Tuition Proposal For Immigrant Children
House Bill 1183 would allow children of illegal immigrants to compete for entry into the public universities and community colleges of our state and be eligible for in-state tuition if they have attended schools in North Carolina for at least four consecutive years before graduation and met the standards required of all applicants. In addition, the prospective student would have to apply for legal immigration status to receive the in-state tuition rate.
Supported by our former governor, Jim Hunt, the primary sponsors are Reps. Rick Glazier (D-Cumberland), Paul Luebke (D-Durham), John Sauls (R-Lee), and Jeff Barnhard (R-Cabarrus). I am a co-sponsor.
North Carolina is one of several states considering such legislation. Nine others have already passed it, including California, New York, Utah, Kansas, and Washington. Advocates of the legislation say the bill is a logical extension of the state's existing responsibility to educate undocumented residents through high school.
Supporters of the bill highlighted the long-term benefit of educating all students in our state and said they expect from 400 to 1,300 students would take advantage of the legislation annually, while critics say it takes resources away from legal residents and encourages illegal immigration.