Tuition break for undocumented immigrants in Massachusetts

And this is great news for thousands of undocumented immigrants.

Massachusetts reduces tuition rates for undocumented immigrants—Young and undocumented immigrants in Massachusetts will have the benefit of paying in-state tuition rates. The only condition is that such undocumented immigrants must be eligible for a US deferred deportation program.

Announcing the latest provision for undocumented immigrants, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said the offer of reduced tuition rate will be available in all public colleges and universities in this US state.

Its certainly a move in the right direction, affirmed Patrick adding that it should not be considered to be a substitute for a comprehensive immigration reform in the US.

The step of having reduced tuition rates for work permit eligible undocumented immigrants is a great move and will result in annual savings of $13,000 in tuition.

Not a substitute to comprehensive US immigration reform—The move of in-state tuition rates for undocumented immigrants in Massachusetts is, in no way, a substitute for a detailed reform in US immigration rules, affirmed Patrick.

It is a way of having fairness and step forward in embracing the ideas and work ethics of undocumented immigrants, he maintained. And hence, it should be considered a part of efforts to reform US immigration policy.

The decision by Patrick follows the initiative by US President Barack Obama in August to launch US Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program.

Under this federal program, undocumented immigrants in the US will be offered temporary work permits for a period of two years to live and work in the US legally provided they—

• Had come to the US as children(before attaining 16 years);

• Are aged below 31 years;

• Have a clean record;

• Pay a fee of $465.

As per the estimates, there are nearly 15,000 to 17,000 undocumented immigrants currently living in this US state.

Wide difference between out-of-state and in-state tuition fee is proving to be a big barrier to undocumented immigrants wanting to enroll in public schools and colleges in Massachusetts, feels the secretary of education of Massachusetts, Paul Reville.

Students from outside Massachusetts are required to pay almost double the fee charged from Massachusetts residents who pay $13,230(as compared to $26,645 paid by non-Massachusetts residents).