Tuesday May 7, 2013
Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill into law that will let certain undocumented immigrants pay in-state tuition rates at public Indiana universities instead of the higher non-resident rate.
Support of the measure, Senate Enrolled Act 207, is a reflection of “Hoosier values,” he said.
“Hoosiers believe in the rule of law and in compassion. The legislation I signed today gives a handful of young women and men who have already enrolled in college the opportunity to finish what they started,” Pence said in a press release (look here).
Per the new law, undocumented immigrants who were enrolled in a public college here as of July 1, 2011, will now be able to pay the lower in-state tuition rate. That partially reverses a 2011 measure, House Enrolled Act 1402, that made all undocumented immigrants pay the higher non-resident rate.
HEA 1402, which went into effect July 1, 2011, prompted many impacted students to drop out of college due to financial constraints or transfer to lower-cost community colleges. Advocates for undocumented immigrants in Elkhart County have said they’d like to see HEA 1402 fully repealed, letting all undocumented immigrants who otherwise meet the state requirements pay in-state rates.
SEA 207 will impact around 200 or 300 undocumented immigrant students, Pence’s press release said.
The Indiana Senate initially approved the measure in a 35-15 vote, with Sens. Carlin Yoder, Joe Zakas and Ryan Mishler, who represent portions of Elkhart County, voting aye.
The Indiana House passed the measure 70-23, with Reps. Tim Wesco, Rebecca Kubacki and David Ober voting aye. Reps. Tim Neese and Wes Culver voted against it.
Tim Vandenack is a reporter at the Elkhart Truth newspaper in Elkhart, Ind., www.etruth.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-296-5884. Visit him/subscribe to him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack.