(Memphis) Some college students in Tennessee are pushing for state lawmakers to approve a bill that would grant undocumented students in-state tuition.
The Tennessee Student Union is urging University of Memphis students to join them in support of legislation before state lawmakers known as the Tuition Equality Bill.
The bill allows undocumented students, who meet certain academic requirements, to pay in-state tuition at Tennessee’s universities.
Under the proposal, a student would have to meet academic standards and attend Tennessee schools for at least five years before graduating from high school.
Supporters claim changes need to be made because out-of-state tuition is three times more than in-state tuition and violates an undocumented immigrants human right to education.
Supporters say the Tuition Equality bill is only fair since most of the undocumented students actually spend most of their lives in Tennessee.
They say even if they don’t have the documentation to prove it, they should still be granted instate status.
They also believe it would benefit the state’s economy by encouraging more undocumented immigrants to go to college.
If approved, Tennessee would become the twentieth state with this type of law.
At this point, the law seems to be getting bipartisan support along with the support of state education leaders.
But some state lawmakers like Shelby County Senator Mark Norris are still undecided.
Norris says there are still so many questions out there.
Critics say this move would put undocumented people in a special class and amounts to discrimination against legal citizens who would still be charged out of state tuition.