Vitter bill ends in-state tuition for immigrants

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) introduced a bill Tuesday that would stop undocumented immigrants from receiving in-state tuition.

Some states allow children who were illegally brought to the country by their parents — also called Dreamers — to have access to in-state tuition and grants.

“American students should always come first,” Vitter said Wednesday. “Too many states are blatantly disregarding the spirit of existing immigration law, which could end up putting illegal immigrants ahead of American citizens.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Vitter said his bill, S. 1990, would close a “loophole.” Currently states are prohibited from offering in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants unless they offer in-state tuition to all Americans.  But this prohibition only applies if the state uses residency as the eligibility requirement. 

Some states have allowed residency requirements to be filled if the student graduated from an in-state high school.

Vitter’s bill would remove the residency provision altogether so that no post-secondary education benefit can be granted to an undocumented immigrant unless the same benefit is available to everyone.

Most public universities profit from requiring out-of-state students to pay significantly more in tuition, meaning few would allow all Americans to pay the same rate.

Vitter said his bill would help young American college graduates struggling to find work.

“Some of our nation’s highest unemployment rates are among recent college graduates, and we should be supporting policies that help American students get an opportunity to go to college and compete for good jobs,” said Vitter.

Democrats on the other hand, have put forward measures that would give Dreamers U.S. citizenship, but none have passed both chambers.

More in Senate

Senate ends debate on highway bill

Read more »