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In-state tuition should not go to individuals who are in Iowa illegally according to the Iowa House Judiciary Committee. House File 2128 advanced on Thursday with just one Republican voting in opposition as State Rep. Brian Lohse joined the Democrats in voting no.

Republican State Rep. Taylor Collins, who is managing the legislation, said the bill is based on the simple idea that anyone in the country illegally should not have their college tuition subsidized through in-state tuition.

Lohse said he has a “very good friend” who runs a business and checks all of his employees through E-Verify but he has several employees who he knows are “absolutely illegal” but passed E-Verify.

“Because of this bill, they would be denied benefits for which they are paying taxes to receive,” Lohse said. “I think it’s a way to mess with and try to solve the immigration problem we have in this country.”

Democrat State Rep. Ross Wilburn noted Iowa’s colleges and universities are not immigration federal officials. This additional responsibility would be “problematic” for them, he said.

Republican State Rep. Jon Dunwell said he struggles sometimes with bills like this because it gets confusing when considering who is here legally and who isn’t. With approved refugees and individuals with legal immigration status being carved out in this bill, he said he supports the bill.

Democrat State Rep. Brian Meyer said about 20 years ago Republican President George W. Bush asked all of the states to pass the DREAM Act.

“Oh how times have changed,” Meyer said. “The exact opposite of this. You have done a 180 as a party on this subject. And not a good 180.”

Collins closed by saying the issue is about compassion.

“What’s going on at the southern border is not compassion and to further encourage that I believe is a mistake,” he said.

Author: Jacob Hall


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