Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Support For In-State Tuition For Young Immigrants Gains Momentum

Jimmy Emerson

SALEM, Ore. – Momentum is building in Salem for a bill to give children of undocumented immigrants in-state tuition rates at Oregon universities. Governor John Kitzhaber threw his weight behind the idea Monday.

Students whose parents brought them into the country illegally pay out-of-state tuition at Oregon universities and community colleges. That can be about twice the in-state rate. Under this bill, these students could qualify as a resident only if they meet certain conditions, such as attending an Oregon high school for at least three years.

At a Salem press conference, Kitzhaber said the bill would be good for education and the economy.

“By erecting barriers to the educational aspirations of these young people, not only are we turning our backs on them, but we are walking away from tens of thousands of dollars we’ve already invested in their education in our K -12 system.”

The bill has support from some Republicans, and several business groups.

“We need to improve our high school graduations," says Sandra McDonough, President of the Portland Business Alliance. "And the way to do that is to show kids there is a path from high school to post-secondary and then onto good family wage jobs.”

The in-state tuition bill is scheduled for a public hearing on Wednesday.

On the Web:

Gov. Kitzhaber's remarks - Office of the Governor