Tuition Tug of War

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The high cost of college with a twist. Two decades ago, the Supreme Court ruled that anyone living in America, citizens and non-citizens alike, was entitled to a free public education through 12th grade. As a result, millions of illegal immigrants attend school every day. But few if any go to college.

With no documentation, they can’t get scholarships, subsidies, or federal loans. But today, legislatures in 20 states are considering bills that would allow illegal residents to pay in-state tuition. And Congress is also getting in on the act. Supporters say the long-term benefits outweigh the short-term costs. Critics say such perks should go to legal residents and American citizens who’ve earned them. Green cards and a public education.


James Ferg-Cadima, Legislative Analyst for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund

Rosemary Jenks, director of government relations, Numbers USA, an immigrant reduction organization.