NH House Leaders Comment on Passage of Bill to Prohibit In-State Tuition Benefits for Illegal Immigrants

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) offered the following comments on the passage of House Bill 1383, which requires those receiving in-state tuition within the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) be legal residents of the United States. The bill passed 250 to 88.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“It’s wrong to be forcing the taxpayers of New Hampshire to subsidize a post-secondary education for those who are breaking the law or are otherwise in our state because of criminal conduct. We shouldn’t be awarding bad behavior in this way and it’s especially unfair to those who follow the rules and come here legally.  According to a survey just released by the Federation for American Immigration Reform nearly two thirds of New Hampshire voters oppose tuition subsides for illegal aliens and most desire state involvement in immigration enforcement showing that this issue is very much on the minds of Granite Staters. Further, awarding such fringe benefits to illegal aliens circumvents federal law and would attract more illegal immigrants who would view New Hampshire as a sanctuary state.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“New Hampshire is made up of many out-of-staters who have chosen to relocate to the Granite State and we welcome and encourage that. Awarding in-state tutition to illegal immigrants undermines our immigration laws and exactly the wrong message we should be sending at a time when we should be enforcing and tightening statutes. In these tough economic times it is difficult enough for families to send their own children to college let alone footing the bill for those who aren’t playing by the rules.”