Dreamers Could Get In-State Tuition If New Bill Passes
Columbia, SC (WOLO)– A new bill could have Dreamers paying in-state tuition for college here in South Carolina. Some South Carolina lawmakers are pushing a bill that allows DACA participants in-state tuition and occupational licensing. Representative Neal Collins said he has heard many stories of Dreamers going to school here here all their life, but when it comes time for college, they are not able to afford it because they have to pay out-of-state tuition.
“A child being here K-12, and then all of sudden obstacles were in place for them to continue their education. We had a valedictorian last year in Charleston that wasn’t able to receive in state tuition,” Collins said. Which is why Representative Collins is sponsoring a house bill to help the nearly 7,000 dreamers here in South Carolina. Senator Marlon Kimpson is sponsoring the companion senate bill.
“Quite frankly it’ll be an uphill battle. I’m no stranger to the uphill battles. It’s the right thing to do. It might not be the politically popular thing to do,” Kimpson said. Both legislators said allowing Dreamers in-state tuition and occupational licensing can help ease the 60-thousand unfilled jobs in the Palmetto state– including filling in the teacher and nursing shortage much of the state is facing right now.
“It makes little sense to me that we place barriers for people to get their education, and even worse not allow them to obtain occupational licensing so that they can fill some of these unfilled jobs,” Collins said. South Carolina is one of 6 other states that doesn’t currently allow Dreamers access to in-state tuition. Senator Kimpson says South Carolina has made $200-million in taxable revenue from the Dreamers.
“I think we have more to gain by giving dreamers opportunities, and we stand to lose more if we don’t,” Kimpson said.
Both lawmakers said these Dreamers have played by the rules, are here legally, and believe they should have all the same benefits if they have gone through the DACA requirements.
“You know, the environment that we live in this day and age isn’t friendly, quite frankly, to the principals that this country was founded upon and that’s valuing people for the talents that they can offer this country,” Kimpson said.
The bills in both the senate and the house are waiting to be passed onto committees for a hearing.