A key Kansas lawmaker is opposing a provision in an immigration bill to repeal a state law allowing children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state college tuition.
Sen. Pete Brungardt, R-Salina, chairman of the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee, called the repeal efforts a â€œnonstarter,â€ and noted that the Legislature had failed in three previous efforts to repeal the law.
Under the 2004 law, children of illegal immigrants are eligible to pay in-state tuition if they have lived in Kansas for at least three years, graduated from a Kansas high school and are on the path toward citizenship.
According to the Kansas Board of Regents, 243 students are benefiting from the law, with 193 attending community colleges, 46 at state universities, and four at technical colleges or schools.
Would we rather these young people not attend college? Be unemployed?
As supporters of the law noted in testimony last week, regardless of how one stands on illegal immigration, this is about making sure our young people are prepared for the future.
â€œWhy would we want to deprive a young man or woman from the opportunity to develop their skills and abilities so that they will be a productive and contributing member of our society?â€ asked Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kan., chairman of the Kansas Catholic Conference.