Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is ordering the state’s public colleges and universities to offer reduced tuition rates to young illegal immigrants eligible for a federal program saving them from deportation.
Patrick, a Democrat, directed the state’s Department of Higher Education to offer in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants who are eligible for work permits in Massachusetts in a letter sent Monday. The change could save students as much as $13,000 a year in tuition, according to the Boston Globe, which first reported the move.
“While this change in federal enforcement policy applies only to a small segment of our immigrant population and is no substitute for comprehensive immigration reform, it is certainly a step in the right direction,” Patrick wrote in the letter.
“As I see it, this is a matter of basic fairness and economic competitiveness,” Patrick added. “Indeed, our Commonwealth is stronger when we embrace the talent, ideas and work ethic of all immigrants.”