There was a nice editorial in the Trib yesterday. The author of this editorial says that Rep. Glenn Donnelsen who is sponsoring HB224 (to prohibit undocumented students from receiving in-state tuition) has misinterpreted the federal law. Reading the federal law, I can see how it might be misinterpreted.
US Code, Title 8, Chapter 14, Subchapter II, Section 1623a says:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an alien who is not
lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the
basis of residence within a State (or a political subdivision) for
any postsecondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of
the United States is eligible for such a benefit (in no less an
amount, duration, and scope) without regard to whether the citizen
or national is such a resident.
It's confusing, and from what it looks like to me, Donnelson might just be right (as far as following bad law goes). It looks like unless a citizen of the US can get in-state tuition regardless of residency, an undocumented student can't. But non-resident citizens CAN get in-state tuition after meeting some other requirements (one of which is residency for a certain period) which an undocumented student who has lived here and graduated from a local high school has already met, so then it would seem that an undocumented student should be eligible for in-state tuition.
I guess after reading the actual law, I would have to support Donnelson's bill IF he left out the part where undocumented students can't ever get in state tuition, because that is not what the law says. Leaving out that part makes the whole bill a big waste of time. It would be passing a bill that changes nothing. I'm glad they're making good use of their time up on the hill.