CONCORD – The House voted 188-155 Wednesday to allow students who entered the country illegally to receive in-state tuition at University System of New Hampshire schools.
House Bill 474 would require the students to apply for legal residency or sign an affidavit that they will apply for legal residency as soon as they are eligible to do so. Under a 2012 law, all students seeking in-state tuition must sign an affidavit that they are legal residents of the United States. A copy of the application for legal residency or the affidavit must be filed with the University System of New Hampshire.
Students would have to meet all current requirements for in-state tuition . They would also have to have lived in the state at least three years and have graduated from a state high school or a program to obtain a high school equivalency certificate.
An estimated 100 students would be eligible for in-state tuition through the proposed legislation.
Opponents said the bill would not be fair to out-of-state citizens and immigrants who wait years to enter the country legally.
But supporters said the students who were brought here at an early age should not be punished for their parents' decisions.
The bill now goes to the Senate where it faces an uphill battle.