Full text: Texas in-state tuition for illegal aliens law (Rick Perry, Texas Education Code 54.052 j)

As most people know by now, Rick Perry signed into law a Texas bill that lets illegal aliens get college educations in Texas at the in-state rate. What many might not know is that the bill he signed lets illegal aliens deprive some citizens of college. For an explanation, see the DREAM Act page; that's mostly about the national bill but the same process applies.

The bill that Perry signed is summarized in this PDF from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (PDF link):

What is House Bill 1403 (passed by the 77th Texas Legislature in 2001)? House Bill 1403 granted certain non-immigrant students, including undocumented students, access to in-state tuition rates at Texas public institutions of higher education and state financial aid. To qualify, the bill required students to have:

o resided in Texas with a parent or guardian while attending high school in Texas,

o graduated from a public or private high school or received a GED in Texas,

o resided in Texas for the three years leading to graduation or receipt of a GED, and

o provided their institutions a signed affidavit indicating an intent to apply for permanent resident status as soon as able to do so.
The bill passed and was codified as Texas Education Code (TEC) 54.052(j).

TEC 54.052(j) itself is almost as short as the summary; it's in this PDF file from the same agency (PDF link):

(j) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, an individual shall be classified as a Texas resident until the individual establishes a residence outside this state if the individual resided with the individual's parent, guardian, or conservator while attending a public or private high school in this
state and:

(1) graduated from a public or private high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in this state;

(2) resided in this state for at least three years as of the date the person graduated from high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma;

(3) registers as an entering student in an institution of higher education not earlier than the 2001 fall semester; and

(4) provides to the institution an affidavit stating that the individual will file an application to be-come a permanent resident at the earliest opportunity the individual is eligible to do so.

That's what Texas' legislature passed and Rick Perry signed.

Note that, as discussed at the last link, TEC 54.052(j) was replaced about five years later:

During the years when TEC 54.052(j) was in effect, there were claims made that it was unconstitutional and could be the basis of a lawsuit since it allowed certain individuals to be treated differently than others. This situation changed with the passage of SB 1528 and the repeal (effective as of the end of FY2006) of the old residency statutes, including TEC 54.052(j)... The primary difference is that the new statute allows all persons whether international, US Citizens or Permanent Residents, to establish an independent claim to residency based on graduation from high school or the completion of its equivalent after residing in the state for at least 36 months. The fact that this provision applies to all high school graduates relieves the state of any threat of a law suit based on preferential treatment...

The changes were basically just legalistic, the concept of the law stayed the same.

See Rick Perry for complete coverage of this issue.