Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > With another GOP state legislature voting down in-state tuition for undocumented students, it’s time Latino voters come to their senses

With another GOP state legislature voting down in-state tuition for undocumented students, it’s time Latino voters come to their senses

LatinaLista — Colorado’s SB 15 would have allowed undocumented students, who had attended at least three years of high school in Colorado and graduated, eligible for a tuition rate higher than the one in-state students have to pay, but lower than the nonresident rate they’re required to pay now. The bill reiterated that these undocumented students would not be eligible for state or federal financial aid and would be required to be in the process of seeking legal citizenship.

In 2011, Senators Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) and Mike Johnston (D-Denver) announced their sponsorship of Colorado ASSET legislation. The Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow (ASSET) bill will allow undocumented students to pay their own way to attend Colorado colleges and universities at in-state tuition prices.

One of the more onerous tuition bills for undocumented students — some states allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition as long as they attended school and graduated from high school in the same state where they’re going to college — its death at the hands of a Republican House panel isn’t just predictable, sad and disgusting but indicative at what the Latino community has to look forward to if the Republican Party gains the White House.

When it comes to the Latino vote, Romney, his campaign and his party want to remind Latinos that Obama hasn’t followed through on what he promised. Yet, Romney can’t be too critical because, in turn, he can’t promise anything, especially if it has to do with the undocumented portion of our community.

It’s true that the Latino community is a complex demographic and when it comes to voting there has been speculation as to if Latinos who vote Democrat will even turn out at the polls. In fact, Romney and his people would like very much for Latino voters not to turn out for one reason — because Latino voters can make a difference in who wins the presidency.

In some of the states considered swing states, Latinos comprise enough of a portion of the state’s population that their votes could either give the election to Obama or Romney. Ironically, Colorado is one of those “swing states.”

Though disappointment and disillusionment over Obama and the Democratic party’s record so far ranks high among the complaints of a lot of Latino voters, it’s time to consider the alternative as GOP state legislators continually kill any kind of fair treatment or justice for young people who were brought here without say, raised here, educated here and know no other country as their home.

These young people don’t deserve to be the victims of this kind of fear-based politics and they can’t do anything about it without the help of Latino voters.

It’s time the Latino community was united, that all of our young people be given the opportunity to become constructive citizens and we, as a demographic and a constituency, stood up for what is right — because no one else is going to do it for us.


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