May 172011
 

Dear Immigrant Fairness Advocates,

The Oregon State Senate voted 18 to 11 to pass Senate Bill 742, Oregon’s Bipartisan Tuition Equity Bill. The bill is now in the Oregon State House for approval.

Current Oregon law requires proof of citizenship to qualify for in-state tuition rates.  This means that many of Oregon’s brightest students are being priced out of state colleges and universities.

The difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition is significant – for example at the University of Oregon, in-state tuition is $8,190 a year.  Currently, undocumented students, even those who went to Oregon elementary and high schools, have to come up with $25,830 if they want to study at U of O – and that’s without access to Federal loans and grants.  The same is true for the rest of Oregon’s colleges and Universities.

What are needed urgently now are allies that can show support of SB 742!  If you live in the following towns, we especially need your support!! Regardless of if your district is on this list, every house representative in Oregon should be contacted to prepare for a full floor vote in a couple of weeks.

Key Districts:

  • Rep Deborah Boone: Astoria, Forest Grove, Seaside, Tillamook,Warrenton
  • Rep Greg Smith: LaGrande, Heppner, Elgin, Joseph, Milton-Freewater
  • Rep Vickie Berger: Monmouth, Independence, Salem
  • Rep Johnson: Hood River, Sandy, Government Camp

We need folks who can:

1. Contact your legislator:  Please take 5 minutes to contact your legislator about Tuition Equity today.  Find your legislator’s contact information here, and more background on the bill here.  Or use the simple statement of support:

“I support Oregon’s Tuition Equity Bill (SB 742) because access to affordable higher education is important for the future of ALL Oregon students and for Oregon’s economy.  It capitalizes on Oregon’s investment in K-12 students, moves engaged young immigrants toward citizenship, helps them build productive futures in Oregon and will boost the education level of Oregon’s Workforce. For these reasons, I hope you will support SB 742 and vote “Yes” when it comes up for a vote.”

2. Write a letter to your local paper: Your published letter will be brought to the attention of your legislator, and will make an impact.  Especially if you live in one of the towns listed above, we need your support!  Please cc ROP on your letter, or contact us for samples or for help drafting your points.

Please message back to cara@rop.org to let us know the action you’re taking.

We’re so close to making this victory happen, let’s show that rural Oregon can give the extra push of support needed to win!

Amanda.

P.S. Update on the Driver License Access bill: It will not be going forward this year, since it did not get out of committee in time.  This just means we’ll be ready for another push next year.

 

 Posted by on May 17, 2011