RIPR News
8:30 am
Wed October 5, 2011

Dueling rallies at the statehouse over new tuition law

PROVIDENCE, RI – Dueling rallies will be held at the State House Wednesday over the new state policy granting in-state college tuition to undocumented students.

The group "Immigrants in Action" will gather in front of the State House and walk to Governor Lincoln Chafee's office where they will present him with white roses to thank him for his support of in-state tuition for undocumented students. An hour-and-a-half later, opponents of that policy will gather outside the State House to denounce it. State Representative Joe Trillo, a Warwick Republican, says extending tuition breaks to people in the country illegally sends the wrong message.

"Once we start to bring too many people on the ship guess what? It's going to sink and we're already sinking," he says.

Supporters of the new policy, which was approved last week by the Board of Governors of Higher Education, say it will cost the state nothing. What's more, they say it will mean the difference between poverty and prosperity to people who were brought here as children and are here through no fault of their own.