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New Mexico Paying College Tuition for Illegal Immigrants with COVID-19 Relief Funds

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New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship Act into law, which provides scholarships covering tuition and fees at the state’s public higher education institutions.

“A fully funded Opportunity Scholarship opens the door for every New Mexican to reach higher, strengthening our economy, our families and our communities,” Lujan Grisham said in a press release.

Campus Reform has followed this story and noted the following details:

The law extends to illegal immigrants, The New York Times reports, in addition to prison inmates and students from “tribal nations” that extend beyond state borders.

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The New York Times reports that the program will cost $75 million for the 2023 fiscal year, with “$63 million com[ing] from pandemic relief funds.”

Alternative funding will be needed after 2023, according to the newspaper.

Campus Reform reported in February:

Democratic lawmakers in New Mexico are proposing a bill that would make in-state residents eligible for free tuition at any of the state’s 29 public colleges and universities.

Titled the “Opportunity Scholarship Act”, Senate Bill 140 seeks to expand access to in-state public colleges and universities by allocating $85.5 million to the scholarship project. The price tag is set to provide full tuition for up to 35,000 students.

Students who are eligible to receive the state-funded scholarship include “New Mexico resident[s] who [are] enrolled or enrolling at least half-time in a public post-secondary educational institution or tribal college” within 90 days of graduating high school.

Eight Republicans voted in favor of this Democrat-led legislation.





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