Conservative Lawmaker Sponsors Pa. "Dream Act" Bill

Ann McClure's picture

As the rhetoric in Washington on immigration shifts from building walls to building a pathway to citizenship, so, too, has the discussion softened in some corners of the state Capitol.

In recent years, the loudest voices among Republicans have advocated tighter laws to halt what one legislator calls Pennsylvania's "illegal-alien invasion."

But now, a conservative lawmaker from Lancaster County is offering an olive branch of sorts to undocumented residents, in the form of a Pennsylvania "Dream Act" that would extend in-state college tuition rates to students who were brought to the United States as children.

The bill's chief sponsor, state Sen. Lloyd Smucker, said he decided to draft the legislation after talking with undocumented young people in his district - and seeing what happened just over the border in Maryland, where voters last fall overwhelmingly approved a similar bill.

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