Colorado lawmaker seeks in-state tuition for immigrants
Aspen, CO Colorado
DENVER ” A state lawmaker trying to grant in-state tuition to illegal immigrants says his bill would help Colorado become an economic success.
Denver Democratic Sen. Chris Romer said the lower cost of in-state tuition should be an incentive for students in the country illegally who are struggling to afford college. He said their success would help build Colorado’s economy in the future.
“I firmly believe we shouldn’t punish children for the decisions of adults,” Romer told KWGN-TV. “These are exactly the kids we want to incentivize to work hard, stay in school, not drop out, and help us build a great econonmy for Colorado.”
But Republicans who oppose Romer’s proposal say it would be a snub of federal immigration law. Republican Broomfield Sen. Shawn Mitchell said the bill could put Colorado in a legal tangle with federal officials and taxpayers would foot the bill in court.
“Any time you try to do something drastic like this, that is, or may be, at odds with federal law, you’re promising yourself a court headache and extensive, expensive litigation,” Mitchell said.
Although he lacks support from Republicans at the Capitol, Romer said business leaders around the state support his measure, including Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort. Monfort is also chairman of the University of Northern Colorado Board of Trustees.
In-state tuition in Colorado could cost about $2,340, as opposed to $7,040 for out of state students.
Public schools from kindergarten through high school are required under federal law to educate all children regardless of their immigration status.
Under Romer’s proposal, undocumented students would qualify for in-state tuition if they earned their GED or graduated from a Colorado high school in the past five years.
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