Global Politics

Undocumented students granted in-state tuition rights

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Advocates of immigrant rights at demonstration in May, 2011. (Image by Flickr user longislandwins)

Story from The Tavis Smiley Show. Listen to audio above for full report.

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Following a supreme court ruling, states may continue to allow undocumented students to pay the lower in-state tuition paid by US citizens and permanent residents. Illinois and Connecticut join 11 other states that will offer lower in-state tuition for undocumented students this summer.

Daniel Hurley is director of state relations and policy analysis at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. He says there are two primary arguments for why undocumented students should be allowed to pay in-state tuition. The first is a, "moral and humanitarian argument that these young adults did nothing wrong," he said on The Tavis Smiley show.

The other is a socioeconomic argument -- Hurley asserts that undocumented students will most likely not return to their native countries, and therefore, "we should do all we can to facilitate their economic contributions to society by getting them to, and through, post-secondary education so they can obtain more rewarding jobs and become tax-paying citizens."

According to the website of the National Conference of State Legislators, the 11 other states that allow in-state tuition to undocumented students are California, Kanas, Maryland, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

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