Texas moving to exclude ‘dreamers’ from college work-study

Published 7:37 am Wednesday, May 17, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas legislators are seeking to deny work-study aid to immigrants attending public college under a temporary residency permit, a move that starkly contrasts with a policy enacted 16 years ago that positioned the state as the nation’s most welcoming place for foreign-born students.

Under the proposal, which is on the verge of clearing the Texas Legislature, only individuals eligible for federal financial aid would qualify for the state’s off-campus, work-study program.

That group includes U.S. citizens, permanent residents and refugees. It doesn’t include students who came into the country illegally as children and have a work visa allowing them to stay longer, or immigrants granted permission to stay in the country because they were crime victims.

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It wasn’t immediately clear how many Texas college students would be denied services if the measure is enacted.

Sen. Charles Schwertner, who sponsored the amendment, would not respond to requests for comment on the floor of the state Senate. At a hearing earlier this month he said the measure simply served to “ensure that students receiving state-subsidized employment are legally eligible to work in the United States.”