Texas Lawmaker Questions Legality Of College Aid For Illegal Immigrants

Texas lawmaker questions legality of college aid for illegal immigrants

Dallas Morning News
10:35 AM CDT on Thursday, October 2, 2008
Associated Press

AUSTIN A Texas state representative has asked the state attorney general for an opinion on whether providing college tuition benefits to illegal immigrants violates federal law.

State Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, said he believes a Texas law giving state financial aid and in-state tuition to illegal immigrants is unlawful, pointing to a ruling by a California appellate court last month.

“If it's in violation in California, I would assume that we are also in violation here in Texas,” Berman said in a story on the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Web site on Wednesday. “I'm hoping to make people realize that we are a nation of laws. We have to obey our laws, and if we're in violation of federal laws then we have to correct it.”

Texas was the first state to offer financial aid and in-state tuition to illegal immigrants in 2001. At least eight states have passed similar laws.

Berman tried to pass anti-illegal immigration legislation in 2007 and said he will introduce bills next year that would tax money transfers to Mexico and challenge the citizenship of the U.S-born children of illegal immigrants.