HB1008, a bill that would require proof of citizenship or lawful presence in the United States for a person to be eligible for in-state tuition, was debated before the House Education Committee on January 27th, 2011. Several people spoke for and against the bill. The Department of Higher Education was supposed to give detailed information on a memo sent months ago about students whose enrollment had been flagged as possibly being fraudulent. The Head of the Department of Education, former Democrat Senator Shane Broadway, failed to provide that information, but will be back soon with it.
PASSAGE of this bill is vital. If we lose this battle, anyone from any state can come to school here and be awarded in-state tuition. Out-of-state tuition can be as much as three times in-state tuition. Think of what this would cost the State!
When an illegal alien is granted in-state tuition and admission to a state university, he or she is directly competing with American students for that educational slot. This competition is unfairly biased against American students in other states who must pay out-of-state tuition to attend the university, while the illegal alien student is given in-state tuition preference.
In addition, OPPOSITION TO this bill is contrary to federal law:
Federal Law Title 8, Chapter 14, Sec. 1623 states:
“an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the basis of residence within a State… for any postsecondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of the United States is eligible for such a benefit.”
CALL YOUR LEGISLATOR
Link to the Arkansas State Legislature
We are urging you to help us keep the pressure on the legislators in your district. DO NOT just email or call one time, please! Keep the pressure on. We have our foot in the door right now and if we don’t keep the pressure on, the door will close.
We have information that the opposition is pulling out all the stops to defeat us and we need to do everything possible. That means we need your continued calls, emails and faxes to your legislators and especially the House Education Committee.
If we don’t get this bill and other related bills through this session, we will be forced to carry another petition — absolutely, positively.