Barton Community College officials have been following several bills proposed by the 2013 Legislature, including the repeal of in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. The Great Bend Tribune contacted BCC Trustee Robert Feldt, a Great Bend attorney, for his response to Wednesday’s hearing.
“There are a number of undocumented students who are going to Barton and Fort Hays State University. I don’t think there are a great many, but there are some,” Feldt said.
“It was really an enlightened and liberal piece of legislation,” Feldt said of the statute now in place. “I think it is a big mistake on the part of Kobach to promote the repeal of that law. It’s not good for Kansas.
“These are students who went on to pursue an education and better themselves and contribute to the Kansas economy,” Feldt continued. “I think it’s short sighted on the part of the Legislature.”
Last June the Obama administration approved the Deferred Admission for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which prevents certain immigrants from being placed into removal proceedings or removed from the United States. Applicants must be individuals who came to the United States under the age of 16 and have resided in the United States for a least five years, among other requirements. Feldt said many more immigrants are likely to seek higher education if their DACA applications are approved.