Rhode Island Latest to Provide In-State Tuition to Illegal Aliens

At a meeting Monday evening, the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education unanimously voted to make illegal aliens eligible for in-state tuition rates at the State’s public colleges and universities. Under the policy, illegal aliens meeting the following criteria qualify for the tuition break: (1) attended high school in RI for at least three years; (2) received a high school or GED in RI; and (3) sign an affidavit stating an intent to seek legal status as soon as eligible. The Board approved this policy notwithstanding a prohibition of such under federal law. The relevant statute reads: “an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the basis of residence within a State (or a political subdivision) for any postsecondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of the United States is eligible for such a benefit….” (8 U.S.C. §1623)

Not surprisingly, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee praised the move, claiming that providing in-state tuition to illegal aliens would “improve the intellectual and cultural life of [Rhode Island] while strengthening our work force and helping our economy.” Perhaps rescinding his predecessor’s order requiring all public employers to verify the employment eligibility of their hires has made him forget that illegal aliens, regardless of whether they attend college, are prohibited from working in the United States? Recent news reports also indicate that Chafee is considering offering driver’s licenses to illegal aliens as well, a move that would turn Rhode Island into one of the most inviting states for illegal aliens.

Rhode Island now joins 12 other states in permitting illegal aliens to qualify for in-state tuition. These states include: Texas, California, New York, Utah, Washington, Oklahoma, Illinois, Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, Maryland, and Connecticut.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    Well, I hope the American students and their parent taxpayers keep voting for these elected that voted to fill their university’s slots with illegals…paid for by taxpayers. Since when can states give amnesty? They promise them citizenship so they then can sponsor their entire families. So when citizens can’t get their children into local colleges and have to pay higher out of state schools….I hope they will see the light!

  2. avatar

    If they are going to continue to live in your statewhcih they would anyway; then teach them to be a). productive citizens of your state and b). share in the responsibilities of your state.

  3. avatar

    Why not give away the entire store while you are at it Gov? Go ahead fire teachers, firemen, police and public workers by the truck load. Engage in union bustin as well. Your constituents will get a clue when they have no services and you manage to single handedly bring down the standard of living for your state BRAVO Gov you will be voted out next time around.

  4. avatar

    Are the good citizens of Rhode Island , paying the tution for the people in the U.S.A., illegally? Is the tution going to be raised on the legal students of Rhode Island or are the legal students of other states wanting to go to schools in Rhode Island going to be outlandishly raised? Just asking!!! I agree with Joyce, we need to take care of our own U.S.A. citizens. All students should pay their own way.

  5. avatar

    Shame on you Rhode Island for giving illegal immigrants a break on their tuition. Let them go to their own country – they should not be here.

    Take care of our own.