Some young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children will become eligible to pay in-state tuition rates at public universities and community colleges in Massachusetts as part of a new federal program put in place over the summer by President Barack Obama, according to a senior Patrick administration official.
Obama signed an executive order in June and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in August began accepting applications for “deferred action” from young immigrants who met certain criteria, such as being brought to the country before they turned 16. Qualifying immigrants will be protected from deportation for at least two years, and become eligible to apply for a work permit.
Gov. Deval Patrick on Monday plans to send a letter to Higher Education Commissioner Richard Freeland explaining that his administration has determined under existing state policy that immigrants granted deferred status by the federal government are eligible for reduced in-state tuition rates at the state’s 29 college and university campuses, the official said.