Hillyard: legislature still debating in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants

Utah State Senator Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, says he is glad that a compromise immigration bill has passed the legislature after what he called, “contentious and sometimes vicious” arguments on both sides. Both chambers of the Legislature on Friday night approved an immigration package that includes an enforcement law similar to Arizona’s but tempered with a guest worker program for illegal immigrants. One measure would require police to check the immigrant status of anyone stopped for a felony or serious misdemeanor.Hillyard says there have been two extremes, one wanting to ship all of the undocumented residents out and the other wanting to more or less leave things as they are.He says all that remains of the immigration debate is House Bill 115, which involves children of undocumented residents and their access to higher education at in-state tuition rates.”The current law allows them to do that if they, I think, have been three years here in Utah, attending school, graduating from Utah high schools and they have some commitment to become a resident,” Hillyard says. “Those are some of the conditions here.There’s one move that would repeal that flat out. The House passed an amendment that would require that their parents would have to pay income tax for three years, as well as having them live here three years. And the third approach would do nothing, just leave it like it is.”Hillyard says about 600 students would be affected, most of them who attend Utah Valley University but some are also at USU.

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