Many eyes across Oregon and the nation will be on the Oregon House on Friday, February 22nd. it's a historic vote on in-state tuition for illegal immigrant students.
The issue has been hotly debated in Salem for years- barely making it out of the Senate, and then dying in the house in committee, not ever making it to a floor vote. But now it’s happening. The moment is not lost on Greg Delgado with latino advocacy group, Causa, or “the cause.”
"We're super super excited about this .... this is a struggle that we've been working on for several years now- it was an uphill battle....a lot of great groups worked on this- we're very happy where's its going."
Degaldo says it if passes 100's of students here in Central Oregon will be impacted.
Meantime, State Representative Gene Whisnant of Sunriver is a "no" vote on tuition equity. Whisnant fears that giving in-state tuition rates for illegal immigrant students could flood the university system and have unintended negative consequences.
"i wish first of all that leadership had waited to see what is coming out of federal government because whatever we do we want to make sure we comply with federal rules- its a tough issue- we know that the people=- the children are victims of actions of their parents- its not their fault - so hoefully we'll get some immigration policy at the national level that will help solve this thing- too. "
Whisnant pushed for a sunset clause on the bill so that in a few years lawmakers can re-evaluate its impact. But that ammendment didn't make it into the bill on the house side, so he’ll push for it to be added if it moves to the Senate.