Monday, following a long public hearing, Rhode Island education officials voted in favor of a measure allowing undocumented high school students to pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities.
Eleven of the 13 members of the Board of Governors for Higher Education voted, all in favor of the measure.
Due to fear of backlash from voters, the state’s higher education officials had put off addressing the issue for years, but after this week’s vote, Rhode Island joins 12 other states in the U.S. with similar laws.
In recent GOP debates, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has received flack for allowing undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates.
Not all approve of the measure, as The Associated Press reported that Tea Party member and executive director of Rhode Island for Immigration Law Enforcement, Terry Gorman, stated that it equivalent to “aiding and abetting” illegal immigration. Adding that he’s met a number of students who would benefit from the bill.
“ My heart goes out to them, but their parents put them in this situation.”