On Wednesday, May 8, 2019, the Illinois Senate passed a bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to receive taxpayer-funded financial aid to attend college. The bill passed 35-15 and is waiting for Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker to sign it into law.
If approved, the bill would authorize the state to provide financial aid via the Monetary Award Program (MAP grant) to noncitizen students and transgender students not eligible for federal student loan aid because they failed to register for the draft. It would be a benefit to Illinois universities and colleges if the taxpayer-funded Monetary Award Program gave grants to qualifying students to attend their school.
The sponsor of Bill 2691, the Retaining Illinois Students and Equity (RISE) Act, Sen. Omar Aquino (D-Chicago) said,
“Just because someone is undocumented doesn’t mean they aren’t members of our society. It doesn’t mean that they don’t contribute to our society. Undocumented families in Illinois are Illinois families. They are Illinois residents that pay taxes – taxes that actually, because they are undocumented, they are not able to receive the return on those taxes back to them.”
Chicago immigration attorney Mario Godoy says education provides a path for undocumented immigrants to become citizens, and contribute to the economy by paying taxes and creating jobs.
“Noncitizen students believe in the American Dream and want to improve their life and the lives of their families. A college education will give non-citizens opportunities to contribute to both their family and to society as a whole. There are many bright, talented students whose talents can benefit the citizens of Illinois if they are given an opportunity.”
The attorneys at Godoy Law Office are passionate about assisting immigrant and refugee families to achieve the American Dream. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office at 312-635-4029.