StudCo passes resolution supporting in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants
Numerous student groups voice agreement; legislation unlikely to see action in legislature
Student Council’s general body passed a resolution Tuesday in support of House Bill 747, a bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to receive in-state tuition provided they meet certain requirements. Council’s resolution addressed the concerns and general support of various student groups.
Fourth-year College student Alex Preve emphasized the importance of the resolution to the University Democrats.
“I think it’s important that we embrace all the talent that we have in our state,” Preve said. “It would send a very strong statement to the General Assembly if Virginia’s premier university came out in support of this bill. We should be opening doors to these types of students, not shutting them out.”
Karla Aguayo, fourth-year College student and Latino Student Alliance member, also voiced support for the resolution.
“The biggest problem is that undocumented students do not qualify for FAFSA or student loans,” Aguayo said. “Imagine paying 40,000 dollars out of pocket. Knowing that you have to pay 20,000 instead of 40,000 is a huge relief.”
Fourth-year College student Fernando Mercado-Violand, vice president of the LSA, said the issue comes down to treating the individual students fairly.
“Every single time that I’ve met with one student who’s in the running for a great scholarship or running for a great school, I’m just in awe and I’m confused and I’m angry,” he said. “We’re providing ourselves a disservice [by] not speaking up for them because they deserve to be here.”
Because of last week’s snowstorm, the bill was moved to the appropriations committee and most likely will not resurface until the General Assembly reconvenes next December.
Fourth-year Batten student Neil Branch, Council’s vice president of organizations, sponsored the resolution and said even though the bill will not likely see action in the legislature, Council taking action is still important.
“Essentially, the real legislation is dead for this Assembly,” Branch said. “It’s still important that we pass this because I think that there’s something to be said about Student Council still taking a stand on this legislation. It’s more about having this on the record that StudCo passed this.”