Protestors marched outside the Texas Capitol Wednesday in defense of the Texas DREAM Act, which could be repealed this year by Republicans in the state legislature.
The DREAM Act, passed in 2001, allows undocumented immigrant students who meet a handful of requirements to pay in-state tuition.
While past attempts have failed to roll back the DREAM Act, supporters of the law seem more concerned this year with the knowledge that Lieutenant Governor-elect Dan Patrick is actively pursuing its repeal.
Governor-elect Greg Abbott, who stated in his campaign last year that he would not stop lawmakers from repealing the law, spoke with Austin NBC affiliate KXAN about his concerns over the law:
“The way the law is written is students who are applying for in-state tuition under that law must be making progress toward establishing legal status…there are absolutely no rules or regulations establishing whether they are fulfilling the law as it is written. At a minimum, the law has to be fixed.”
The Texas Fair Act, sponsored by Rep. Mark Keough (R-The Woodlands) would roll back the DREAM Act by requiring students wanting to pay in-state tuition to show proof of citizenship or lawful residency.
While the law had bipartisan support when it was initially passed, the Texas Republican Party platform now includes ending in-state tuition for immigrants who have come to the United States illegally.
“The young people of this state who have been helped by HB 1403 include valedictorians, honor students and student body leaders…their only ambition is to continue their education and become responsible, contributing members of their state.”
For now, both sides can only express their opinions, as the bill will not be voted on until February at the earliest.
Jennifer Reiley is a senior communication major at Texas A&M University. She is also the assistant managing editor at the university’s student-run newspaper, The Battalion. You can follow her on Twitter at @jreiley1.
—Courtesy of IJ Review