John Lewis and Rubén Gallego Intro Bill to Help "Dreamers" Pursue Higher Education
Some states have taken discriminatory actions to block the attendance of some immigrants to college and university education. Twenty states either prohibit "Dreamers" from receiving in-state tuition or lack a formal law or policy, and eight others deny in-state tuition to some students. Congressmen John Lewis (D-GA) and Rubén Gallego (D-AZ) last week introduced legislation that would prohibit institutions that receive federal funds from refusing to admit, enroll, or grant in-state tuition benefits to qualified students based on their immigration status. The Higher Education Dream Act would also expand federal financial aid opportunities to "Dreamers." “No human being is illegal,” said Lewis, who introduced this legislation in the last Congress. “Immigration status should not become an excuse to treat people in an inhumane way. We should be making it easier, not harder, for people who have the desire to pursue an education to get one. People who are informed are better participants in any society where they live. They tend to instill the value of education in their children and help create a more enlightened world.” Currently, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina bar undocumented students from enrolling at public universities. Alabama and South Carolina allow exceptions for DACA recipients, but Georgia bars DACA recipients from attending the University of Georgia, the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), and Georgia College. In 2018, an Arizona Supreme Court decision ended DACA students’ eligibility for in-state tuition. “DREAMers are Americans in every way that matters, and undocumented students, including DACA and TPS recipients, shouldn’t be barred from seeking higher education or the in-state tuition and federal financial aid they need to afford it,” Gallego said. “I’m proud to introduce this bill with Rep. Lewis to open the doors for immigrant students to continue to be a source of strength and vitality for our economy and our nation.” More here.