In-state Tuition for Undocumented Persons
The Governor proposed that a person who is a citizen of another country is exempt from nonresident tuition if that person meets all of the following requirements: (a) the person graduated from a Wisconsin high school or received a high school graduation equivalency declaration from this state; (b) the person was continuously present in this state for at least three years following the first day of attending a Wisconsin high school or immediately preceding the receipt of a declaration of equivalency of high school graduation; and (c) the person enrolls in a UW System institution or Wisconsin technical college and provides the institution or college with proof that the person has filed or will file an application for a permanent resident visa with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as soon as the person is eligible to do so. The proposal was met with broad opposition as an entitlement for people lacking legal residency, an encouragement for persons to be in the country illegally, as discriminatory to residents competing for acceptance to the university and technical programs and unwarranted advantage when many residents struggle to afford college tuition during a recession.
Outcome: The provision is in the budget and will take effect for the next academic semester.
Driver License for Applicants without Proof of Legal Presence
State Representative Pedro Colon (D-Milwaukee) authored a provision adopted by the Joint Committee on Finance to require DOT to issue a limited purpose driver's license to an applicant unable to prove legal presence in the United States. Applicants must: pass the same driving tests as for a standard driver license; provide proof that he or she has been a resident of Wisconsin for at least six months; and not be eligible to receive a Social Security Number. The provision waives prerequisites of providing documentary proof that the applicant is a citizen or is legally present in the country and, that a male applicants aged 18 to 26 has registered with the Selective Service System. The DOT estimated 60,000 people would apply for a driver's card in the next two years. The provision met with opposition as a government program to assist and attract illegal residency in the U.S. One other state has enacted a similar policy.
Outcome: The Assembly voted to retain the provision. The Senate deleted it. The provision was not enacted into law.