Hundreds of students, advocates, legislators and educators crowded a room at Metropolitan State University’s Auraria campus on Monday to watch Gov. John Hickenlooper sign a bill making undocumented students who graduated from Colorado high schools eligible for in-state tuition.
The bill, a decade in the making, was signed to a chorus of cheers and “sí se puede!” — a slogan roughly translated as “yes we can.” The bill passed the Colorado House, its final hurdle before signing, on March 8.“This is the first step,” Hickenlooper said, arguing that the new law points the way to national immigration reform. “We’re opening the door — you guys are going to have to do all the work.”
Marco Dorado, now a student at CU-Boulder who said his Colorado education is funded by generous individuals and organizations, told the audience that he had lived in Colorado since he was two years old. But he said he realized he was less than typical as he prepared to go to college lacking “those ever-important nine digits” — a social security number.
Dorado and Hickenlooper were joined by Lt. Governor Joe Garcia, several state legislators and other advocates for the bill. State Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver, told the crowd in an emotional statement “in Colorado, the doors are open and the dream is alive.”
See who will qualify for in-state tuition under the ASSET bill here.