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NEW: Lawmakers Call for In-State Tuition for Illegal Immigrants

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Two state lawmakers are proposing legislation that would allow illegal immigrants to benefit from in-state tuition rates.

Officially known as the Student Equal Economic Opportunity Act, the bill is intended on making college more affordable for immigrants who meet certain residency requirements or are in the process of doing so. It is sponsored by Sen. Juan M. Pichardo (D-Dist. 2, Providence) and Rep. Grace Diaz (D-Dist. 11, Providence).

“All children should be included in the Race to the Top,” Diaz said. “At a time of state cuts, this bill is a boon for CCRI and our state universities.”

In order to qualify, immigrant students have to attend a Rhode Island high school for at least three years and graduate.

“In order to qualify for the in-state tuition rate, an undocumented immigrant who is applying to a state college must file an application to legalize his or her immigration status or agree to file an application as soon as he or she is eligible to do so,” Pichardo said.

Pichardo and Diaz will formally unveil their legislation at a press conference at 3 p.m. tomorrow in the Bell Room of the Statehouse. The Coalition of Advocates for Student Opportunities and other community groups will also discuss their support for the legislation.

Both lawmakers have introduced similar legislation in past years.

Editor's Note: A typo in Representative Grace Diaz's quote has been corrected. The typo was the result of a misprint in a news release.


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