Gov. Evers wants in-state tuition rates for all -- regardless of immigration status

MILWAUKEE -- Governor Tony Evers is calling for people living in Wisconsin illegally, to receive in-state tuition rates at University of Wisconsin System schools.

At a press conference touting Milwaukee Area Technical College's plan to expand education opportunities for students of Hispanic heritage on Wednesday, Feb. 27, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett told the crowd that should include all students regardless of immigration status.

"You want the future of the state to be here, you want an educated workforce, let's help them get educated rather than punish them," said Barrett.

Barrett spoke out in support of Gov. Evers' proposal to allow undocumented Wisconsin residents to pay in-state tuition rates at any UW System school.

According to Gov. Evers, 21 other states and the District of Columbia have similar policies. Wisconsin was once among them.

In 2009, Democrats passed a law granting in-state tuition to undocumented residents who graduated from Wisconsin high schools. Republicans revoked it two years later.

FOX6 News asked UW System President Ray Cross, if he supports Gov. Evers' plan.

"It's not one of our highest priorities," Cross said.

Cross wouldn't say, but did tell FOX6 News he's excited Evers' budget proposal will give the UW System an addition $150 million and keep a tuition freeze in place.

Gov. Evers' proposal is drawing criticism from Republicans. Senator Alberta Darling opposed the plan when then Governor Jim Doyle offered it back in 2009. Senator Darling's spokesperson says if Gov. Evers' proposal is a cut and paste from the Doyle years, she will continue to oppose it.