I want to thank the members of the Oregon House of Representatives who supported House Bill 2787, the tuition equity bill. The bill would grant in-state tuition for undocumented students who have attended school in the country for at least five years, studied at an Oregon high school for at least three years, graduated and show intention of becoming a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.

These are tougher rules than those required for citizen residents of Oregon.

For undocumented students it is tougher yet because there are fewer opportunities for work and tuition funding. Citizen students pay in-state tuition in the various universities that exist in their home states. If you grew up in Oregon, you have access to institutions of higher education here at the in-state tuition rate. The same is true if you are a resident of another state; you have access to universities and in-state tuition there.

It makes sense to allow undocumented students the opportunity to attend college in the state that they grow up in and call home. Every young person with the academic potential who can also overcome the obstacles should have the opportunity of getting a higher education. I am happy to support their effort with my tax dollars.

In time, they will become engineers, American citizens, taxpayers and registered voters. And that will be good for our state and our country.

Barbara Fontaine

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