Since 2001, illegal immigrants in Texas have qualified for in-state tuition by law. But a bill in the Texas A&M University student senate seeks to change that with, at the very least, a symbolic stance.
Texas A&M's student paper, The Battalion, has more on the bill's possible effects:
If passed, the bill would state that A&M students do not agree that illegal residents should be allowed to pay in-state tuition.
[Student] senators questioned how the bill would affect students who are exempt from out-of-state tuition due to scholarship awards.
"This bill is only directed at people who don't enter the U.S. or reside here by legal means," said Student Services Chairman Chris Russo.
On Tuesday, the bill was sent back to its committee for further review after two hours of discussion.
The Bryan-College Station Eagle reports:
After nearly two hours of debate during the first official meeting of the body's 63rd session, student senators voted 34 to 19 to send Senate Bill 63-11 back to the external affairs committee, according to a preliminary announcement of the vote count. Senators voiced several concerns about not being educated enough on the issue, and some asked to spend the summer gathering input and revisit it in the fall.
It's rare for more than a few audience members to attend student senate meetings, but some 100 visitors packed Rudder 601, many holding signs such as "Equal Rights for All," "We're all Aggies," and "What happened to Vision 2020?"
Justin Pulliam, one of the bill's co-sponsors, told the group that the issue wasn't a financial one. "This is about what's right and what's fair," he said. "It isn't fair to out-of-state citizens who are here legally."
Others, however, questioned whether or not the bill even belonged in the student senate.
According to the Dallas Morning News, about 12,000 illegal immigrant/non-legal resident students were afforded in-state tuition under current law, or 1 percent of all Texas students.
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