Oregon House passes illegal immigrant tuition bill - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon House passes illegal immigrant tuition bill

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SALEM, OR (KPTV/AP) -

The Oregon House has voted to extend resident college tuition rates to some young illegal immigrants.

The House's 38-18 vote on Friday sends the measure to the Senate.  In the last decade, similar legislation has failed twice.

The measure would allow students to qualify for in-state tuition at the Oregon's seven public universities if they've attended an Oregon high school for at least three years and lived in the United States for at least five. 

They'd also have to sign an affidavit swearing they'll apply to legalize their immigration status as soon as they are eligible.

Illegal immigrants would not be eligible for state or federal financial aid. They would be subject to the same entrance requirements as other applicants.

Currently, Oregon requires university students to pay higher out-of-state tuition if they can't prove they are legally in the United States.  The bill's supporters say young illegal immigrants shouldn't be denied access to affordable higher education because their parents decided to migrate without authorization.

Critics say the state shouldn't subsidize college tuition for people who can't legally work in the United States.

Gov. John Kitzhaber said he applauds the House for its support of the bill.

"Every Oregonian deserves their shot at the American Dream, and I appreciate the hard work of so many Oregonians to make this possible. I look forward to signing the bill," he said in a statement.

Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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