Two Alabama congressmen joined an effort to prevent illegal aliens from taking advantage of in-state college tuition rates as original cosponsors of newly filed legislation. U.S. Congressman Mo Brooks and Congressman Mike Rogers joined Paul Gosar (R-AZ), a steadfast champion against illegal immigration on his bill. Gosar issued a statement Friday afternoon after introducing the House companion to Louisiana Senator David Vitter‘s (R-LA) legislation that would prevent illegal aliens, not in lawful immigration status, from receiving in-state college tuition benefits.
Despite federal policy prohibiting states from awarding post-secondary education benefits to illegal immigrants on the basis of residency, currently, at least 19 states have exploited a loophole in the law by allowing children who were illegally brought to the country by their parents — also called Dreamers — to have access to in-state tuition and grants. States are sidestepping the law by offering alternative criteria — such as graduation from an in-state high school — as the prohibition only applies if the state uses residency as the eligibility requirement. Eight states have taken a step further by allowing undocumented students to qualify for state-based financial aid.
“It is unthinkable that some states are circumventing federal law to allow illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition, while other legal American citizens, playing by the rules, have to pay out-of-state tuition to attend public universities,” Gosar said of the growing problem.
“With a stagnant economy, American students are facing enough challenges upon graduating from college and shouldn’t bear more financial burdens as a result of loopholes crafted by attorneys that put illegal aliens not in lawful immigration status ahead of U.S. citizens.”
The legislation states “an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible for any postsecondary education benefit unless every citizen and national of the United States is eligible to receive such a benefit (in no less an amount, duration, and scope).”
This legislation is an answer to America’s sluggish employment numbers, especially those of millennials.
“If you look at the numbers starting in 2009, we’ve been in the longest sustained period of unemployment since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began collecting their data following World War II,” says David Pasch, a spokesman for Generation Opportunity to Newsweek in June.
Senator Vitter agrees.
“Some of our nation’s highest unemployment rates are among recent college graduates, which is certainly why we should be supporting policies that provide American students with the opportunity to go to college and compete for good jobs,” Vitter said.
“American students should always come first, and it’s unfortunate that so many states are blatantly disregarding the spirit of existing immigration law, which could end up putting illegal immigrants ahead of American citizens.”