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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

WA state lawmakers pass measure giving immigrants college aid.

Posted by on Feb. 19, 2014 at 1:50 PM
  • 2 Replies


Quote:

Washington state lawmakers pass measure giving immigrants college aid

OLYMPIA, Washington  Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:55am EST

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee looks over the scene as a span of highway bridge sits in the Skagit River May 24, 2013 after collapsing near the town of Mt Vernon, Washington late Thursday. REUTERS/Cliff DesPeaux

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee looks over the scene as a span of highway bridge sits in the Skagit River May 24, 2013 after collapsing near the town of Mt Vernon, Washington late Thursday.

CREDIT: REUTERS/CLIFF DESPEAUX

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(Reuters) - Washington state lawmakers have voted to make students brought to the United States illegally by their parents eligible for need-based college financial aid.

Passage of the measure, which supporters have labeled the Dream Act after failed U.S. legislation of 2010, marks a victory for immigrant-rights advocates and a shift within the state Republican party, whose members have blocked similar measures in recent years.

The bill, which passed the House by 75 to 22 votes on Tuesday, goes next to Governor Jay Inslee, a Democrat, who has promised to sign it. States that have enacted similar measures include California, Illinois, and Texas.

"This bill ensures that the young men and women we've invested in at our high schools and who aspire to become productive American citizens will now have fair access to the financial support they need," Inslee said in a statement.

Last June, the U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive bill that would provide a path to citizenship for the approximately 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally, while tightening border security.

The bill stalled in the U.S. House, and some conservative Republicans in both chambers remain opposed to offering legal status for adults who live in the United States unlawfully.

The Washington state bill's passage signals a shift among Republicans in a state with a growing Latino population, particularly in many of its conservative-leaning rural districts.

As recently as last month, Republicans in the state Senate - a chamber the party controls with the backing of two dissident Democrats - dismissed the measure's prospects as dim, saying it was low on their list of priorities.

But several of these lawmakers late last month introduced a version of the bill they labeled the Real Hope Act. That measure passed the chamber by a 35-10 vote, with unanimous Democratic support, Republicans split 10-10, and four Republicans abstaining.

In recent years, immigrant-rights advocates and Democratic lawmakers in Washington state have pushed similar measures, which were blocked by Republicans on the grounds they put undocumented immigrants on a level playing field with citizens.

The measure includes $5 million in additional State Need Grant funding, which some estimates suggest is enough to cover the roughly 1,000 undocumented immigrants the bill would make eligible for the aid.

Those immigrants will not be guaranteed help, however, as the new money will go into the existing statewide pot available to all eligible students.

In the 2012-2013 school year, roughly 32,000 otherwise qualified applicants were denied the aid because of a lack of funds, while 74,000 students received assistance, according to a non-partisan legislative staff report.

                

(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky in Olympia, Wash.; Editing by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle/Ruth Pitchford)

To be quite frank, I am not sure how I feel on this.

I do feel all legal citizens should receive qualified aid first.


by on Feb. 19, 2014 at 1:50 PM
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TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Feb. 19, 2014 at 1:57 PM

 It's not such a "dream" if they get loans, to be saddled with debt like many other college students.

And it only affects 1,000 kids who may or may not qualify for aid (which I hope by that they mean grants, not debt). 

Debt is not "aid".  Debt is slavery. 

Anyway, I don't care.  They didn't do anything except be born.  If they deserve Aid, then give it to them. 

meriana
by Platinum Member on Feb. 19, 2014 at 2:07 PM

I really don't like this. I read an article in a local paper about two weeks ago that was talking about this. Apparently this involves grants which don't have to be repaid.  It just give people another reason to cross the border ILLEGALLY with their children since if the kids have been here at least 3 years (from what the paper said) and  graduate from high school, they are eligible to apply for these grants with a good chance of a free college education and they aren't even legal citizens. Yes, they're "need" based but really, how many of those here illegally with their children are really living above the income cut-off used to establish "need" while I'm sure there are many LEGAL citizens whose children are not eligble to even apply even though they really do need the help because mom and dad make a few dollars too much

According to the article:

In the 2012-2013 school year, roughly 32,000 otherwise qualified applicants were denied the aid because of a lack of funds, while 74,000 students received assistance, according to a non-partisan legislative staff report.


So, last year 32,000 qualified applicants were denied the aid because of lack of funds and now we're going to add another 1,000  who can apply and are NOT even LEGAL citizens.

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