More States Grant In-State Tuition To Immigrants

Career College Central summary.

  • Supporters of immigrants’ rights are energized because after years of contentious fights, New Jersey and three other states have passed statutes that will allow such students who came to the U.S. when they were minors to pay in-state tuition. Fifteen states now have such a statute, said Ann Morse of the National Conference of State Legislatures. In addition, university boards in Hawaii, Michigan and Rhode Island have granted these students in-state tuition. To qualify, high school graduates typically must meet requirements such as living in a state for a set number of years.
  • Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Mississippi, New Hampshire and Virginia have bills under consideration that would extend the in-state benefit, said Tanya Broder, a senior attorney with the National Immigration Law Center. Supporters next plan to step up lobbying on a related issue: making these students eligible for state financial aid, including scholarships or grants. Already, California, New Mexico and Texas have laws spelling out this right, and it is under consideration in states such as Washington.
  • Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., filed a bill in Congress that would provide money to states that offer in-state tuition or financial aid to these students. In this time of financial austerity, the bill faces a difficult road. The students are known as “Dreamers” — from the shorthand for legislation stymied in Congress that provides a way for them to permanently remain in the U.S. The measure’s full title is the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act). Lacking legal immigration status, the students typically aren’t eligible for federal financial aid and many other aid programs.

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THE WASHINGTON POST
 

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