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Virginia lawmakers to consider version of Dream Act

Wednesday - 1/16/2013, 1:30pm  ET

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

RICHMOND,Va. - Democrats in the Virginia General Assembly are pushing ahead with a bill that would allow children of undocumented workers to pay in-state tuition to attend state colleges.

The bill's sponsor, state Senator Donald McEachin (D-Richmond), says the children were brought to the United States by their parents and "deserve the same chance to earn an education as anyone else."

The bill, SB-1090, would make the children of undocumented workers eligible to pay in-state tuition if they have lived in Virginia for at least three years, graduated from a Virginia high school and meet certain immigration requirements.

State Sen. Dick Saslaw (D-Alexandria) says educating the children of undocumented workers is good for Virginia's economy.

"The people that you got here, you've got to make them as productive as possible," he says.

The bill is similar to a provision approved by Maryland voters in November to allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition.

The bill could face opposition from Republicans who control the Virginia House of Delegates.

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