The Illinois Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would make undocumented immigrants eligible for state-funded student financial aid to attend college.
The Illinois House passed House Bill 2691 on April 11, so it now heads to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk.
The Retaining Illinois Students and Equity (RISE) would extend eligibility for the Monetary Award Program (MAP grants) for noncitizen, as well as transgender students, who were previously disqualified from state or federal financial aid if they did not register for the draft, according to a report in The Telegraph.
“Just because someone is undocumented doesn’t mean they aren’t members of our society. It doesn’t mean that they don’t contribute to our society,” Sen. Omar Aquino, a Chicago Democrat said.
“Undocumented families in Illinois are Illinois families. They are Illinois residents that pay taxes.”
Many Republicans are opposed.
“Each and every one of us have students in our districts who are relying on MAP funding," said Sen. Jim Oberweis, a Sugar Grove Republican.
"If we’re going to take some of that funding away from our citizens and give it to noncitizens, that means we’re depriving some of our citizens, some of our students, from being able to have that funding to help with their education."