Salem, OR – On March 29, 2011 the Oregon Senate passed SB 742 which makes illegal aliens, living in Oregon, eligible to receive in-state tuition.
According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), Oregon’s population increased 20.7% between 1990 and 2000, and by 7.9% between 2000 and 2006, bringing Oregon’s population to approximately 3.7 million. FAIR estimates that 28% of the population increase between 2000 and 2006 was directly attributable to illegal immigrants.
The Pew Hispanic Center, in 2005 estimated between 125,000 and 175,000 illegal aliens were residing in Oregon, ranking Oregon 17th in the number of illegal populations in the U.S.
Chief sponsor of the bill, Republican Senator Frank Morse of Albany, testified that he didn’t believe children should be punished for the actions taken by their parents.
“Unfortunately, children do pay for the sins of their parents,” said Sen. Bruce Starr, R-Hillsboro, who opposed the bill. “It’s unfortunate, but it’s reality. These educated kids can’t work here.”
Starr said these children need to go through the legal immigration process before going to college.
The State Board of Higher Education voted unanimously on March 4, to support giving illegal aliens the right to pay in-state tuition, a benefit that isn’t offered to legal American citizens living just across the border of Washington, Idaho or California.
Jim Ludwick, representing Oregonians fro Immigration Reform, said that legal Americans living out of state must pay three times the amount of those in Oregon illegally, which he said is a $17,640 difference.
The law will allow undocumented students who have been in America for five years or more, and in Oregon for at least three years, to pay resident in-state tuition fees.
The vote carried with 18 Senators voting in favor of the bill, 11 against. The bill now moves to the Oregon House of Representatives.