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Illegal immigrants closer to getting in-state tuition rates

Published: Monday, February 4, 2013

Updated: Monday, February 4, 2013 10:02


Photo courtesy of Michael Carrigan

CU Regent Michael Carrigan supports ASSET.

     Four years ago, two high school girls who immigrated illegally wanted to have a bill passed that would allow for undocumented citizens to receive in-state tuition rates.

     On Jan. 24, Senate Bill 13-033, which is very similar to the bill crafted four years ago, went to the Senate Education Committee and passed on a 6-3 vote.

     The bill, more commonly known as the ASSET legislation, allows illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates.

     There are an estimated 1,500 Colorado high school graduates without legal immigration status. Of those graduates, approximately 500 would attend a Colorado college if the law should go into effect.

     Students must meet several qualifications. The student must have attended a public or private school for at least three years, have graduated from a public or private school or obtained a GED, apply and be accepted into a Colorado institution of higher education and already be in the process of obtaining legal citizenship as soon as possible.

     “If [students] have committed and done well enough to get into college, I don’t believe they’re leaving, and the more educational opportunities we can give them, the better,” said CU Regent Michael Carrigan.

     Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver, and Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, have also demonstrated their support of the bill. Still, the legislation has many opponents.

     “I cannot provide my support to the legislation,” saidStephen Collier, UCCS student body president, in a statement released Jan. 29.

     Collier argued the bill does not guarantee illegal immigrant students will establish legal residency and that the bill’s language permits “taxpayers to subsidize the educational costs of undocumented students, which technically speaking, are in Colorado illegally.”

     He added, “It is immoral and illegal to provide taxpayer assistance to these students, but potentially deny the same support to a legal resident.”

     This round marks the bill’s sixth attempt. Even though it has passed through the Senate Education Committee, it must now go to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

     According to the Denver Post, if the bill passes, “new students would bring in a $2 million increase in tuition for colleges and universities in the first year and $3 million the following year.”

     The 2013 version of the bill also advocates for illegal immigrant students to also have access to the College Opportunity Fund.

     The state would spend $930,000 more in the first year to subsidize the students and $1.4 million the next year.

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1 comments Log in to Comment

Mon Feb 4 2013 17:01
Let's face it, this immigration thing is a 20th century issue that has slopped over into the 21st century, be it tuition, driver's licenses, amnesty or whatever. The time has come to finally resolve it in an intelligent fashion, as three-fourths of Americans favor and Obama will confront head-on. An interesting new book/ebook that helps those coming to the US is "What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to understand crazy American culture, people, government, business, language and more." It paints a revealing picture of America for those who will benefit from a better understanding, including international students. Endorsed worldwide by ambassadors, educators, and editors, it also identifies foreigners who became successful in the US and how they contributed to our society. A chapter on education explains how to be accepted to an American university and cope with such things as a new culture, friendship process and classroom differences they will encounter. Many of our foreign students stay here after graduation. It has chapters that explain how US businesses operate and how to get a job, a must for those who want to work for an American firm or with a foreign firm in the US environment. It also has chapters that identify the most common English grammar and speech problems foreigners have and tips for easily overcoming them, the number one stumbling block they say they have to succeeding here. Most struggle in their efforts and need guidance from schools' international departments, Dream protection, concerned Americans and neighbors, and books like this to extend a cultural helping hand so we all have a win-win situation.

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