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  • DC Wants To Give Illegal Immigrants In-State Tuition

    Illegal immigrants in Washington, D.C., could soon be granted in-state tuition at the University of the District of Columbia if a new law introduced to the council is passed.

    At the Tuesday legislative meeting, D.C. Council chairman Phil Mendelson introduced legislation that would allow illegal immigrants to receive local financial aid at the city’s university if they meet certain requirements.

    To receive the in-state tuition and financial aid, the illegal immigrants would need to have graduated from high schools located within the District and have lived in the District for at least a year.

    “This legislation will provide all district residents, regardless of immigration status the ability to receive in-state tuition and financial aid at the UDC school,” Mendelson said in submitting the bill.

    The new law received five other co-sponsors, so it appears likely that it could pass the 13-member council.

    The District’s delegate to Congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton, lauded the council’s effort to extend financial aid to illegal immigrants, saying it “fills a significant education gap.”

    Since illegal immigrants are already eligible to receive federal education benefits, Norton said it only makes sense to give them access to funding in D.C.

    “Many of these undocumented residents will ultimately become American citizens through immigration reform or other efforts … Giving them the opportunity to pursue a college degree will strengthen our community and grow our city’s economy,” Norton said in a statement.

    In the past, Norton has expressed her pleasure with D.C.’s status as a sanctuary city. After the House passed a bill that would strip sanctuary cities of federal funding, Norton told a group of protesters she the District is “proud to be a sanctuary city.”

    “We are proud to stand with our immigrants, documented and undocumented alike,” Holmes Norton said. “Donald Trump has worked up Republicans around the nation into an anti-immigrant frenzy that the Republican House has been eager to take up.”

    The nation’s capital is one of the most friendly cities in the country for illegal immigrants.

    It’s one of just 10 jurisdictions that allow illegal immigrants to obtain drivers licenses and, in July, the D.C. Council took up legislation that would give non-citizens the right to vote in local elections.

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