Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRCC) is organizing another effort for illegal immigrant students and allied educators to lobby state legislators for in-state college tuition benefits for these students.
“Tuition Opportunity Dreamers and Educators Day on the Hill” is scheduled for March 22, 2017, and TIRRC wants all “undocumented youth and educators” to join them at the capitol:
“Over the years, we’ve built a broad support for undocumented youth to have the opportunity to pay in-state tuition at Tennessee’s public colleges and universities. On March 22, 2017, we’ll be bringing undocumented youth, educators, and allies from across the state to demonstrate to our representatives at the state legislature that every student deserves a fair chance to obtain a college education, regardless of their immigration status. SAVE THE DATE!!!
…We will meet at the Nashville Public Library in Downtown on 615 Church St, Nashville, TN 37219. An agenda and logistics will be announced soon!”
This year’s legislative session is the third time that TIRRC, illegal immigrant students and their allies will have lobbied for the in-state college tuition benefit.
TIRRC’s Nashville offices are housed in the building owned by Conexion Americas whose founder and director, Renata Soto who was elected chairman of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) board in 2015. Both TIRRC and Conexion Americas are named affiliates of the NCLR, and both have been generously funded by George Soros.
TIRRC’s “JUMP” group that helps younger illegal and legal immigrant students organize around education and other immigration related issues, is an affiliate of “United We Dream”another organization funded by George Soros’ Open Society Foundations. United We Dream is a national network of immigrant youth community organizers credited with inciting anti-Trump protests calling for “sanctuary campuses.”
Two bills, each being sponsored by State Sen. Todd Gardenhire and Rep. Mark White were introduced this legislative session either of which will create a path to in-state college tuition for students who have entered the U.S. illegally.
White’s office has coyly skirted the question of whether his bill HB660 will serve that purpose. However, White has another bill, HB863 the companion to Senator Gardenhire’s bill SB1014 which is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday. This Gardenhire/White bill is virtually identical to their 2015 bill which they admitted was intended to give illegal immigrant students the in-state tuition benefit. That bill passed the Senate 21-12 but failed in the House on a 49-47 vote having failed to achieve the constitutionally required 50 vote minimum.
If one Gardenhire/White bill fails to pass, they will have a second bite at the apple with their second set of bills that could help provide the in-state tuition option for illegal immigrant students.