Immigration and education
Press coverage - Suthers: Kids of illegal immigrants can be eligible for in-state tuition, by Perry Swanson, The Colorado Springs Gazette, Aug. 15, 2007
The difference could mean colleges will collect money from fewer nonresident students, said Rich Jones, director of policy and research at the Bell Policy Center, a Denver-based think tank. But the students’ increased earnings, and higher tax payments, in later years will more than make up for the lost tuition dollars, Jones said.
“You’re going to make college affordable for these kids to go to school,” he said. “As a result, they’re going to earn degrees, get better jobs, help our work force, help the economy, help themselves out individually.”
Suthers ruling on in-state tuition is the right thing and the smart thing to do
Aug. 14, 2007
The Bell Policy Center applauds Attorney General John Suthers for ruling today that U.S. citizen children of undocumented immigrants can pay instate tuition at Colorado colleges if they meet other state residency requirements.
“The attorney general absolutely made the right decision. It’s the right thing to do for these aspiring students and it’s the smart thing to do from the state’s perspective,” said Rich Jones, director of policy and research for the Bell Policy Center.
Press release: on the web
In-state tuition a must for all citizen residents, regardless of parents’ citizenship status
Aug. 10, 2007
The Bell Policy Center endorses this week’s move by David Skaggs to seek a legal ruling on granting in-state tuition to U.S. citizen students whose parents lack legal documentation.
Skaggs, the state’s higher education chief, has called on Colorado Attorney General John Suthers to issue a legal opinion on the policy, which has not been consistently applied by Colorado colleges and universities.
“Allowing these motivated young people to attend college at the more affordable in-state tuition rate is the right thing to do, and it’s the smart thing to do,” said Rich Jones, director of policy and research for the Bell Policy Center.
Press release: on the web • printer-friendly PDF
In the blogs - Denial of In-state Tuition Costs Immigrants' Chidren Dearly, Colorado Confidential, by Jim Spencer, Aug. 5, 2007
Metro State College professor Luis Torres uses one word to describe his school’s decision to charge out-of-state tuition to U.S. citizens and Colorado residents whose parents are illegal immigrants:
“It’s amazing how many people in America don’t think the Constitution applies to immigrants,” Torres said. “I’m the child of undocumented immigrants. I know the implications.”
Recently, said Torres, the implications in Colorado have taken on a distinctly brown tinge, because most of the state’s undocumented immigrants are Latino.
Press coverage - Fee break for kids of illegals sought, Rocky Mountain News, Aug. 3, 2007
Colorado higher education director David Skaggs says he will try to remove legal barriers to in-state tuition for Colorado students whose parents are in the country illegally. "The disconnect is, we treat these kids as Colorado kids for purposes of K-12 education, and then suddenly they fall off the edge of the Earth," Skaggs said. "Then we try to encourage them to think about going to college, and the status of their parents hasn't been an issue until suddenly they're faced with this resident tuition question." Nonresident tuition at some schools can be four times the resident rate. At the University of Colorado, for example, 2006-07 tuition and fees for most resident undergraduates was about $5,600, while the tab for nonresidents ran $23,500. The issue has become a hot political topic nationally, and state law is vague on the issue of children who are born in the U.S to illegal immigrant parents.
Press coverage - N.M. college doors open for undocumented, Associated Press, July 16, 2007
At least 10 undocumented students from Colorado will get to attend classes at the University of New Mexico this fall, with many not having to pay for tuition or books. A new Colorado law prohibits state colleges from providing in- state tuition to undocumented immigrants. In New Mexico, the state is barred from denying education benefits based on immigration status, said Terry Babbitt, director of admissions for the University of New Mexico. While New Mexico's state financial aid is intended for residents, Poudre High School counselor Isabel Thacker in Colorado found a way for her students to receive in-state tuition, plus scholarships to cover it.
Undocumented students get help into college, Fort Collins Coloradoan, July 16, 2007
Until last year, the end of high school meant the end of the educational line for undocumented students in Poudre School District who lacked citizenship but excelled in classes.
Poudre High School counselor Isabel Thacker found a way around that, and this fall will be the second year that some of the high school's undocumented students will participate in a program that allows them to attend college at the University of New Mexico - many without paying for tuition and books.
Press coverage - Immigration debate held at UNC, by Millete Birhanemaskel, The Greeley Tribune, Sept. 1, 2006
If passed, the Dream Act would provide a path to legal citizenship for children of undocumented workers with "good moral character." It also would provide Colorado high school graduates who are undocumented immigrants an opportunity to pay in-state tuition. Eight states, including California, Texas and Kansas, have statutes that already allow for this.
Testimony - State policies related to immigration reform and collection of citizenship data for public school students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade, HB 06-1062), Rich Jones, presented to the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, Feb. 21, 2006
Article posted on April 7, 2009