Dueling rallies at the statehouse over new tuition rates

Providence, RI – The state's new policy allowing undocumented students to pay in-state college tuition rates prompted two rallies at the State House Wednesday. Roughly 500 opponents gathered outside the Capitol building, carrying signs saying "Dump Chafee," "Enforce our Laws and "What Part of Illegal Don't You Get?"

Keith Anderson, an East Providence High School teacher, accused the Governor of selectively enforcing laws.

"Governor Chafee," he says, "this is a nation of laws. If we don't enforce the laws on illegal aliens then how are we going to know what laws to enforce?"

The rally was organized by WPRO and the Ocean State Tea Party.

Meantime, inside the building a decidedly different type of rally: one intended to thank the governor for giving immigrants the chance for an affordable education.

About 20 Latino children dressed in their Sunday best filed into the elaborate State Room to present a representative of the Governor with small bouquets of roses.

It was a gesture of gratitude for the state's new policy granting in-state college tuition rates to undocumented students. Seven year old Ariana Cerulo said she hoped her parents wouldn't be sent back to Mexico.

"I don't want them to go to Mexico because they have nothing. And I want they stay over here," she says.

The event was organized by Immigrants in Action whose leader, Juan Garcia, said that undocumented workers deserve a place in the United States because they perform work that Americans don't want to do.

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