AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Representative Jeff Cason of House District 92 has announced his intent to file the End In-State Tuition for Illegals Act.
The bill would stop the current practice of using tax-dollars to finance the higher education of illegal immigrants in Texas. Cason was joined by his fellow freshman colleague, freshman state Rep. Bryan Slaton, R-Royse City, who announced his intent to joint-author the legislation.
"Texans' tax dollars should not be used to reward and encourage illegal immigration to our state and nation. As Texas taxpayers are seeing their property taxes rise, they are rightfully even more frustrated to find out that the Texas legislature has seen fit to give handouts to illegal immigrants. This must end now," Representative Cason said.
An identical version of the bill was filed in the 86th legislature by Rep. Kyle Biedermann, R-Fredericksburg. It was referred to the Higher Education committee, chaired then by Democrat Representative Chris Turner of Grand Prairie, where it never received a hearing, according to Cason.
"This is a clear promise that Republicans have made to Texas voters. We cannot allow taxpayer funded magnets, aimed at those in our state illegally, to continue to be funded, while priorities like property tax relief go ignored. Now is the time to deliver results."
A previous version of this bill was filed in the 85th and 84th legislatures by Jonathan Stickland, who represented House District 92 prior to Jeff Cason. During those sessions, the bills were referred to the State Affairs committee, chaired then by Republican Representative Byron Cook of Corsicana, where they also never received hearings, according to Cason.
Lawmakers passed HB 1403, also known as the Texas Dream Act, with overwhelming support from Democrats and Republicans in 2001. The law offers in-state tuition to any public college or university in the state to unauthorized immigrant students who have gained admission. They must have graduated from a high school or received a GED diploma in Texas, have lived in the state for at least three years and have signed an affidavit affirming they are seeking legal residency.
For more than a decade, conservative lawmakers have tried to end HB 1403 to no avail.
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