Colorado’s version of the controversial federal DREAM Act, which helps illegal immigrants become legal residents, is about to be introduced at the state Capitol. The state version, called ASSET, is focused on higher education, and would create a new tuition category for children of illegal immigrants who graduate from Colorado high schools.
Last year’s version of the bill, which died in the Republican-controlled state House of Representatives, would allow Colorado kids who are here illegally to get college tuition at a slightly higher rate than in-state tuition, but at a much lower rate than out-of-state students pay. This year’s bill, however, may simply allow illegal kids to get in-state tuition, with no middle-ground compromise, according to the Associated Press.
Supporters of the measure are gathering at the Capitol on Tuesday to speak to press about the 2013 version of the bill, which is virtually certain to pass, given that Democrats control both chambers of the Legislature.
Gov. John Hickenlooper said during his State of the State last week, “Let’s find an equitable and fair way for undocumented kids — kids who have grown up here and done well in school — to pursue a higher education.” He didn’t, however, come straight out and say they should pass this year’s version of ASSET.
The 2012 ASSET bill would have granted the discounted college tuition rate to students who attend a Colorado high school for at least three years and sign a waiver indicating their intent to become legal residents.
The bill is being pushed by the Higher Education Access Alliance, which is comprised of the Bell Policy Center, the Colorado EducationAssociation, the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, the Colorado Latino Leadership Advocacy and Research Organization, the Latin American Educational Foundation, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Padres y Jóvenes Unidos, SEIU Local 105, Stand for Children, and Together Colorado.