by Matt Lacy –
A bill that would grant illegal aliens lower tuition rates than other US citizens passed the Colorado state Senate Monday on a strict party-line vote.
The bill passed 20- 14 without a single Republican voting in favor of the bill. It now faces an uncertain future in the Republican-controlled House.
Under current law, public universities in Colorado have two tuition levels, for in-state and out-of state and legal residents. The bill would add a third category and allow illegal aliens to pay a lower tuition rate than Americans attending from out of state, but a higher rate than in-state residents.
Democrats say regardless of a person’s legal status, they should be allowed to have an opportunity to better themselves and the benefits they would get from a higher education would help all members of society. They also say these illegal students will move to other states with more favorable laws if the legislation is not passed.
Under the bill illegal aliens are not permitted to obtain any state or federal financial aid. Individual colleges are able to decide whether or not they want to offer the tuition program, called ASSET, or “standard tuition” to illegal aliens or not. Supporters say that with no taxpayer dollars going to the program and colleges getting increased revenue from the illegal students it is a win-win for everybody.
Critics say that is irrelevant, and by giving them a lower rate than US citizens, the government is rewarding illegal behavior.
Scott Renfroe R-Greeley said regardless of whether it costs taxpayer or not, “Do we want to give this benefit to someone who is in the state illegally?”