favor of the fact that the University of Arkansas — which supports in-state tuition for bona fide Arkansas residents who qualify regardless of their immigration papers — has informed Harris he looks a little Mark Martinish by pushing his legislation while profiting from potential "illegals" himself — and at taxpayers' expense besides. Politics ain't beanbag, Jason. If there was ever fair game, Justin Harris is it.
UPDATE: This stuff is just plain vanilla — if bodacious — hypocrisy compared with some of the truly strange past history amassed by Harris, according to Blue Arkansas. Strange rules at the daycare, bizarre threats against a political opponent and more.
UPDATE II: I asked Harris for comment and one of his right-wing defenders as well. No response. A commenter has suggested that the children at issue here may be legal, but simply have no documents proving that on file. Of course, Harris is demanding a higher standard than he meets from the University of Arkansas. Hypocrisy still applies. But I don't want to say he knew, or needed to know, anyone was present in the U.S. illegally, whether they are or not. He should be equally accepting of universities.