Bill allowing state student aid for undocumented immigrants head - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Bill allowing state student aid for undocumented immigrants heads to governor

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SPRINGFIELD (WSIL) -- A bill that would allow undocumented immigrants and transgender students to receive state financial aid for higher education is headed to the governor's desk.

House Bill 2691 is known as the Retention of Illinois Students and Equity Act. It provides that, notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a student attending an institution of higher learning in Illinois, who is an Illinois resident for tuition purposes and is not otherwise eligible to receive federal financial aid shall be eligible to apply or receive consideration for State financial aid.

Under current law, immigrants who are in the country illegally aren't eligible for state financial aid. Transgender students who do not register for selective service are also excluded. House Bill 2691 would change that.

"Every student, regardless of their immigration status or gender identity, deserves full access to higher education," said state Sen. Omar Aquino (D-Chicago). "Our state has an obligation to these students to make sure that we can provide them with the economic means to be successful and enter the work force."

The bill is on Gov. J.B. Pritzker's desk.

WEEK contributed to this story.

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