Friday, February 18, 2011

SB 126 gives undocumented college kids a chance

Posted By on Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 12:44 PM

College-Graduates.jpeg
In-state tuition for undocumented college kids: It's been a hot button issue before, and it is once again.

Colorado Senate Bill 126 would give college-bound kids who are illegally in the country a chance to attend college at an affordable cost. The bill seeks to help kids who were raised in the United States and worked hard in school, only to be told that when they turn 18, they have no job prospects beyond grunt work.

Conservatives have generally been opposed to bills like SB 126, saying they reward illegal immigration.

The bill is being supported by Colorado ASSET, which issued this release:

Colorado ASSET
Senate Bill 126 Passes Out Of Committee
Unsubsidized In-State Tuition For Undocumented Students Moves Forward

Denver, CO - Today, Senate Bill 126 passed out of the Senate Education committee on a vote of 5 - 2. Next, the bill will go to Senate Finance.

"This bill has always been the right thing to do, but now it is the economically smart thing to do. We must ensure that Colorado's economy is built on the foundation of a talented, educated, innovative and diverse workforce," said Senator Giron.

"Our Governor just proposed a huge cut to our state's higher education budget. Colorado ASSET adds tuition revenue to our cash-strapped colleges and universities. Students who aren't attending college, because they can't afford it, will now pay hundreds of thousands of additional tuition dollars to our colleges and universities," said Senator Johnston.

"Texas implemented in-state tuition and saw a $27.2 million annual increase in tuition and fees at their colleges and universities," continued Johnston.

"I am here to represent the numerous undocumented students across Colorado who could not testify here today. I came here on a political asylum case from El Salvador, I am able to legally work here but I have to pay out of state tuition in order to attend college and become a greater asset to Colorado's economy," stated Aminta Menjivar.

Colorado ASSET requires undocumented students to pay unsubsidized in-state tuition to attend Colorado's colleges and universities. In order to be eligible for Colorado ASSET, a student will have to attend three or more years of high school in Colorado as well as graduate or obtain a GED. They will then have twelve months from graduation to apply and be accepted at one of Colorado's institutions of higher learning.

Colorado ASSET students will not be eligible for any state or federal financial aid. This means no state taxpayer dollars will go toward this program. Instead Colorado's college and universities will see increased revenue from additional students attending their schools.

Colorado ASSET is being promoted by the Higher Education Access Alliance (HEAA) which is led by a steering committee that includes: the Colorado Education Association (CEA), Colorado Catholic Conference, Latin American Educational Foundation (LAEF), Metropolitan Organizations for People (MOP), Padres y Jóvenes Unidos, and Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC). The steering committee is joined by several hundred other supporting organizations and individuals which can be found here.

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