Facing legislative efforts to overturn the Texas Dream Act and new state leaders who are open to its repeal, state Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, filed a resolution Thursday to reaffirm support for the act.
The Dream Act allows undocumented college students to pay in-state tuition if they have lived in Texas for three years, have graduated from high school in the state, and agree to seek legal residency. Anchia’s resolution is a response to bills filed by House conservatives seeking to repeal the Dream Act.
Critics of the law say it provides a reward and incentive for illegal immigration and unfairly burdens legal U.S. residents who have to pay out-of-state tuition.
Lawmakers have tried and failed to repeal the Dream Act since it was passed in 2001, but under Lt. Gov.-elect Dan Patrick and Gov.-elect Greg Abbott, the law may be in danger — Patrick wants it repealed, and Abbott has indicated he’s okay with that.
A group of students, businesspeople and lawmakers, including Anchia, rallied outside the Texas Capitol on Wednesday in support of the Dream Act.
“We need to stop this effort now,” Anchia told the crowd. “We need to be proactive. We need to affirm this law, and we need to affirm these young people.”