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Debate Continues As To Whether Undocumented Immigrant Students Should Pay In-State Tuition Rates

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Should undocumented students be allowed to pay in-state tuition rates in colleges across the country?

This is the question that HuffPost Live's Alicia Menendez asks as the issue again picks up steam after first spiking during the Republican primary season when Texas Governor Rick Perry promoted the idea -- and was subsequently attacked by his GOP opponents.

Earlier this week, Metropolitan State University of Denver made headlines when it defended its decision to grant undocumented students who were with a special tuition rate. The new rates go into effect in the fall for students who meet certain criteria:

  • Attended a Colorado high school for at least three years.
  • Graduated from a Colorado high school or received a general equivalency diploma (GED) in this state.
  • Provide a statement that they are in good legal standing, other than their undocumented or unclassified status, and are seeking or intend to seek lawful status when eligible.

Is this a model for the rest of the country?

With the Department of Homeland Security's 'Deferred Action' program starting on Wednesday, August 15, there are thousands of undocumented students who's education opportunities could be substantially improved if they can benefit from lower tuition.

Joining Menendez on the panel are:
  • Sarahi Hernandez, and undocumented immigrant attending Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Luis Torres, Deputy Provost for Academic and Student Affairs at Metropolitan State University Denver
  • Nancy McLees, who is opposed to Colorado's efforts to allow undocumented immigrants to pay lower tuition rates
  • Pat McDonough, Maryland delegate and Honorary Chairperson of a petition drive to stop the law that would give in-state tuition taxpayers’ benefits for illegal immigrants

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