GA Sen. McKoon proposes no in-state tuition for immigrants without legal status

Updated: Dec. 12, 2016 at 7:26 PM EST
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ATLANTA (WTVM) - Georgia State Senator Josh McKoon (R-29), said he would introduce legislation that would clarify that immigrants living in the state without legal status would not be allowed to pay in-state tuition for college, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Sen. McKoon, in his fourth term as a state senator, said his house bill would make two current lawsuits go away, the AJC reports.

The bill, McKoon says, would change the language that the lawsuits cite from Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program or DACA. The DACA grants temporary legal protection against immigration.

Two lawsuits in both state and federal court argue that residents that were brought to the U.S. by their parents should be eligible to pay in-state tuition in the states where they reside.

McKoon told the AJC that his legislation would "reflect clearly" that "in-state tuition is to be reserved for people with legal status in the country."

Earlier this month, the AJC reported that 10 DACA residents were filing suit against the Board of Regents and the Fulton County, GA Superior Court to pay in-state tuition. In-state tuition costs three times less than out-of-state tuition.

The lawsuits also cite the state's Board of Regents 2015 agreement with several surrounding states allowing students to pay in-state tuition to attend 11 Georgia public universities. The Board's initiative was to help the declining enrollment of state colleges in south Georgia.

"There is no question in my mind that the Legislature when it adopted these laws, was intending to reserve these benefits - or privileges - to people with lawful status," McKoon told the AJC.

A decision on the lawsuit in Fulton County Superior court could come by the end of the month.

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