The latest polling commissioned by the Defend Texas Liberty PAC asked Republican primary voters if “Texas should repeal the law that gives illegal aliens discounted tuition to Texas public colleges and universities.”
This has been a topic of discussion for years, as in-state tuition to public colleges and universities is discounted for residents of Texas. Currently, illegal aliens residing in Texas receive the same monetary benefits as Texans in regards to college/university tuition.
Although Texas Democrats support taxpayer-funded benefits for illegals, State Rep. Jeff Cason (R–Bedford) filed House Bill 1486 to end in-state tuition for anyone “not authorized under federal statute to be present in the United States” in the 87th Legislative Session last year.
“In-state tuition pricing, subsidized by Texas taxpayers, is one of the few privileges afforded to Texas residents attending a state school in Texas. Students from the remaining forty-nine states must pay out-of-state fees – often 3x more expensive – if they wish to reap the benefits of attending one of Texas’s prestigious colleges or universities,” said Cason. “Why then, are illegal immigrants allowed to enjoy this privilege denied to millions of U.S. citizens?”
However, Cason’s bill never received a hearing in committee and was killed due to these delays. Cason refiled the bill during the first special legislative session, but it was killed there too.
Nevertheless, according to the latest polling data, 75 percent of Republicans would support such a measure, 18 percent disagree, and 7 percent are unsure.
Although Gov. Greg Abbott has historically called for reforming the practice, as the law in place is meant to allow in-state tuition for those on the path to citizenship, the Texas GOP platform specifically opposes “in-state tuition and financial aid for illegal aliens.”
When the 88th Legislative Session begins in January, citizens will have another chance to persuade lawmakers to end the practice of discounted tuition for illegal aliens.