Users Browsing this Thread
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)
- 04-19-2012, 11:12 PM #1
University of Michigan sees legal hurdles to in-state tuition for undocumented studen
University of Michigan sees legal hurdles to in-state tuition for undocumented students
6:47 PM, April 19, 2012
By David Jesse
Detroit Free Press
The University of Michigan must explore the legal ramifications of allowing undocumented students to pay in-state tuition before it can decide whether to make a change, Provost Phil Hanlon said Thursday.
More than 200 students protested the Board of Regents meeting Thursday, demanding the university change its admission policy to charge undocumented students who live in Michigan in-state tuition rates. The university currently charges those students out-of-state tuition, which is typically more than $30,000 annually. In-state tuition is just over $12,000 a year.
Students, who have attended several months of regents meetings, argue the policy creates economic hardships for students who otherwise qualify to attend U-M. Undocumented students are those who are not U.S. citizens and do not have a green card.
Hanlon only made a brief statement during the meeting, saying the university is looking at the legal ramifications. He briefed the regents on the issue in a closed-door meeting earlier in the day.
Regents didn’t comment on the issue during the meeting.
In an exclusive interview with the Free Press after the meeting, Hanlon said U-M hasn’t determined whether it wants to make the policy change. He said he wants to work with the student group, a Coalition for Tuition Equality, over the next several months to come to a decision.
“We want to want to stay true to our core mission of offering equal access to everyone,” he said.
Daniel Morales, one of the leaders of Coalition for Tuition Equality, said after the meeting the group is confident it has enough support from the regents to make the change. Morales, who graduated from Melvindale High School but wasn’t a citizen and didn’t have a green card when he applied, said the university should look at where students live and not their immigration status.
Each public university in the state sets its own policy on the matter. Most charge out-of-state tuition.
Western Michigan University offers in-state tuition rates with proof that they live in Michigan. Wayne State University doesn’t ask for citizenship documentation. Saginaw Valley State University allows its president to approve waivers and allow migrant workers’ children to receive in-state tuition.
At Eastern Michigan University, Board of Regents chairman Roy Wilbanks said the university’s enrollment policy, including this issue, will be discussed during a May retreat meeting, with possible action in June.
The issue has been hotly debated nationally.
Democrats, including President Barack Obama, have pushed for the passage of the DREAM Act, which would offer permanent resident status to undocumented high school graduates who enlist in the military or attend college.
Many Republicans argue that students who are in the U.S. illegally shouldn’t get the same perks as U.S. citizens.
Students speaking to the regents Thursday said U-M should not be scared by the political debate.
“We’ve got to be ahead of our times,” newly-elected student body president Manish Parikh told the regents, adding that U-M should be “blind” on issues of immigrations status, instead focusing on whether the students live in state or out-of-state.
U-M student Ellen Steele, the chairwoman of the ACLU University of Michigan undergraduate chapter, said it isn’t a political issue.
“It’s not right or left, but right or wrong,” she said.
The meeting had a tense few minutes when student Martha Valadez was out of the regents’ room when her turn came for public comment. When she returned and tried to speak, U-M officials said she had missed her slot and needed to be seated.
That drew chants of “let her speak” from the crowd, and police in the room stood before Valadez sat down. At the end of the meeting, Valadez shouted her speech as regents and President Mary Sue Coleman left the room. Regents Andrea Newman, Andrew Richner and Julia Darlow stood and listened until she finished.
University of Michigan sees legal hurdles to in-state tuition for undocumented students | Detroit Free Press | freep.comWe have immigration laws that just need to be enforced.