By Bob Katzen
House 103-46, approved a Democratic leadership-sponsored amendment prohibiting a proposal barring illegal immigrant students from paying the preferred, lower in-state tuition rates and fees at Massachusetts state universities from taking effect until the Department of Higher Education studies the impact of the barring.
Supporters of the study said many of these students were babies when they were brought here by their parents and had no choice about entering the country illegally. They noted some hardworking students are currently required to pay out-of-state tuition rates that are up to five times higher than the in-state rate.
Opponents of the study said sending the bill to a study committee essentially kills it and argued the state should not offer financial rewards to anyone who has broken the law and is in this country illegally. They said it is outrageous to offer low tuition rates to these students while legal citizens from outside Massachusetts, including war veterans, are required to pay higher rates if they attend a Massachusetts state university.
The roll call vote is on the amendment to study, rather than vote directly on the banning of lower tuition rates for illegal immigrants. (A “Yes” vote is for the study. A “No” vote is against the study.)
Rep. Christine Barber Was not yet elected Rep. Mike Connolly Was not yet elected Rep. Denise Provost Yes