Latino community concerned new tuition law could be overturned

PROVIDENCE, RI – There's concern in the state's Latino community that the legislature could overturn a new policy granting in-state college tuition rates for undocumented students.

Thirteen states allow in-state tuition rates for undocumented students but Rhode Island is the only one that does it by policy, rather than by law. There's an inherent weakness in the Rhode Island approach, says Roger Williams University law professor Jorge Elorza, who also sits on the board of the school's Latino Policy Institute.

"There's always the concern that the legislature may step in or that the policy may be reversed," says Elorza. "So I know there are a number of advocates that will once again push at the General Assembly to have the policy secured as a law. So people are certainly concerned.

But the legislative approach is fraught with uncertainty. The General Assembly has rejected in-state tuition rates for undocumented students seven times.

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