Statement from Connecticut’s Democratic Gov. Jodi Rell – Governor Rell Vetoes Bill To Provide In-State Tuition to Illegal Aliens


The Office of Governor M. Jodi Rell


M. Jodi Rell

June 26, 2007
Chris Cooper

Governor Rell Vetoes Bill To Provide In-State
Tuition to Illegal Aliens

Rell: “The Students and Their Parents Are Here Illegally and Neither
Sympathy nor Good Intentions Can Ameliorate that Fact”

Governor M. Jodi Rell has vetoed a bill approved by the General Assembly that would have allowed illegal aliens in Connecticut to pay in-state tuition at State colleges and universities. The bill also would have required such students to file an application to legalize their immigration status or state that they will file as soon as they are “eligible to do so” – however, absent federal reform, many of these students will never become eligible to legalize their status.

“I understand these students are not responsible for their undocumented status, having come to the United States with their parents,” Governor Rell said. “The fact remains, however, that these students and their parents are here illegally and neither sympathy nor good intentions can ameliorate that fact.”

“This bill does not address the underlying problem that these students face – that they are not legal residents of the United States,” Governor Rell said. “The requirement that students file an application to legalize their status would in essence, be notification to the government that they are here illegally and it would greatly increase the likelihood that they would be deported.”

The Governor noted in her veto message that she also does not want “to encourage individuals to circumvent federal immigration laws. The bill, by providing benefits to undocumented aliens, may serve to encourage others to come to Connecticut in violation of federal immigration law. National security in the post-9/11 world has become increasingly important and we cannot dismiss the effects of state action that may undermine federal security measures.”

The bill is House Bill 5656, An Act Concerning Access to Postsecondary Education.

“I am sympathetic with the goals of this bill and with the needs of the students the bill seeks to help. But since the underlying issues are a matter of national concern and need to be addressed by the Congress, the most prudent course for the State of Connecticut is to wait for resolution at the federal level,” the Governor said.
Content Last Modified on 7/5/2007 4:08:59 PM