Attorney General Mark R. Herring — gay marriage
Attorney General Mark R. Herring
Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 11:50 am
Updated: 5:00 pm, Tue Apr 29, 2014.
Herring: DREAMers qualify for in-state tuition
Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced today that children of illegal immigrants who are lawfully present in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program qualify for in-state tuition.
Herring said that the students, also referred to as DREAMers, will still need to gain admission to an institution of higher education, maintain their DACA status, and meet the same domicile requirements as all other students.
“These ‘DREAMers are already Virginians in some very important ways. In most cases they were raised here, they graduated from Virginia schools, and they have known no home but Virginia,” Herring said in Alexandria this morning.
Legislative proposals that would have made these students eligible for in-state tuition have repeatedly failed in the Virginia General Assembly. The most recent effort stalled in the House of Delegates in February.
Del. Alfonso H. Lopez, D-Arlington, sponsor of such legislation, said that he was happy and encouraged by Herring’s “important and positive step” in the right direction.
Peter Blake, director of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, said in a statement that the announcement “underscores a core belief in the value of education: that higher achievement levels across the commonwealth will lead to a stronger and more robust Virginia.”
He said SCHEV “will work with Attorney General Herring, our colleges and universities, and others to follow this advice.”
House Republican leaders expressed concern about Herring’s decision, saying the attorney general again has gone beyond the legislature — as when he declined to defend in court the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
“We are deeply concerned by the Attorney General’s actions today and what appears to be a continued willingness to ignore and circumvent the duly-adopted laws of the commonwealth,” said the statement from Speaker of the House William J. Howell, R-Stafford; and four other House GOP leaders.
“For the second time since taking office just a few short months ago, Mark Herring has demonstrated blatant disregard for his oath of office, his responsibilities as Attorney General of Virginia, and most importantly, the rule of law.
“Attorney General Herring has once again placed his personal, political ideology ahead of the will of the people and their elected representatives.”
— Karin Kapsidelis contributed to this report.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 11:50 am.
Updated: 5:00 pm.