The New Hampshire House passed a measure Tuesday that would give in-state tuition at University of New Hampshire schools to the children of undocumented immigrants.
By a vote of 188 to 155, the Democratic-led House moved the bill on to the Senate, where it faces a Republican majority and likely a much tougher test.
Representative Rick Ladd of Haverhill says the state should be supporting all students attending its public schools.
“If we want in fact to have a society that’s productive and meeting the needs of the 21st century, we should encourage every student that’s in this state to pursue as much education that he or she can do.”
To be eligible, students must have graduated from a New Hampshire high school or earned their high school equivalency in the state.
They must also have attended their high school for at least three years and be in the process of pursuing legal residency.
Still, Representative Patrick Bick of Salem says the state shouldn’t be giving benefits to people living in the country illegally.
“Providing benefits to people who break our laws, is a slap in the face to every citizen, every legal immigrant, and every person waiting in another country to enter this country.”
Supporters say only about 15 students would qualify for the in-state tuition each year.