WS>>Tuition for Undocumented Immigrants

carl william spitzer iv cwsiv_2nd at JUNO.COM
Thu Nov 20 18:24:53 MST 2003

          By Jo Becker
          The Washington Post

          The  House of Delegates gave preliminary approval  yes-
     terday  to a bill that would allow  undocumented  immigrants
     living in Maryland to pay the same tuition at public colleg-
     es and universities as do legal residents.

          Under  the  proposal, undocumented  students  would  be
     eligible for in-state tuition rates if they graduated from a
     Maryland high school, or attended public school in  Maryland
     for at least three years, and provide an affidavit vowing to
     apply for U.S. citizenship.

          If approved, the measure could save immigrant  students
     thousands  of dollars annually in tuition fees. At the  Uni-
     versity  of  Maryland College Park,  for  example,  Maryland
     residents  pay  $4,800 per year; out-of-state  students  pay
     just more than $14,000.

          The  bill, which skirts a 1996 federal law  prohibiting
     tuition breaks for undocumented immigrants, mirrors legisla-
     tion in effect in Texas, California, New York and Utah.  The
     measure sparked heated debate on the House floor, as  Repub-
     lican Herb McMillan (Anne Arundel) argued that the  legisla-
     tion would reward "illegal aliens" and "treat them the  same
     as legal citizens."

          The bill's Democratic sponsors argued that the legisla-
     tion would primarily benefit children who entered the United
     States  years  ago with their parents and deserve  the  same
     access  to a college education as their  classmates.  "We're
     talking  about children," Del. Victor R.  Ramirez  (D-Prince
     George's)  said  to  applause. "We can't turn  our  back  on

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