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Senate Passes DREAM Act

Posted at: 05/01/2013 6:50 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Wednesday the Minnesota senate passed a bill that will make it easier for undocumented children to attend Minnesota colleges.

For undocumented children the idea of college has long seemed only a dream.

"His parents responded, Luis we wish we could because we love you, but the finances and documentation just weren't there," said Sen. Sandra Pappas.

The bill makes students who have attended a Minnesota high school for more than three years and graduated, eligible for in state tuition. It also makes them eligible for financial aid.

It's Legislation that would affect many students in our area.

"I've visited with kids from my high schools Mayo and Century, who were brought here when they were three or six," said Sen. Carla Nelson.

Senator Nelson says she had some issues with the bill, but supports making college more attainable for undocumented children.

"We want them I believe to be able to get a college education," said Sen. Nelson

The bill passed by a big bi-partisan vote of 41 to 23, but there was some concerns with the legislation.

"I believe this bill is premature because the federal government hasn't acted yet," said Sen. Julianne Ortman.

Sen. Nelson says the bill is a step in the right direction.

"We know that the best way for people to be sustainable productive members of society is to be able to graduate and get a college degree and then go out into the workforce," said Sen. Nelson.

"With a chance to dream students like Luis will have a reason to show up to class and be productive,” said Sen. Pappas.

The senate has previously passed this bill twice, but has faced opposition from former Governor Tim Pawlenty. Governor Dayton has stated that he supports the bill.

The bill’s sponsor Sandra Pappas, has said she is hoping house members will support it and add it to a larger higher education policy bill.