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- 04-25-2012, 09:27 AM #1
RI--Immigrant tuition hot topic for leaders
Immigrant tuition hot topic for leaders
Opposing bills heard at RI State House Tuesday
Updated: Tuesday, 24 Apr 2012, 6:07 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 24 Apr 2012, 6:07 PM EDT
By Melissa Sardelli -WPRI
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - Rhode Island lawmakers heard testimony Tuesday from supporters and opponents of a plan to offer in-state tuition rates to undocumented immigrants.
The House Finance Committee held hearings on two opposing bills Tuesday afternoon: one that would grant tuition discounts for eligible illegal immigrants who graduate Rhode Island high schools, and one that would prohibit non-U.S. citizens from receiving in-state tuition rates.
Last fall, the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education voted to extend in-state tuition rates to undocumented immigrants at Rhode Island's three public colleges.
Republican Representative Doreen Costa is now asking lawmakers to block the controversial policy.
"Unfortunately we think Governor Chafee made a huge mistake bypassing our elected officials," Rep. Costa said Tuesday.
On the flip side, Democratic Representative Grace Diaz is asking the General Assembly to support the discounted tuition for undocumented students.
"We want to be sure that the State of Rhode Island will have a law to secure that education for those students," Rep. Diaz told Eyewitness News.
Cristian Giraldo is among those who also support the in-state tuition discount for immigrant children. His family moved to Rhode Island from Colombia when he was a young child. Even though is now documented, he is standing up for children like him who were brought to the U.S. without a choice.
"They're still saying that we're taking somebody else's seat, we're doing this and that, but we're really not," Giraldo says. "We're just normal American children who've been living here without much choice and there's no way we could leave because our parents are here."
The House Finance Committee voted to hold both bills for further study.
Immigrant tuition hot topic for RI leaders | WPRI.comThe price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. Plato