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A New Bill Prevents Illegals from going to College

A new bill concerning the education of illegal immigrants has passed through the Missouri House, despite some strong opposition from both legislators and citizens. KSMU's Megan Keathley has more.

House Bill 1463 is sponsored by Republican Representative Jerry Nolte. The bill, which is now up for consideration by the state senate, would prohibit public universities from admitting illegal immigrants. The law would require colleges to confirm they have not knowingly enrolled illegal immigrants before the school can receive state funding.

Immigrant advocates oppose the bill, saying a lack of higher education reflects poorly on all of American society, which includes immigrants legal and otherwise. Yolanda Lorge is the president of Grupo Latino Americano, a service organization which helps Latin-American immigrants integrate into American culture. Lorge believes that an uneducated population has a negative impact on the greater public, and does nothing to solve the immigration debate.

Lorge says illegal immigrants are not seeking a free college education. She says they come to the U.S. for jobs by which they can feed their families; jobs for which higher education is often necessary. Supporters of the bill say admitting illegal immigrants to state universities would be rewarding illegal behavior. This is Megan Keathley for KSMU News.