It’s possible that 2012’s Election results have significantly changed the climate for immigration reform across the US. Last June, President Obama has issued an Executive Order allowing children of undocumented workers a great deal of leeway toward seeking education and serving in the military without fear of deportation.
Nevertheless, some barriers remain to making certain standards apply to those same young people and their parents when it comes to paying in-state or resident tuition rates and applying for and receiving drivers’ licenses not only in Minnesota, but many other states. This makes life uncertain for many of those aspiring new Americans in going from state to state or changing residence. One of the worst is surely the inability of Minnesota’s college-bound undocumented high-schoolers and adults the least expensive tuition rates possible.
For children living here to pay out-of-state or nonresident tuition, which can double and triple their cost of post-secondary education seems idiotic on its face. But the anti-immigrant, anti-undocumented fervor among certain blocs of legislators and voters that dictated the tougher stance in earlier years, despite the contributions those same workers make to the comfort of us all, not to mention the taxes they pay, may be melting under the heat of the last election, including the shifting majorities in the Minnesota Legislature.
Bills in both houses to relieve such young people and their parents from facing those previous barriers to full resident privileges are wending their way through relevant committees, each sponsored by core constituent representative and senators and backed by a wide range of business and advocacy groups, and guided by several spokespeople, including our guests this week.
TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with those advocates and at least one sponsor of one of those bills about just what those new laws would allow, if passed.
SEN. SANDY PAPPAS – President of the Minnesota Senate and Chair, State and Local Government Committee; Author of Senate File 723 (MN Dream Act), (co-sponsored by Sens.Torres Ray, Cohen, Franzen and Hayden; House Companion, HF875, Authored by Rep. Carlos Mariani and a bi-partisan list of co-sponsors).*
NESTOR GOMEZ – DEEP Youth Organizer, Tamales y Bicicletas (Food & Environmental Justice advocacy)