Republican Senators Vote Against Virginia Dream Act
Subcommittee divided along party lines
Richmond, VA -- In a 2-2 party-line vote today, the Higher Education subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Education and Health deadlocked on whether to recommend reporting or killing SB 249.
SB249, introduced by Sen. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) and Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), would have allowed students approved for Deferred Action status by the Department of Homeland Security to qualify for in-state tuition at Virginia's public colleges and universities if they meet certain requirements.
The subcommittee voted to incorporate a similar bill — SB 327, introduced by Sen. Dave Marsden (D – Fairfax) — into SB 249.
Senator A. Donald McEachin said, "I'm disappointed Republicans continue to ignore the contributions and potential of these students. Most Dreamers know no other home besides Virginia and have earned the opportunity to stay here and contribute to their communities. I will keep fighting for Virginia's Dream act, and I look forward to continuing the debate before the full committee.”
Senator Adam Ebbin said, "Helping students realize the American dream is a priorityfor me. By helping students with deferred action status qualify for in-state tuition, more young Virginians can realize their full potential. We will continue this effort until these students can attend Virginia institutions of higher learning at in-state rates."
Senator Dave Marsden said, “We can’t afford to drive away our most promising students. I'm encouraged that this bill will have a second chance before the full committee. These young people are going to be in Virginia. Do we want them uneducated and angry, or educated and engaged? I'm disappointed that our Republican colleagues refuse to recognize the contributions of these students.”