Attorney General Mark Herring issued the following statement following a vote in the Senate Education and Health Committee to advance legislation to take away in-state tuition from Virginia students who have been declared “lawfully present” through acceptance into the federal “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)” program.
“The Senators who voted for this measure should meet some of the young people they are trying to punish. They are bright, hard-working young people, including valedictorians, who have attended Virginia schools and in most cases know no home but Virginia. Because DACA students are considered “lawfully present” by the federal government, current Virginia law allows these students to pursue an affordable college education in their home state if they have earned admission. That’s the conclusion then-Attorney General McDonnell reached regarding immigrants with “temporary protected status,” and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services confirmed as much just a few weeks after we announced the same legal conclusion. Tuition equity has received bipartisan support as recently as last session, and I hope we will again see that spirit of fairness and compassion this session.”