FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2016
CONTACT: Micah W. Kubic, executive director of ACLU of Kansas, 913-490-4101, firstname.lastname@example.org
OVERLAND PARK, KS --- The Board of Sedgwick County Commissioners is considering asking the Kansas Legislature to repeal the state’s policy granting in-state tuition, regardless of immigration status.
Members of Kansas Stronger Together, a statewide coalition that advocates on immigration-related issues, strongly supports the current law and asks the county commissioners to reject any proposal seeking to overturn it.
“Our coalition believes that Kansas is a stronger, healthier, more prosperous, and more just place where all Kansas residents are treated fairly, equitably and without discrimination on the basis of national origin, immigration status, race, or ethnicity,” the coalition wrote in a letter delivered this morning to Jim Howell, chairman of the BOSCC.
Organizational members of the coalition include the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas, Kansas Appleseed, and El Centro Inc.
The current state law, which was adopted in 2004, allows an undocumented student to receive in-state tuition at a state school. In order to receive the tuition, the student must attend a Kansas high school for at least three years, graduate or obtain a GED, and sign an affidavit declaring that he or she will seek to adjust his or her immigration status as soon as such an option becomes available.
“The current in-state tuition law is a wise economic investment, one that promotes economic development and prosperity for all Kansans,” the letter declares.
“In today’s economy, we need a work force with skilled workers and a college degree is a precursor to working, paying taxes, and contributing to our state. Rather than creating barriers to higher education, we ought to create policies that increase access to an affordable education for Kansas youth who work hard, apply and earn admission to college, and who demonstrate that they want to and can contribute to our state and our economy,” the letter’s authors assert. “In-State is not merely good for these students and their futures, but it is good for our state and our collective future.”
The BOSCC will consider the resolution on July 6.
Kansas Stronger Together previously called on commissioners not to deny basic nutrition or public health services to undocumented immigrants.
The coalition's letter can be found at www.aclukansas.org.
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About the ACLU of Kansas: The ACLU of Kansas is the statewide affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU of Kansas is dedicated to preserving and advancing the civil rights and legal freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For more information, visit our website at www.aclukansas.org.