A state higher education board is planning to vote on a measure that would allow students who immigrated to the United States illegally to pay in-state tuition rates at Rhode Island's public colleges and universities after the General Assembly declined to take up the issue.
The 13-member Board of Governors for Higher Education planned to hear public testimony on the policy change ahead of a vote Monday evening at the Community College of Rhode Island's Warwick campus.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee threw his support behind the measure Sunday, saying it would improve the state's "intellectual and cultural life" and allow more Rhode Islanders to attend college. In addition, those developments would make for a stronger work force and would boost the state's flagging economy, he said.
"All that separates these young people from the thousands of other students who gain entry to Rhode Island's public colleges and universities each year is the place where they were born -- a factor none of us can control," Chafee, an independent, said in a statement.