Va. Dreamers eligible for instate tuition
__________________Renewal Sent - 10/17/14
Notice of Action - 10/21/14
Biometrics Appointment 11/17/14
Attorney General Mark R. Herring on Tuesday declared that the children of illegal immigrants can qualify for in-state tuition under existing state law.
Herring’s announcement, made at Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria campus, follows a General Assembly session in which legislators rejected the so-called Dream Act.
Read Herring's letter
The letter sent to the presidents of Virginia colleges and universities and the chancellor of the Virginia Community College System. Read it.
Do you agree? Should the children of illegal immigrants qualify for in-state tuition in Virginia?
In a letter sent this morning to the presidents of Virginia colleges and universities and the chancellor of the Virginia Community College System, Herring (D) advised that under current law, Virginia students who are lawfully present in the United States under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program already qualify for in-state tuition as long as they meet the state’s residency requirements.
“We should welcome these smart, talented, hard-working young people into our economy and society, rather than putting a stop sign at the end of 12th grade,” Herring said to sustained applause and cheers from a room full of Latino students, immigration activists and education officials.
In his letter to university presidents, Herring said that the students were legally entitled to the in-state tuition because they are lawfully in the country.
“Even apart from being the right thing to do, it is what the law requires,” he wrote.
Students hugged and wept after Herring’s announcement, which they said would make a radical difference in their future prospects. “I came here when I was 12 and I have been working since I was 16. It takes me a whole month of work to pay for one class,” said Ambar Pinto, 20, a student from Bolivia at Northern Virginia Community College. “Now, I”ll be able to go to U.-Va., which has been my dream forever.”
Herring’s decision — announced in a news release issued in Spanish, Hindi, Vietnamese and Korean in addition to English — comes three months after the attorney general declared the state’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.
It drew swift condemnation from Republicans, who in recent days have publicly raised the possibility that Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) will try to expand Medicaid by executive order if he cannot get the measure through the General Assembly. McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy declined to comment on that possibility.
“We are deeply concerned by the Attorney General’s actions today and what appears to be a continued willingness to ignore and circumvent the duly-adopted laws of the Commonwealth,” said a statement issued by House Speaker William J. Howell (D-Stafford) and other Republican House leaders. “For the second time since taking office just a few short months ago, Mark Herring has demonstrated blatant disregard for his oath of office, his responsibilities as Attorney General of Virginia, and most importantly, the rule of law. Attorney General Herring has once again placed his personal, political ideology ahead of the will of the people and their elected representatives.”