The University of Minnesota is offering scholarships to illegal immigrants.
On its website, the school talks about the scholarship program for illegal immigrants, as well as a program for so-called "Dreamers," the name ascribed to individuals who came to the U.S. illegally with their parents as children, many of whom former President Barack Obama granted temporary legal status. President Donald Trump discontinued that program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.
UMN has a policy specifically for DACA recipients, where, in some circumstances, they are eligible to receive financial aid or a scholarship. The University of Minnesota states on its website that DACA recipients are eligible for scholarships if they attended a Minnesota high school for three or more years and graduated or earned a GED from a Minnesota high school. Males 18-25 are also required to register for the draft to be eligible for scholarship funds. According to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, applicants are also required to "provide documentation to show they have applied for lawful immigration status, but only if a federal process exists for a student to do so."
The office notes that since "there is currently not a federal process in place" for Dreamer status, "this documentation is not currently required."
Campus Reform previously reported on an illegal immigrant receiving a substantial scholarship to attend the University of Chicago. Other stories have documented how, at universities across the country, illegals are being offered scholarships to attend college.
Campus Reform reached out to the UMN admissions department, which referred the author of this article to the public relations department. The public relations department responded to Campus Reform by saying, "under the Minnesota Dream Act, which is also known as The Prosperity Act, undocumented Minnesota high school graduates meeting certain criteria can receive scholarships and financial aid from the University of Minnesota. The Minnesota Office of Higher Education will determine who is eligible to benefit from the Dream Act."
"The complete details on eligibility and a Dream Act Application are available at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education Dream Act website."
UMN College Republicans and College Democrats both declined to comment on the issue.
Ira Melhman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR, told Campus Reform Thursday that "FAIR’s view is that although we oppose providing benefits to people who are in the country illegally, private scholarship funds are free to do what they want with their money, provided they are not violating any laws. Given that there are many citizens and legal residents who need access to the limited money available for higher education, we believe those students should be prioritized – but, again, private donors are free to do as they please."
"Publicly-funded scholarships and financial assistance, in our view, should not be extended to illegal aliens," Mehlman added.
"DACA beneficiaries remain illegal aliens, with temporary deferment from enforcement."
According to the University of Minnesota, scholarships offered to illegal immigrants come in the form of privately funded scholarships, state-based financial aid, and in-state tuition rates. According to UMN, all three scholarship forms are awarded "regardless of immigration status."
Pointing to a Clinton-era federal statute, two conservative immigration experts recently told Campus Reform that offering in-state tuition to illegal immigrants without offering the same financial benefit to any U.S. citizen is unlawful.
“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the basis of residence within a State (or a political subdivision) for any postsecondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of the United States is eligible for such a benefit (in no less an amount, duration, and scope) without regard to whether the citizen or national is such a resident,” the code states, as Campus Reformreported.