Illegal immigrants likely to pay in-state tuition

In-state tuition for illegal immigrants

PUEBLO, Colo. - Illegal immigrants may soon be able to pay in-state tuition. The bill is making its way through the state Capitol and is expected to become law.

Isidro Hernandez moved to Pueblo from Mexico when he was 12 years old. For two years, he had been attending Pueblo Community College. Since he's an undocumented immigrant he had to pay out-of-state tuition. At the school's Pueblo campus, a full-time student paying out-of-state tuition pays nearly four times more than the in-state tuition. Hernandez says that expense is keeping him from currently attending school. He's taking a break while he works to save money for school.

"There are so many students out there that would like to continue, but they can't continue because they can't afford college," Hernandez said.

A study by the Colorado Fiscal Institute found than an estimated 375 undocumented high school graduates would take advantage of Colorado's in-state tuition every year.

Advocates of the bill say it will improve the lives of many undocumented immigrants and break them out of a cycle of poverty.

"I can feel how strongly people would be since they are undocumented as well as illegal. But the main issue is that they have put in the work and the effort to graduate from a high school in Colorado," said Jonathan Garcia, a junior at CSU-Pueblo.

One CSU-Pueblo student who opposed the bill says she has several friends who came to the United States illegally and took the steps to become legal. She says this bill would not be fair to them.

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