Indiana News

State May Relax Ban on In-State Tuition for Children of Illegal Immigrants

Panel votes to exempt students already enrolled when law passed in '11

2/20/2013

Indiana has taken a step toward rolling back a two-year-old ban on in-state college tuition for children of illegal aliens.

The Senate Education Committee has voted 8-4 to restore the lower in-state rate for students who were already enrolled in state universities when the law took effect in July 2011.

Indiana University associate vice president Jeff Linder says all seven public universities in Indiana support the bill. He estimates "a couple of hundred" students would be affected.

One of those students, Victoria Hicks, told the committee she was 11 when she came to Indiana with her parents, and three semesters away from receiving her IU degree in international relations when the law made it financially impossible for her to continue. Hicks and other supporters say the law is forcing students who could contribute to Indiana's economy to leave the state.

Jose Alvarez of Elkhart told the panel he came to the U.S. when he was four, and assumed he "was the same as everybody else" until the time came to submit his college applications.

The bill cleared committee with support from two senators, Carlin Yoder (R-Middlebury) and Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville), who voted for the original law. Yoder signed on as a co-author of the rollback bill, authored by Oldenburg Republican Jean Leising. He says he doesn't understand the logic of punishing students for actions over which they had no control.

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