Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after introducing H.R. 3566, legislation to prevent states from circumventing federal law and allowing illegal aliens not in lawful immigration status to receive in-state tuition benefits:
“It is unthinkable that some states are circumventing federal law to allow illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition, while other legal American citizens, playing by the rules, have to pay out-of-state tuition to attend public universities. With a stagnant economy, American students are facing enough challenges upon graduating from college and shouldn’t bear more financial burdens as a result of loopholes crafted by attorneys that put illegal aliens not in lawful immigration status ahead of U.S. citizens.”
Following the introduction of H.R. 3566, Senator David Vitter of Louisiana, sponsor of the companion Senate version of this legislation, stated, “Some of our nation’s highest unemployment rates are among recent college graduates, which is certainly why we should be supporting policies that provide American students with the opportunity to go to college and compete for good jobs,” said Sen. Vitter. “American students should always come first, and it’s unfortunate that so many states are blatantly disregarding the spirit of existing immigration law, which could end up putting illegal immigrants ahead of American citizens.”
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, “the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA, P.L. 104-208, Sec. 505) [already] bars states from providing ‘postsecondary education benefits’ to unlawfully present aliens based on their residence in the state unless all U.S. citizens or nationals are eligible for such benefits, regardless of their state of residence.” Creative loopholes, such as allowing illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition rates because they happened to graduate from an in-state high school, violate the intent of this law.
A recent article from Newsweek reports on many of the challenges that college graduates are currently facing stating, “Millennials face higher university tuitions and student loan debt than ever before, as well as stiffer competition when they enter the workforce.” Forbes recently reported that, “44% of college grads in their 20’s are stuck in low-wage, dead-end jobs.” The Brookings Institution has reported that from 2002-2012, “the volume of student loans grew by 77 percent” and that “the average loan debt per full-time student increased by nearly 60 percent, to over $5,500.”
H.R. 3566 is endorsed by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and NumbersUSA.
For his leadership and action on immigration enforcement issues, Rep. Gosar has earned a career lifetime grade of “A+” with the immigration enforcement advocacy group NumbersUSA.
Original cosponsors that joined Congressman Gosar in introducing this legislation include: Lou Barletta, Marsha Blackburn, Mo Brooks, Chris Collins, Scott DesJarlais, Jeff Duncan, John Duncan, Trent Franks, Glenn Grothman, Andy Harris, Walter Jones, Steve King, Doug LaMalfa, Pete Olson, Mike Rogers, Pete Sessions, Lamar Smith, Randy Weber and Joe Wilson.