5:43am

Thu April 26, 2012
Politics

Republicans Defeat Illegal Immigrant Tuition Bill

Republican state lawmakers have once again defeated a bill to allow illegal immigrants who graduate from Colorado high schools to pay less than out of state tuition.

Senate bill 15 would have created a new tuition category for illegal immigrants who spend at least three years at a Colorado high school, and then get accepted to college. Republicans voted against the bill saying it would encourage illegal behavior, and create false hope for students who still won’t have citizenship even with a degree.

Representative Chris Holbert (R-Parker) says it’s a tough issue.     

“I’m more greatly swayed than I ever have been before. Essentially we have a group people without a country and that’s just wrong. We have to do something. I can’t support this bill; the people I represent would simply not accept that,” says Holbert.

Democratic sponsors of the bill say it’s wrong to price hard working students out of a college degree after investing so much in their education.

Crisanta Duran (D-Denver) says it causes some students to lose faith and drop out of school.

“These children did not decide to be here, they were children. All I know is we have an opportunity to do something for these kids so they can receive an education. These kids will be better with an education behind them.”

Democrats have introduced a similar version of the bill 3 out of the last 4 years. The measure did make it farther this year than ever before – picking up one Republican supporter in the house.