SALEM (AP) — Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber will sign a bill Tuesday allowing young illegal immigrants to pay resident tuition at the state’s seven public universities.
Rep. John Huffman, R-The Dalles, was one of the sponsors of the measure that was approved by the Legislature last month after failing twice in the past decade.
Under the new law, illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and graduated from an Oregon high school will be able — starting next school year — to pay the subsidized college tuition charged to Oregon residents. That’s a savings of about $20,000 a year.
Proponents say young people shouldn’t be priced out of college because their parents chose to immigrate illegally.
Critics say the state shouldn’t be subsidizing a college education for people who violated immigration laws.
At least 14 other states have similar laws. Colorado’s Legislature approved a tuition bill, and Gov. John Hickenlooper has said he’ll sign it.