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Two Views: At UNH, who should pay what?

Should the children of undocumented immigrants in New Hampshire get the same cut-rate tuition as other New Hampshire students at the state university system?

That’s the subject of legislation that members of the House Education Committee have been wrestling with in recent weeks.

When the House reconvenes next week, members will be asked to vote on the proposal. The committee recommended the bill – but in a split 11-7 vote. Here’s what the majority and the minority had to say about it:

Democratic Rep. June Frazer of Concord, writing for the majority: This bill grants eligibility for in-state tuition in the University System of New Hampshire for children of undocumented immigrants if they have graduated from a New Hampshire high school or attained a New Hampshire high school equivalency certificate; have attended a New Hampshire high school for three years prior to graduation or receiving a New Hampshire high school equivalency certificate; and have met all other criteria for in-state tuition status.

These students will also be required, if not already having legal residency in the United States, to file an application, with a copy to the university system of New Hampshire, to legalize the student’s status, or will file such an application, with a copy to the university system of New Hampshire as soon as he or she is eligible to do so.

Republican Rep. Ralph Boehm of Litchfield, writing for the minority: This bill gives in-state resident tuition privileges to persons that are in this country illegally. It is not fair for out-of state students to have to pay higher tuition than other students that are in this country illegally. It is not right for your children or grandchildren to not be able to take a course because it is filled by illegal residents. The federal government has said continuously that immigration is the purview of the federal government, we in the state should not be interfering with that decision.

What does it matter, if someone is here illegally and their child can get into college why would we want to stop them from becoming an asset to society rather than the opposite. Anyone willing to work toward advancing themselves should receive all the help they can get. Regardless of where their parents are from. Better to have an educated worker than keep them as so called drains on society.

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