Baptist Pastor at SBC megachurch pushing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants

The Young Adult Pastor at a Southern Baptist megachurch is co-sponsor of a bill in the Georgia legislature that would provide in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. Wes Cantrell represents House District 22 and is Young Adult Pastor at First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Georgia.

Cantrell became Youth Pastor in 2006, according to his personal biography on the Georgia State House of Representative website. According to the bio, “During the nine years that Wes served as executive director of First Priority, the Cantrell Family became members of a great church, Woodstock First Baptist. Wes taught Sunday school to middle school aged students, became a deacon and volunteered to serve any way possible. In the fall of 2006, the church asked Wes to serve as the young adult pastor, working primarily with married couples under the age of 40.”

House Bill 997 is sponsored by three Republicans and two Democrats. The bill won praise from pro-immigration and pro-open borders groups like Fwd.US. The group praised the “tuition equity” the bill attempts to create for illegal immigrants.

Fwd.US said in a press release, “Tuition equity is crucial to enabling more talented, qualified individuals to advance their education, which will help fill the skills gap and address key labor shortages, build a prosperous workforce, and ensure that we can create more jobs and boost economic growth. At the end of the day, expanding opportunity for Dreamers and their families is both the right thing to do, and will help grow Georgia’s economy.”

According to Campus Reform, “Georgia is one of three states with laws specifically barring illegal immigrant students from receiving in-state tuition, along with Arizona and Indiana.”

This is the third bill of this type introduced in the Georgia legislature in this session. According to the AJC, “Two bills — House Bill 896 and House Bill 920 — would grant Dreamers in-state tuition to study at University System of Georgia schools. Those students currently pay out-of-state tuition, which is at least three times higher than the in-state cost. A group of six Democrats, led by House Minority Leader Robert Trammell, filed HB 896. Republican Rep. David Clark of Buford filed HB 920. A third piece of legislation, House Bill 997, was introduced by Republican Rep. Kasey Carpenter of Dalton, and its co-authors are Republican Reps. Josh Bonner and Wes Cantrell and Democratic Reps. Spencer Frye and Bee Nguyen.”

David North, a fellow with the Center for Immigration Studies, told Campus Reform that elimination of out-of-state tuition is a financial reward for illegal immigrants. Also, it is a slippery slope for immigration law. North told Campus Reform, that these types of tuition rule changes could make “it easier for illegal aliens to stay in this country and leads down a slippery slope toward no immigration limits at all.”