Wisconsin became the 11th state to allow illegal immigrants in-state tuition (California, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Washington are the other 10). To qualify the students must prove that they lived in Wisconsin for the 3 previous years, graduated from a Wisconsin High School, and sign an affidavit that they will seek residency in the near future.
The Federal government has the right to punish these states by forcing them to offer the in-state rate to all students according to the Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. The DREAM act, which is currently before Congress would revoke that section of the law. More importantly, this bill would provide certain illegal immigrant students who graduate from US high schools, are of good moral character, arrived in the US as children, and have been in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill’s enactment, the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency. The students would obtain temporary residency for a six year period. Within the six year period, a qualified student must have “acquired a degree from an institution of higher education in the United States or [have] completed at least 2 years, in good standing, in a program for a bachelor’s degree or higher degree in the United States,” or have “served in the uniformed services for at least 2 years and, if discharged, [have] received an honorable discharge.”. “Any alien whose permanent resident status is terminated [according to the terms of the Act] shall return to the immigration status the alien had immediately prior to receiving conditional permanent resident status under this Act.”