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Tuition Bill for Illegal Immigrant Students Passes in Senate

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Democrats in the state Senate passed a bill on Monday that would allow illegal immigrants to receive in-state college tuition. It faces a tougher challenge in the Republican controlled House.

Senate bill 126 would give instate tuition to illegal immigrants who attend a Colorado high school for a minimum of three years, graduate from that high school, and get accepted to college within one year of graduation. They would also have to apply for citizenship.

No Republicans voted for the bill. “I don’t know why in other states, in Maryland they were able to do it in a bi-partisan why, I don’t know what’s happening in Colorado,” says Senator Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) who’s sponsoring the measure. “This is what we can do for our kids, who’ve been to school, who we’ve invested in.”

Republicans have argued the measure will perpetuate a broken immigration system, and gives students false hope, because even after they graduate they won’t be able to work in the country legally. Republicans hold a one seat majority in the House where the bill goes next.

Bente Birkeland has been reporting on state legislative issues for KUNC and Rocky Mountain Community Radio since 2006. Originally, from Minnesota, Bente likes to hike and ski in her spare time. She keeps track of state politics throughout the year but is especially busy during the annual legislative session from January through early May.
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