Passing in state tuition for illegal immigrants is unfair to those who follow the rules and will be a costly policy we can’t afford.

May 25, 2011

Hartford, CT – The Senate passed bill 6390: AN ACT CONCERNING ACCESS TO POST SECONDARY EDUCATION allowing illegal immigrants to get instate tuition when applying for college. Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton), ranking member of the Higher Education Committee says it should be noted that Connecticut’s higher education is accessible to all students. This bill is about how much they are required to pay.

Senator Boucher says her family immigrated to America legally with an employee sponsorship and worked hard to follow the rules. Boucher says passing this legislation lets down many families. That overcame great hardship to find a way to legally immigrate to America.

“We are providing the same benefits to illegal immigrants as families that played by the rules and came here legally in search of a new life and worked hard to become citizens,” said Senator Toni Boucher.

Sen. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton, offered more than half a dozen amendments ranging from requiring a student to have a sponsor, requiring undocumented students to get on the path to citizenship and requiring veterans to also get in state tuition. All of the amendments were denied.

Right now at UCONN tuition for in state students is $8,064. Out of state tuition is $24,528. Senator Boucher says this bill amounts to a $10,000 benefit for undocumented students.

Senator Boucher speaks out on in state tuition for illegal immigrants on the floor of the state Senate

As many as 200 or more undocumented immigrants may be affected by this bill every year and could potentially displace other qualified students. Senator Boucher noted the number of students could end up costing the state because they will no longer pay out-of-state tuition.

“Though the fiscal note doesn’t reflect this it only makes common sense that two or three hundred students who pay out-of-state tuition and are allowed to pay in-state tuition would cost the state with lost revenue,” Senator Boucher said.

This bill extends in-state tuition benefits to college students who are living in Connecticut illegally. Under the bill, a person qualifies for in-state tuition if he or she:

  • Resides in Connecticut;
  • Attended any educational institution in the state and completed at least four years of high school here;
  • Graduated from a high school in Connecticut, or the equivalent; and
  • Is registered as an entering student, or is currently a student at, UCONN, a Connecticut State

University, a community-technical college, or Charter Oak State College.

People here illegally who meet the above criteria, must file an affidavit with the college stating that they have applied to legalize their immigration status or will do so as soon as they are is eligible to apply. This could conceivably be a target for deportation.

“This is a flaw in the law and we would have been wise to allow the federal government to handle it,” said Senator Boucher. “Instead of passing laws that are in conflict with federal laws we should be working to improve our immigration laws at the federal level. Students that are legal residents of Connecticut tell me that they are on wait lists and would find it unfair to be bumped from their spot by someone who is here illegally.”

It is also prohibited by CT Constitution to hire someone who is not a legal resident once they graduate.
With the passage of this bill 21 in favor 14 against, the legislation will head to the Governor’s desk and Connecticut will become the 13th state to offer in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens.