College Station, TX - The Texas A&M Student Senate has failed to get a two-thirds majority vote in order to pass a controversial bill opposing the Texas practice of granting in-state tuition to illegal aliens. The failed vote came after much debate.
The "In-State Tuition Bill" originally passed the Senate with a vote of 41 for and 26 against; however, the student body president vetoed the bill. The Senate could have overridden the veto with a two-thirds vote, which fell short Wednesday night with a vote of 34 for and 25 against. The student vote carries no legal or policy weight.
Student Body President Jacob Robinson said the in-state tuition debate was "a state issue and should be dealt with in Austin, not in Student Government."
That could be exactly where the measure is headed. Texas State Representative Leo Berman reportedly supports the student senate bill and plans to introduce similar state legislation this spring.
"The point of subsidizing college education is to educate the future workforce of the state. It doesn't make sense to subsidize the education of someone who can't legally work in the United States after they graduate. A country must take care of its citizens first," said Senator Justin Pulliam, also Chairman of the Texas Aggie Conservatives. Pulliam was the lead bill author.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Texas and New Mexico are the only states granting in-state tuition and financial aid to illegal aliens. On the other hand, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama state policies prevent illegal aliens from attending public universities. This week, the California Supreme Court ruled illegal immigrants can attend college at in-state tuition rates.
"This bill caused significant controversy on campus, but from speaking with my constituents, I discovered that they overwhelming supported the bill and the original passage of the bill clearly reflected the wishes of most Texas A&M students," said Steven Crumpley, off campus student senator. "The current state law simply rewards illegal behavior and this is something we as Aggies reject."