Breaking: Colorado House Fails Undocumented Youth, No To In-State Tuition
It was on the reluctant vote of Representative Robert Ramirez (R-Westminster), considered an advocate for Colorado Latinos, House Bill 126 granting in-state tuition to undocumented youth was sent to it’s grave. While Ramirez was not the last to vote on the matter, it was clear to all who were in the chamber, without his support and his leadership, the bill would die.
After Ramirez cast his vote he quietly laid his head into his hands. Students, teachers, school districts, chambers of commerce and an auditorium full of young adults who wanted nothing more than to live the American Dream were shredded once again. Colorado will not be joining 12 other states, including “red” states like Texas and Kansas in helping their youth move into the future. One of the most recent states to grant in-state tuition was Maryland.
Supporters of student bill join in solidarity after crushing defeat
On the pro side of the issue was the matter of fundamental fairness. Youth of undocumented immigrants were brought here by their parents often before they could form memories. Yet, when it comes time to seek the opportunities their classmates enjoy to go to school and move ahead, they are frequently denied. Without a social security number they are unable to gain admittance to many colleges and universities.
When undocumented youths find a school to admit them, they must pay out-of-state tuition. Since most of the youths come from poor families, the cost of college proves an impassable barrier. With no avenue left, they are forced into the same low wage jobs and dead end paths which have imprisoned their fathers and mothers. In the alternative, after Colorado pays to educate the students in K-12 grade, the students leave the state in search of a better life in a friendlier place. Colorado tax payers lose the benefit of their bargain as the state's educated populace drops and the state falls in it’s ability to educate the people who live within it’s borders.
House Republicans made it clear this is not to be a friendly place for undocumented youth or their parents.
“On this issue there are no shades of gray. Our founders say we are a country of laws. Lady justice has a blindfold on. Our founders were very careful, we will be a country of laws. I cannot set that aside because of individual stories.” Said one house Republican, whose cold words cut like a whip into the hearts and souls of the youth who gathered to hear the vote.Continued on the next page