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Va. ‘Dreamers’ eligible for in-state tuition

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- Attorney General Mark Herring on Tuesday instructed Virginia colleges to grant in-state tuition to potentially thousands of students who were previously considered ineligible because of their immigration status.

The policy change, announced in front of hundreds of cheering immigration advocates at Northern Virginia Community College's Alexandria campus, is a change from the Democrat's Republican predecessors.

In the past, the attorney general's office had advised that students who entered the country illegally were barred from receiving in-state tuition, even if they were children when they immigrated.

Herring now says students can qualify for the reduced tuition under a special immigration status created by the Obama administration for certain young people brought to the U.S. as children.

The change, he said, will allow students who have lived in Virginia to continue their education and become productive members of the workforce "instead of punishing them for the way their parents brought them to the United States as children."

Herring said the change is immediate and applies to all public colleges in the state.

The change brought immediate condemnation from Republicans who control Virginia's House of Delegates. They had rejected legislation that would have done the same thing.

"These issues should be considered, discussed and eventually resolved through the legislative and democratic processes, not by the unilateral actions of one individual," House Republican leaders, including Speaker William Howell, said in a joint statement.

Whether students lacking legal status should receive in-state tuition has been an issue in Virginia and across the nation for more than a decade. In 2002, then-Attorney General Jerry Kilgore advised Virginia colleges that they should not even admit illegal immigrants, and if they did, they were barred from granting those students in-state tuition.

In 2004, a federal judge in Alexandria tossed out a lawsuit attacking that policy.

Much has changed since then, however. In 2012, Obama created a special immigration status, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), for immigrants between the ages of 15 and 32 who came to the U.S. before they turned 16. That status allows them to remain if they have graduated from high school or are enrolled as students and meet other conditions.

Herring said the new category amounts to lawful immigration status for those who hold it, and he is therefore empowered to implement the change. Herring's office estimated that 8,100 Virginia residents have obtained lawful status under the 2012 program and are now eligible for in-state tuition.

Herring said 19 states have taken similar action, either through state law or by administrative action.

The change will be particularly meaningful in northern Virginia, home to most of the state's immigrant population. Robert Templin, president of Northern Virginia Community College, said that nearly half of all Virginia's Latino and Asian undergraduates are enrolled at either his school or at George Mason University.

GMU's president, Angel Cabrera, attended Tuesday's announcement, and said the inability to obtain in-state tuition was a "definite barrier" to affected students who want to enroll at GMU.

Dayana Torres, a sophomore at GMU who attends on a scholarship and now holds DACA status after coming to Virginia at the age of 9 from Colombia, said many of her friends take classes on a piecemeal basis, scraping up money to pay for community-college classes that cost three times as much for students who lack in-state status.

Templin said the change is important for what it symbolizes as well.

"It is a signal to all New Americans who live in Virginia that our state recognizes the importance of developing their talent for the benefit of all Virginia," he said.


Clearly you didn’t read the second part of my post. You want them out there is only one way to do it. Fences don’t work and cost too much. Deportation does not work and costs too much. Only way to do it is to crack down on businesses skirting the law and hiring them. I wonder what republican is willing to do that?

@fedupdude, and by doing that, another 20 million illegals will come…So that doesn’t fix the problem either. Hell, If I were illegal, I’d come to the US, good pay, free benefits and pay little or no taxes.

More Cowbell we could just give them work visas and solve the issue. Or the other option is cracking down on employers who will no longer higher these illegals and there would be nothing here for them to do and no reason to come. We however know that one party is not for either of these options. The talk of fences and deporting is nonsense both parties know it won’t work and costs too much.

@fedupdude, I call it sticking your head in the sand because you’re brainwashed to a particular party. The fact that it goes on is illegal. You seem to condone anyone breaking the law???? It means less income tax money collected(federal and state, from employee and employer).

They use fake documents, in some work places they found up to a dozen guys using the same papers; point remains that taxes are withheld

Freddy - Sorry, it’s an ITIN they have (Individual Tax Identification Number)& not a SSN.

westLOUDOUNer: “Most so called “illegals aka undocumented” have SSNs “

How does one obtain an SSN with a US Birth Certificate? If you check out the SSN Application form it says,

Evidence of U.S. Citizenship
In general, you must provide your U.S. birth certificate or U.S. Passport. Other documents you may provide are a
Consular Report of Birth, Certificate of Citizenship, or Certificate of Naturalization.

I believe your information about illegals having SSNs is false.

more cowbell - We call that conformation of bias. Its not the reality of things. I know a white American who works under the table. Just because you met an illegal that has does not mean that is everyone.

@fedupdude and westernloudouner, both wrong as usual. I’ve interviewed at lest a dozen people in the last year that claimed they were paid under the table, when we continued to discuss employment, all claimed they didn’t have the documents to work, yet they’ve been working anywhere from 2-5+ years in Loudoun.

Unsure where you get your info, probably from the MIA media…. The only taxes they pay are what they purchase. I’d love to keep my $70k in federal/state income taxes each year and only pay tax on what I buy…

Again, feel free to give more money to pay for these kind of handouts to people that haven’t paid their fair share of taxes….

Most so called “illegals aka undocumented” have SSNs and have withholdings taken from their pay.  SOme actually file Fed taxes, so yes, they pay for their kids education.  Yes, their are some that cheat, just as the legals cheat.  What’s you point?

more cowbell

I don’t have a problem with them attending and paying for college in VA, They should pay out of state since their parents didn’t pay for the public education.


Umm illegals are paying taxes just like the rest of us, almost no one works under that table. They use fake ids in most cases. No one can avoid paying sales tax etc either. Also studies show many could get refunds but they don’t file to prevent the tax man from looking closer at them so they over pay in the first place. The tax issue is a non-issue for the vast majority; as many legal citizens work under the table too.

And the fraud in this status is how one proves he/she came to the US under age 16? Basically, a rubber stamp approval to get DACA Status.

@westernLoudouner, Don’t you have a small school to defend in Loudoun????

I don’t have a problem with them attending and paying for college in VA, They should pay out of state since their parents didn’t pay for the public education. If they can show proof that their parents paid Federal and state income taxes(at least 5 years), then that’s fine, however if the parents are still here illegally… Once again corrupt politicians put illegals before hard working taxpayers…. The fair way is for those that feel this is a good idea and pay VA taxes, is for them to pay, but that will never happen. Those that want these types of extras, give the least amount to any charities…..

DACA is set up to allow people brought here as small children to become legal citizens. The idea is they had no choice in the matter and they have no roots anywhere else. If you speak English and grew up here, what would you do if you got deported to a nation totally unknown to you and less developed?

Here you go…... This outlines the process and requirements.


And for those interested in how they can apply for jobs with this status….

http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Humanitarian/Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals/DACA-Fact-Sheet-I-9_Guidance-for-employers_nov20_2012.pdf

So a 32 year old illegal with no legal ID can get this new DACA status and become legal overnight?  Poof, you are legal!

Apparently some people didn’t read the article.  There is a new status - DACA- for these children.  From the article, it sounds like this is a legal status, such as having a green card or visa, and will allow these children to apply for jobs legally.  There are conditions that go with it but I have not researched the requirements.  I’m with the other commentor that encourages and welcomes this class of immigrants to get an education and become a productive member of our society.

SWSWSW | Report this comment

“Recall that he refused to enforce voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.”


You mean the unconstitutional amendment. I think he was spot on in this case.

WestLOUDOUNer—what “facts” are you referring to?  Do you agree that it’s fair that a legal citizen from, let’s say Pennsylvania, should have to pay more to attend a school in Virginia than an illegal alien?  Why are taxpayers supposed to make up the difference for the illegal alien?  It’s a privilege, not a right, to attend college.  There’s a cost to attend.  And I’d like to know why you think I should subsidize that cost for someone who is not a legal citizen of this nation to attend a Virginia school.

How does an Illegal with a Degree get a job in America without a Visa, Green Card, or Social Security Number? It’s one thing for an illegal to work on a farm and be paid in cash. It’s a whole other issue of an illegal to be in a professional job that has to pay Social Security Taxes and such on somebody who has no SSN.

Whatever Herring thinks he is accomplishing, it won’t benefit the illegals paying thousands of dollars for their degree. Without a Visa or Green Card, they won’t find too many businesses looking to employ them with cash under the table.

Another end-run to advance the Liberal agenda without Legislative approval. Recall that he refused to enforce voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

more cowbell, FredSanford & Donna P - The 3 of you are so uninformed.  You should check a few facts before you spout out your ignorance.

Once again our corrupt politicians are giving our tax money to people that are not only illegal, but never paid any income taxes. They were given free public education and free healthcare. Herring is a disgrace and should resign. This is and never will be a high priority on the list of what needs accomplished in Virginia. Northern va should get more of it’s tax money back to put towards transportation/roads and schools…

How does somebody even become a student at a college without a Social Security Number???

Regardless, anybody who is not even a citizen should have no right to the benefits enjoyed by citizens. If somebody from a foreign country wants in-state tuition, they need to make a pitstop at the Immigration office for a Visa (LIKE EVERY OTHER LAW ABIDING FOREIGN STUDENT).

Mark Herring and the Democrat Party are making a mockery of our nation. Illegals get in-state tuition, but CITIZENS from North Carolina have to pay Out-of-State tuition.

Democrats… PLEASE STOP THIS NONSENSE.  People who are illegally in the United States need to be arrested, deported, and given the paperwork on how to apply for a visa like all those millions of other foreign citizens who decided to follow the law.

We’re not talking about a job…we’re talking about getting an education.  If a kid has lived in Virginia for years and didn’t come here as an illegal immigrant for any reason other than they were coming with their parents…and they meet all the restrictions that the program sets out…then yes, please let’s do what we can to encourage that they become productive, educated people.  What sort of person would argue that society’s better off if they remain uneducated?

I’m sure they will allow them to skip the ID part along with the drug test. I bet they will get to vote as well…oh, that’s right, that’s already happening. It’s not too far off that people here illegally will have more rights than US citizen.

How can these young people apply for a job when they don’t have the legal ID that is needed to fill out an I-9 form?

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