Qualified undocumented youth who were brought to the United States illegally as children are eligible for in-state tuition at Virginia’s public colleges and universities, the state’s attorney general declared on Tuesday.
Writing to the presidents of Virginia’s public colleges and universities, Attorney General Mark R. Herring said that immigrant youth who have applied and received reprieve from deportation under an Obama administration initiative known as deferred action, and who meet Virginia’s residency requirements, should be treated as state residents.
Herring, who is a Democrat, issued the legal opinion after members of the Virginia legislature earlier this year rejected a so-called DREAM Act measure that would have granted in-state tuition to undocumented immigrant youth.
Nineteen other states already have their own DREAM Acts on the books, and some of those—such as California—have extended state financial aid benefits to certain undocumented youth.
Meanwhile, Florida lawmakers appear poised to pass a DREAM Act in their state, with promiment Republicans, including Gov. Rick Scott, recently embracing the proposal.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.