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Elliott files in-state-tuition proposal

By The Associated Press

This article was published March 11, 2013 at 11:15 a.m.

Some illegal aliens would be able to pay in-state tuition rates at Arkansas colleges and universities under a proposal a state lawmaker introduced Monday that aims to provide more education opportunities for students who entered the country as children.

Sen. Joyce Elliott’s proposal would grant in-state tuition rates to anyone who has attended an Arkansas high school for at least three years and has an Arkansas high school diploma or general education diploma in the state.

Supporters say it would more fairly treat students who came to the U.S. illegally as children and who currently have to pay higher out-of-state rates despite having grown up and gone to school here.

Out-of-state tuition rates in Arkansas are about twice the in-state rates. In fall 2012, about 12.5 percent of the 156,252 students who were enrolled in public colleges and universities paid out-of-state tuition, said Arkansas Department of Higher Education spokesman Brandi Hinkle.

Still, Elliott last week downplayed the immigration angle of the measure, which will likely face challenges in the newly Republican-controlled Legislature.

“This is an education bill,” Elliott, D-Little Rock, said Friday. “It is not an immigration bill.”

She did not immediately return a phone call Monday.

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PenLR says... March 11, 2013 at 12:15 p.m.

If you are not a legal resident of the United States then how can you be a legal resident of Arkansas? Of course, children have no control over where their parents raise them but that does not justify a 50% discount in tuition for illiegal immigrants. Why would we give a preference to undocumented aliens and not legal citizens of the state of Texas?

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Poorboy says... March 11, 2013 at 12:25 p.m.

Illegals need to go back home.

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drs01 says... March 11, 2013 at 1:15 p.m.

Elliot is doing what all good liberals do, use catch phrases like "this is about education" to mask the real intent which is to slowly legitimize the ILLEGALS who are here, regardless of how or when. Until we fix the border crossing, we don't need to pass questionable legislation. Elliot should know better, but that's not a requirement to be a liberal democrat in the Arkansas legislature. Consider the source. Elliot had one of those "fancy title" feel good jobs with UALR until someone discovered that she could not legally hold the position.

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LevyRat says... March 11, 2013 at 1:42 p.m.

How about free tuition for everyone? How about a free phone for everyone? How about a big fat check each week for setting on your arse? How about free utilities for everyone? How about free groceries for everyone?

Well Joyce, someone has to pay! When you are not a legal resident, most likely they and their parent didn't pay taxes in Arkansas. That is why people from other states pay higher tuition than an Arkansas resident when the attend a university supported by OUR ARKANSAS TAXES!!!!!

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GiveUsLiberty says... March 11, 2013 at 1:47 p.m.

NO TAX MONEY FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS! We (the USA) spend more than the amount saved by the sequester each year on NON-CITIZENS. Joyce can take her bill and stick it back in her case; it will go no where in today's Arkansas Legislature.

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maelstrom says... March 11, 2013 at 2:12 p.m.

Well, this is where y'all might ask me to hand over my 'Republican in Good Standing' card, because I support this on its face. At least two other R's do, too, because there are two R co-sponsors to the bill. I reserve the right to change my mind after I read the details, but I think it's a good idea. I never thought I'd say that about anything Elliot came up with.

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dutchoven says... March 11, 2013 at 2:14 p.m.

How in the world does this woman continue to get elected. She no more cares about illegal aliens than the man in the moon, with the exception for future votes. but since they are illegal, they can't vote, unless she wants illegals to have that right too! If they are not a citizen of this country they, they should not get tuition money. I pay taxes, and could not a dime for my children's college eduation.

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drs01 says... March 11, 2013 at 2:22 p.m.

Joyce gets elected because her district is heavily populated with blacks who will vote for other blacks before they support a more competent candidate of any other ethic background. She is no different than many others who are fixtures in the state capitol. Most of them are white. One is now been elevated to the top of the Arkansas political
food chain...he's governor. And so it goes.

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PenLR says... March 11, 2013 at 3:26 p.m.

Maelstrom please do reconsider supporting this bad bill. We are not preventing these undocumented children from attending Arkansas institutions - we only insist that they pay the full non-resident tuition rate. If anyone is in the US (and Arkansas) illegally, they cannot be a resident. Period.

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Populist says... March 11, 2013 at 3:37 p.m.

Kudos to the kids who have enough brains to go to college! It is much preferable for taxpayers to encourage people to go to school than to end up supporting people who cannot support themselves. The correlation between education levels and the economic wellbeing of a community is huge. Arkansans need to stop thinking that they save money by being cheap about education.

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