House OKs college aid for immigrants with deferral

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Associated Press

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 5:33 PM

SEATTLE (AP) — The Washington House of Representatives has approved a measure giving young immigrants who have no legal status in the country eligibility to state college financial aid.

The House approved the so-called "Washington Dream Act" on a bipartisan 77-20 vote.

The bill makes young immigrants who have qualified for the Obama Administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program eligible for the State Needs Grant. The federal program provides young immigrants who arrived in the United States as children a legal way to live in the country on renewable two-year stays, if they meet certain age and non-criminal history criteria.

Opponents say the bill promises financial aid while the state struggles to give help to current students.

Supporters say the measure gives a better future to immigrants who came here without a choice.

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