State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
The Christian Science Monitor is reporting that four states, Georgia, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Arizona have acted to prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving in-state tuition rates. These rates are generally far less expensive than rates charged to out-of-state students.
The rough economy is one reason for the move. Another is fairness. Middle-class families struggling to send their children to and get them through college in an affordable fashion are generally unsupportive of in-state rates for undocumented students.
While four states refuse to allow in-state rates for illegal immigrants, 10 states do. Others, including Wisconsin, are considering legislation to award the in-state tuition rates to students without lawful citizenship.
Governor Doyle has proposed in his state budget allowing illegal immigrants graduating from Wisconsin high schools to pay in-state tuition at University of Wisconsin schools. This marks the fourth consecutive state budget the governor has included this particular provision.
There is a major problem with states like Wisconsin considering in-state tuition rates for illegal immigrants. If Wisconsin begins giving in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants, the state is then required to charge the same rates to all U.S. citizens from all other states under the Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Reconciliation Act (IIRIRA) of 1996.
Section 505 of the IIRIRA states that “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 benefit unless a citizen or nation 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.”
Here are more details from the Wisconsin State Journal and the Christian Science Monitor.
I oppose Governor Doyle’s state budget provision to allow illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition rates.