Free community college is one of the perks being sought in a massive federal reconciliation bill under consideration before Congress, and the expenditure would allow illegal immigrants to attend community college for free as well.
The $3.5 trillion proposal is being advanced by Democrats, and it would provide a tuition-free community college plan that would also cover students in the country illegally as currently written.
“Community college students eligible to receive tuition assistance under this bill are those who qualify for in-state community college tuition. Individuals who are precluded from qualifying for in-state tuition due to their immigration status are also eligible for tuition assistance under this measure,” according to a fact sheet published by Association of Community College Trustees.
The offer of free community college tuition — as well as free community college for illegal immigrants — has drawn concerns from some fiscal observers and other Congressional watchdogs.
Stephen Miller, former senior advisor to President Donald Trump, recently sounded an alarm over its inclusion in the reconciliation bill.
“ALERT: Dem reconciliation bill includes FREE community college for illegal aliens,” he tweeted September 27. “GOP could kill the bill *if* they raise a national alarm about its erasure of our borders.”
ALERT: Dem reconciliation bill includes FREE community college for illegal aliens (see below). GOP could kill the bill *if* they raise a national alarm about its erasure of our borders. Swing district Dems need to know they’ll be outed as open borders extremists if they vote yes. pic.twitter.com/yoH82oCs9B
— Stephen Miller (@StephenM) September 27, 2021
Miller includes screenshots of the proposal which stated that a state “shall use a grant under this subpart only to provide funds to each community college operated or controlled by the State to enable each such community college to set community college tuition and fees for eligible students to $0.”
Under the eligibility section, it states that “No individual shall be determined to be ineligible … on the basis of citizenship, alienage, or immigration status.”
The proposed bill speaks briefly about the “grant awards” that will be given out by the federal government to the states, which will then be distributed to the eligible schools.
David Burton, a senior economic policy advisor at the Heritage Foundation, told The College Fix that the spending proposal has flaws. He said in a telephone interview that while “investing in human education is a good thing,” throwing money at a problem doesn’t necessarily fix it.
“The proposal calls for the federal government to dole out $111 billion to states from 2023 to 2028. The states would use that money to cover tuition for community college students.”
“To receive the money, though, states could not deny the tuition-free benefits based on “citizenship, alienage, or immigration status. That would run afoul of current laws in several states.”