Senate Bill 1631 Would Turn Away Immigrant College Students At The Expense Of All Texans

Very soon, the Texas Senate Higher Education Committee will vote on SB 1631, a bill that would force Texas to revoke in-state tuition for DREAMers.

Obviously, any measure that attacks America’s students is attacking America’s future. This bill goes too far by eliminating provisions that benefit all Texans, not just undocumented students. Most of all, this bill attacks American values of opportunity and hard work by putting a chilling effect on higher education for all immigrant students. The state should promote higher education so we can build a better economy and better future for all Texans.

Call, fax and email members of the Higher Education committee and tell them that SB 1631 goes too far .

Senator Judith Zaffirini , (512)463-4788, Fax: (512) 475-3738

Sen. Brian Birdwell, (512)463-0122, Fax: (512)475-3729

Sen. Robert Duncan, (512) 463-0128, Fax: (512) 463-2424

Sen. Joan Huffman, (512) 463-0117, Fax (512)463-0639

Sen. Kirk Watson, (512) 463-0114, Fax: 512-463-5949

Sen. Jeff Wentworth, (512) 463-0125, Fax: (512) 463-0125

Sen. Royce West, (512) 463-0123, Fax: (512) 463-0299

In-state tuition for Texas college students provides benefits that reach far beyond the students themselves. Our friends at University Leadership Initiative outline the likely consequences of this bill.

  1. Undocumented youth pay out-of-pocket to attend college. According to the latest figures from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, institutions of higher education report HB1403 eligible students paid approximately $9.5 million out-of-pocket since the summer of 2008 through the fiscal year of 2009 for higher education costs.
  2. According to the 2007 Perryman Group study on the impact of the state’s investment on higher education, the state’s return on its investment in higher education is estimated in $8.08 for every dollar invested. Educating immigrant youth provides a surplus to the Texas economy.
  3. Since the enactment of HB 1403 in 2001, universities across the state, such as Texas A&M University, have relied on these students to increase their diversity in their campuses. Taking away this opportunity for undocumented students would take away from universities a crucial experience that all campuses strive to provide for every student enrolled: cultural diversity.
  4. Furthermore, universities across the state already struggle with fulfilling their student enrollment quota, the repeal of this law would lower the revenue coming into these public universities.
  5. It is in the nation’s best interest, as it is for Texas, to have an educated population. HB 1403 has achieved what it was aimed to do, to prevent kids from dropping out of high schools, to give them the reassurance to strive for a better future, as they await the federal government’s response to fix and bring about immigration reform while securing of our borders. It would be detrimental to the state to stop immigrant youth from attending our institutions of higher education.
  6. According to recent data from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, there were 1,102,572 students enrolled in higher education institutions across the state in the fall of 2007. Of those, 9,062 were HB 1403 eligible students, including out-of-state student citizens, and undocumented Texas residents. Therefore, HB 1403 eligible students represented slightly more than eight tenths of one percent of the public institution enrollment.

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