Rhode Island has become the 13th state to grant in-state college tuition to undocumented immigrants after a landmark legislative move Monday evening.
The ruling was approved by the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education, who received support from governor Lincoln Chafee, Reuters reported.
Chafee said this would improve the intellectual and cultural life of our state while strengthening our work force and helping our economy, The Providence Journal reported.
According to board spokesperson Michael Trainor, in order to qualify for in-state tuition, illegal immigrants must have completed at least three years of high school in the state, graduated from high school in the state, or received a GED in the state, Reuters reported.
They must also sign an affidavit promising to apply for citizenship, Trainor said, Reuters reported.
The other states that give in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants are California, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Rhode Island is the only state of the 13 that did not go through its legislature to get approval, Reuters reported.
The move was met with criticism.
This is not your decision to make, senator Glenford Shibley said to the board, The Providence Journal reported. It's not a policy decision. This is wrong and everybody knows it.
Representative Anastasia Williams was one who defended the bill.
I don't believe in segregation, she said, The Providence Journal reported.