Two Legislators Push for In-State Tuition for Illegal Immigrant Students

Find what drives you at Beaman Auto!
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Florida and Texas are moving to repeal in-state college tuition for illegal immigrant students, including grantees of Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In Tennessee, two legislators will try a third time to give illegal immigrant students the in-state tuition benefit.

In 2014, Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) and Rep. Richard Floyd (R-Chattanooga) introduced the first bill, SB1951/HB1992 that tried to give in-state college tuition to illegal immigrant students living in Tennessee.

The bill was shelved and Rep. Floyd retired at the end of that legislative session.

In 2015, Sen. Gardenhire and Rep. Mark White (R-Memphis) introduced SB612/HB675. During the bill’s debate they identified DACA grantees as the intended beneficiaries. The “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” was a unilateral directive issued by President Obama that granted a renewable two-year deferred deportation, work permit and social security number to individuals meeting the program’s criteria.  DACA did not grant legal immigration status.

In committee Rep. White described DACA applicants as children brought to our state “when they were 2,3,4,5,6,7 years of age and they have grown up here due to no fault of their own.” According to the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Customs & Immigration (USCIS), DACA applicants must have entered the U.S. illegally before age 16, and be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012. There is nonrequirement that DACA applicants have entered the U.S. with family or other adults.

The Gardenhire/White bill passed the Senate 21-12. Despite a 49-47 House vote in favor of the bill it failed to achieve the constitutionally required 50 vote minimum.

This year’s, Gardenhire/White bill SB635/HB660, would authorize the new college and university governing boards to decide which students are eligible to pay in-state tuition rates.

“The bill is designed to allow each local community and institution to do what is best for their institution” is how Rep. White’s office described the bill in an email to the Tennessee Star.

Last year, the Tennessee legislature passed Governor Haslam’s FOCUS Act enabling the six universities in the Board of Regents system, including Tennessee Tech, Tennessee State University and MTSU to have their own boards that among other duties, will oversee tuition.

Another Gardenhire/White bill, SB1014/HB863 would extend the same discretion to any of the schools not covered by the other bill for determining which students can pay in-state tuition.

“This legislation [HB660] also exempts the extension of in-state tuition that this amendment provides from the definition of ‘state or local public benefit’ under the ‘Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act'” according to an email statement from Paul Marsh in Rep. White’s office.

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) prohibits state colleges and universities from providing in-state tuition to illegal immigrants “on the basis of residence within the State” unless the same in-state rates are offered to all U.S. citizens.

When asked specifically whether Rep. White’s bill was intended to benefit DACA grantees, his office responded that “House Bill 660 does not make any reference to DACA.”

Rep. White’s 2015 bill also did not make any reference to DACA.

In response to the question of  whether Rep. White’s bill would have the effect of sanctioning sanctuary campuses in Tennessee his office emailed that, “this legislation does not address sanctuary campuses.”

– – –
Photo credit: COD Newsroom via VisualHunt / CC BY

Related posts

17 Thoughts to “Two Legislators Push for In-State Tuition for Illegal Immigrant Students”

  1. […] Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) and State Rep. Mark White (R-Memphis) in their recent attempts to push in-state-tuition for illegals through the Tennessee General […]

  2. […] tuition to DACA grantees. That bill passed the Senate, but failed by a single vote in the House. Another attempt at in-state tuition by these two legislators failed again during the 2017 session but their second […]

  3. […] bill, HB660, “would authorize the new college and university governing boards to decide which students […]

  4. […] the House Education committee today, State Rep. Mark White (R-Memphis) moved his second bill, HB660 that would legalize in-state tuition for illegal immigrant students in Tennessee, to the […]

  5. […] Mark White (R-Memphis) and Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) have sponsored two bills this session that would grant in-state tuition to illegal immigrant […]

  6. […] surrounding the in-state tuition push closely, from state Senators White and Gardenhire’s repeated bill proposals to the Tennessee Farm Bureau’s outspoken […]

  7. […] degree or credential to 55 percent by the year 2025.” Tennessee Star previously reported that Rep. White and Sen. Todd Gardenhire were carrying two sets of bills (SB104/HB863 and […]

  8. […] postsecondary degree or credential to 55 percent by the year 2025.” Tennessee Star previously reported that Rep. White and Sen. Todd Gardenhire were carrying two sets of bills (SB104/HB863 and […]

  9. […] the Senate Education Committee last week passed SB1014, Sen. Todd Gardenhire’s bill to make illegal immigrant students living in Tennessee, eligible for in-state college tuition and […]

  10. […] in-state college tuition to illegal immigrant students, the seven committee members that passed SB1014 also voted to violate a 2012 Tennessee […]

  11. […] in-state college tuition to illegal immigrant students, the seven committee members that passed SB1014 also voted to violate a 2012 Tennessee […]

  12. […] Star previously reported that Rep. White and Sen. Todd Gardenhire were carrying two sets of bills (SB104/HB863 and […]

  13. […] office has coyly skirted the question of whether his bill HB660 will serve that purpose. However, White has another bill, HB863 the […]

  14. […] state legislators Sen. Todd Gardenhire and Rep. Mark White have reintroduced a bill that, if passed, will authorize college and university governing boards to decide which students […]

  15. Jim Britt

    Nothing is “free”; I pay very high taxes so somebody else can get a “free” education. If everyone goes to college who will fix the cars, the air conditioners, grow our food, etc?

    Jobs should pay based on their IMPORTANCE and physical pain, not by spending a few hours in a classroom listening to a liberal professors lies

  16. Jim Britt

    REWARDING CRIMINALS IS WRONG! If I break into your house will you reward me are have me arrested? The law needs to be changed so being born here doesn’t make you a citizen unless at least of your parents is a legal citizen as well!

    Breaking into the USA is like breaking into a house or a bank.. Should the child of bank robber be allowed to keep the stolen money? Kids of illegals have no right to keep stolen citizenship!

    Kick these fools out of office for this stupid and criminal idea.

Comments