Virginia’s version of the Dream Act cleared a House subcommittee Tuesday with unanimous, bipartisan support.
The bill will allow undocumented students who graduate from commonwealth high schools to pay in-state tuition rates at Virginia colleges and universities.
The bill was sponsored by Del. Thomas Davis Rust (R-Fairfax), with Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington) listed as chief co-sponsor. Del. Kaye Kory (D-Fairfax) had a similar bill that was incorporated into Rust’s bill.
The bill applies to people who entered the country illegally prior to their 16th birthdays, have lived in the commonwealth for the past five years, are pursuing permanent residency and have graduated from a Virginia high school. Their parents or guardians must have paid state income taxes for the past year.
The legislation passed the House Higher Education Subcommittee with support from Rust and another Republican, Del. James P. Massie of Henrico. Another Republican, Del. L. Mark Dudenhefer of Stafford, was not able to attend but sent an aide to voice his support.
The bill will be heard by the full Higher Education Committee Wednesday.