The bill offering in-state college tuition to students in the US illegally is now Colorado law. The ASSET bill passed in the State Legislature this year, after being defeated six times before. Governor Hickenlooper signed the measure Monday at a ceremony packed with former and current state lawmakers and prospective college students. Westminster High School senior Cesiah Guadarrama was there, looking forward to paying resident tuition at Metro State next year. CPR's Mike Lamp reports. [Photo courtesy MSU Denver]
Here's a transcript of Mike's story:
GOV. HICKENLOOPER: Are you fired up? (cheers) Yeah I thought so.
MIKE LAMP: Governor John Hickenlooper and other elected officials shared a stage at Metropolitan State University in Denver Monday for a packed ceremony marking the end of a decade-long battle for supporters of the bill. It will let students with Colorado high school diplomas or a G.E.D. pay resident tuition at state colleges and universities regardless of their immigration status. The Governor called it a step toward nationwide immigration reform, and spoke to the dozens of prospective college students in the crowd.
GOVERNOR: You guys are going to have to do all the work, right? That's the way the system works. We're going to get you into class and give you the opportunity. And your hard work is going to complete the transaction.
LAMP: High school senior Cesiah Guadarrama is planning to take up that challenge.
CESIAH GUADARRAMA: I will be attending Metropolitan State University, and I want to major in biology and political science.
LAMP: She was brought to the U.S. as a six year old. This year she's graduating from Westminster High School.
CESIAH: Being able to afford college and pursuing my dreams toward higher education means a lot more than words can express.
LAMP: Metro State officials estimate they could see as many as 500 new students next school year taking advantage of the new law.