Opponents and supporters

Nebraska State Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont introduced the bill to repeal the law. He says the law conflicts with federal law and that he doesn’t think taxpayers should subsidize tuition for illegal immigrants.

Supporters of the bill said it’s unfair to law-abiding students from outside of Nebraska to pay three times the tuition rates that in-state students pay.

“It’s a slap in the face to ask Nebraskans to subsidize illegal aliens while Americans are denied,” said Susan Smith.

Supporters also said the bill gives students false hope.They can’t be legally hired once they get their diploma, and that can set them back when they try to gain legal status.

“You need to go back to your home country if you want to live the American dream, and apply for a student visa,” said Kris Kobach.

But opponents of the bill said such a demand would be devastating.

“How do you tell somebody to go back home when they’ve lived here for so long,” said Marlin Perez.

She read a letter from one of the 35 illegal immigrants enrolled in the university.

“If the law changes, my chances of becoming a college grad and positive member of my country will be shattered,” she read.

That’s why education officials pleaded not the change a law that has given hope to so many.

“If the promise is you will pay three times what your neighbors will pay, we feel that discourages even high school completion, let alone going on to college,” said University of Nebraska President J.B. Miliken


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