Virginia Bill Could Bar Undocumented Students

Thursday, January 20, 2011

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.


Jackson Miller

Produced by:

William Miesmer and Andrea Swalec

Comments [5]


Not a single undocumented student pays in-state university/college tuition in the whole state of Virginia!

We pay every single cent from our pockets according to the out-of state tuition, which is almost 3 times as much as the instate. So essentially, undocumented students in VA subsidize the tuition of other students!

We don't complain or commit crimes. We just want to learn just like any other academic student.

What more do you really want???

That is really the truth.

Feb. 12 2011 05:28 PM
Abby from Virginia

So we want to give back to our community and the state we know and LOVE, and the bigotry of these people is incredible. We just want to become succesful members of society who pay taxes, and help others, is that so hard to understand? We pay out-of-state tuition with no chance of being able to get financial aid. We are not asking to be able to go to College/University for free (and yes undocumented immigrants pay taxes just google it), we are not asking for financial aid, we are not even asking to be able to pay in-state tuition, WE JUST WANT TO BECOME WELL-ROUNDED individuals who make this country better. We are not asking for a handout, we are just asking for an oportunity. LOVE AND RESPECT PEOPLE, Please..

Jan. 20 2011 03:52 PM
Josef from Brooklyn, NY

If she is really "undocumented," literally without documents, then it should be a simple matter for Isabel to return to her home country and apply to come to the U.S. legally with a student visa. Delegate Miller's suggestion is perfectly reasonable. Why are some people required to play by the rules while others are not?

Jan. 20 2011 09:54 AM
Patricia from FH

How is she supposed to get here legally! You idiot don't you realize she came as a child. Once she returns to her country she will be banned to the US because she was here illegally! Why don't you become educated on legal migration first/.
[This comment was edited to remove offensive accusations. Please keep the comments civil.]

Jan. 20 2011 08:27 AM
Brad from Oakton, VA

I just wanted to ask Delegate Miller one simple question as a parent. What about the law-abiding Virginia citizens who not only play by the rules and pay taxes, but want to teach their children to do the same.

What message are we sending to our kids when they have to compete with illegal, undocumented students for the rare spots in these colleges? Weren't we taught that there's no cutting in line?

Thank you Mr Miller for bringing this issue to our attention.

Jan. 19 2011 11:50 PM

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