Monday, June 20, 2011

Pennsylvania DREAM Act Introduced

A state representative from Philadelphia is introducing the Pennsylvania DREAM Act that would grant in-state tuition rates to about 800 undocumented students graduating from state high schools each year who meet residency requirements.

Representative Tony Payton, Jr. says the parents of the undocumented high school graduates have worked and paid taxes, contributing to the fabric of Pennsylvania, and the students should not be punished for decisions their parents made. The foundation of the country is immigration, he stresses.

Right now, Payton says the students must pay international tuition rates at Pennsylvania schools—the same as out-of-state tuition at Pitt and IUP, about $10,000 more than in-state—enough to put a college education out of reach for many, according to Pamela Linares of Dream Activist Pennsylvania.

Linares says Pennsylvania would be the 12th state to pass a DREAM act. Federal legislation, which would have affected 65,000 undocumented grads across the country, has not passed.