Republican-Led State Weighs Offering Cheaper Tuition To Illegal Immigrants

Mexican authorities keep watch as migrants descend from a tractor-trailer in Chiapa de Corzo

Republican-Led State Weighs Offering Cheaper Tuition To Illegal Immigrants

Alexa Schwerha on February 2, 2023

The Indiana state legislature is considering a bill that would permit students who do not have legal residence in the United States to qualify for in-state tuition costs, according to the bill’s text.

Senate Bill 135 would extend in-state tuition costs to illegal immigrants who attended Indiana schools for four years and graduated with or received the equivalent of a high school diploma. The bill is a bipartisan effort sponsored by Republican state Sens. Blake Doriot and Linda Rogers and Democratic state Sen. David Niezgodski, and would take effect July 2023.

It would also require students to file an affidavit with their college promising to apply for legal status once eligible, according to its text.

“This problem has come to us… not from what the state of Indiana has done, but what the federal government has failed to do. We haven’t been able to get together and find a clean pathway to citizenship,” Doriot said, according to Chalkbeat Indiana. “And we are addressing children, young adults, who want to further themselves and they’re here, and they can’t go home.”

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Niezgodski said that the bill is reportedly “just the right thing to do.”

The average in-state tuition cost in Indiana is $6,710, according to College Tuition Compare. Comparably, the average out-of-state tuition cost is $20,084.

Indiana would become only the latest state to lower tuition costs for illegal immigrants if the bill becomes law. Arizona voters approved measure to allow illegal immigrants to qualify for in-state tuition and joined 22 other states and Washington, D.C. which enforce such policies, Higher Ed Immigration Portal reports.

There were no amendments added during Wednesday’s hearing and the bill will be taken up by committee next week, Chalkboard Indiana reported.

Doriot, Rogers and Niezgodski did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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