The Iowa house passed a bill Wednesday that would offer instate tuition rates to some illegal immigrants. The bill doesn’t guarantee admission, but it does offer instate tuition rates to undocumented aliens who’d been living in Iowa for at least three years when they graduated from high school. Republican representative Jodi Tymeson of Winterset says this will help break the cycle of poverty. With the opportunity to get higher education, Tymeson says she thinks they’ll go on to become part of the college-educated workforce, leaders in their occupations and their communities. Representative Swati Dandekar is an imigrant from India. She says she came to the U.S. through the proper procedures. As a legal immigrant, Dandekar said her initial reaction was not to support the bill.She says then she realized it’s not an immigration bill, it’s about young men and women who want to go to college, stay in Iowa, serve the community and “become successful Iowans.” Representative Tymeson says the bill is not an immigration bill because it does not provide citizenship or financial aid. She says it simply lets immigrant children know college is not out of their reach. It will apply to Iowa’s three universities as well as the state’s community colleges. The bill passed the House 93 to nothing and now goes to the Senate.
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