Tuition costs debate sparked in Kansas

A big crowd, which was predominantly pro-immigration in nature, assembled for a House committee meeting about a measure that would repeat a statute that forced Kansas students who do not have legal residency to have to pay out-of-state tuition fees at universities in Kansas.  The current statute enables students who have graduated from a high school in Kansas and who have been living in the state for a minimum of three years to pay only in-state tuition fees.

The chief opponent of the bill, Native American Indian Representative Ponka-We Victors immigrant, spurred on the crowd’s emotion after having wrapped up a number of questions to the main proponent of the bill, Secretary of State Kris Kobach.  Victors acidly noted: “I think it’s funny, Mr Kobach, because when you mention illegal immigrant, I think of all of you.”

Undocumented immigrant and Wichita State University graduate Georgina Hernandez says that in order for her to be able to pay to get through college she had to work two jobs due to the fact that immigrants are ineligible to apply for federal student aid and that a bill such as this would only push students further away from attending college.

The Kansas Board of Regents’ Fred Logan says that the people under discussion were brought to the United States illegally by their parents and have committed no crime.  Of the 630 immigrants in Kansas who access in-state tuition, over 500 do so at community colleges.