SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Following a passionate and sometimes heated debate, the Oregon House approved a bill Friday that would extend resident college tuition rates to some young illegal immigrants.
After the vote count showed the bill had passed, supporters watching in the gallery stood up and, holding hands, raised their arms in celebration.
“When I saw those numbers I was very excited,” said Hugo Nicolas, 20, who said he entered the country illegally when he was 11. He wants to attend the University of Oregon to study economics and minor in Chinese.
Rep. Michael Dembrow, a Portland Democrat who sponsored the measure, called it a “historic” vote, an important educational and economic step for Oregon.