A Democratic Senate committee voted 6-3 Thursday to approve a bill allowing Colorado residents who are illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition.
Opponents say this will make Colorado a magnet for illegal immigrants who want to get their kids into college on the cheap.
"The parents made a conscious choice when they came to America to violate our laws," Senator Ted Harvey (R-Highlands Ranch) said.
"I actually don't think my parents are being rewarded. I think it's me being given a chance," student Alexa Bailon said.
The tuition bill is thought likely to become law because Democrats took control of both chambers of the Legislature. Latinos last year made up an estimated 14 percent of Colorado's vote, the highest-ever turnout for the group.
One Republican on the Education Committee also voted for the tuition proposal. Freshman Sen. Owen Hill of Colorado Springs said it is a "moral duty" to change tuition policies.
Legislative analysts say the measure could affect some 500 students next school year.
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