Some Pennsylvania legislators are pushing for a new state law, that would give illegal immigrants in-state tuition at state universities.
Jose Cortez is an illegal immigrant who's been in Pennsylvania since he was five. He is also a sophomore in college and supports the Pennsylvania Dream Act. "I feel like it's necessary to provide anybody with the right to an education and the right to pursue that dream. They've Americanized. They've been here for the majority of the time and it's right and proper to provide education because it's a human right."
The PA Dream Act, introduced by Republican Senator Lloyd Smucker of West Lampeter, already has 12 bi-partisan sponsors.
The law would allow illegal immigrant students who have graduated from high school in the commonwealth, or have a GED, to pay in-state tuition rates at public universities. Proponents say the bill is the right thing to do, and will increase college revenues because more students would be enrolled.
"My introduction of this legislation today, is consistent with my goal of ensuring every child in PA has access to a quality education." Said Senator Lloyd Smucker.
Opponents say the Dream Act encourages and rewards illegal immigration, and they say it's unfair to immigrants that followed the law.
"It's not necessarily rewarding bad behavior, it's just allowing them to accomplish their dreams. If you can get into state college based on academics, it's not like it's a reward. They are earning that education." Cortez says.
Thirteen other states have already passed in-state tuition for illegal alien youth.