As the national debate over the president’s plan to expand deferred action for close to 5 million people plays out in the courts, state legislators are proposing legislation regarding undocumented immigrants’ access to higher education. Since the beginning of the year, at least 12 states have introduced legislation on their tuition-equity policies, which determine access to public colleges and universities for undocumented students. More bills are anticipated in other states.
Although many of these bills make it easier for undocumented students to access postsecondary education, some states have tried to roll them back. Conservative legislators argue that it is unfair for taxpayers to subsidize undocumented immigrants’ higher-education costs, despite the fact that tuition-equity policies have helped thousands of undocumented students receive higher education. They must be protected and expanded.
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