Virginia’s ‘dreamers’ now have access to in-state tuition

Capitol Connection

Janet Amado advocating for “in-state tuition equity” with other undocumented students at the state Capitol in 2015.

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Undocumented students in Virginia are now eligible for in-state tuition.

On Friday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed Senate Bill 935 into law — making in-state tuition a possibility for all students regardless of their immigration status.

For Yanet Amado, it has been a long time coming. For the last six years, Amado has been sharing her story with lawmakers at the state capitol — paving the way for generations to come.

“It’s truly an honor to witness a win that was led by undocumented students,” Amado told 8News Monday. “For over eight years students encountered enormous obstacles from legislation that would mandate university officials to collaborate with Immigration Customs Enforcement to being told they were not welcome.”

RELATED: In-state tuition for undocumented immigrants passes House and Senate

The new law makes any student eligible for in-state tuition if they have attended a Virginia high school for at least two years and either graduated on or after July 1, 2008 or passed equivalency education.

To be eligible, the student must prove that at least one of their parents or legal guardians filed Virginia taxes for at least two years prior to registration or enrollment at a public institution of higher education in the commonwealth.

“The most important thing now is making sure every undocumented student that meets the requirements gets access to in-state tuition. Students organizations and coalition partners will be working closely to develop a clear system,” Amado said.

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