UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS — Nearly 100 people gathered on the quad Monday in support of the Student Access Bill. It would allow undocumented students to receive scholarship money.
They’re getting support from university and community leaders. Among the people at the event Monday were U of I President Timothy Killeen and State Representative Carol Ammons. They both spoke in support of the bill and the people it would help.
Nearly 80 students at UIUC are undocumented citizens. Killeen says they’re a huge asset to the state and it’s schools. Some of them shared their stories today asking people to help them get the bill passed in Springfield. If it passes, undocumented students would be able to apply for existing scholarships at the state’s public universities. Supporters say it wouldn’t cost Illinois any extra money. Opponents say we should focus on helping American citizens before we help anyone else. But others say those who went to high school in Illinois and work hard in the classroom deserve some help.
Many of these students will head to Springfield on April 5 hoping to push lawmakers into signing the bill. One supporter says the Illinois Senate Higher Education Committee has already vowed their support for the bill. The next step is moving it to the house floor.