Patrick eyes in-state tuition for illegal immigrant students

Gov. Deval Patrick said today he’s looking into whether he can skirt the Legislature by unilaterally allowing illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state colleges.

Patrick’s revelation touched off strong reaction on Beacon Hill, where House lawmakers two years ago defied Speaker Salvatore DiMasi and defeated a bill that would let those students pay the same rate as their high school classmates.

“We have had some legal research done to see whether it’s possible to address that question without legislation,