Virginia state lawmakers are debating a bill that would amend state law to prevent undocumented immigrants from enrolling in public state colleges and universities. Passage of the bill would make Virginia the fourth state to prevent, in one way or another, undocumented students from attending state schools. This comes a month after the defeat of the DREAM Act in Congress, which would have allowed some undocumented immigrants to attain legal status by attending college or serving in the military.
If passed, HB 1465 would prevent a woman like Isabel Castillo, an undocumented 25-year-old from Harrisonburg, Va., from going to graduate school in the state where she has lived since she was six years old. She says she wants to help the state. “Let us go to college. Let us work. Let us pay taxes, give back to our communities and contribute to Virginia's economy," she told The Takeaway.
To talk with us about the bill is one of its two sponsors, Virginia State Delegate Jackson Miller.