Action Alert: Tuition Equity, and Immigrant Fairness

People decide to stay home and off the roads. Many experience depression. The children who witness their fathers being arrested are traumatized as one parent disappears and the other cries and worries constantly . . . Youth lose hope and begin to question the wisdom of investing time and energy in school . . . Those who would like to continue their schooling are denied reasonably-priced access to higher education under current discriminatory law.

– Excerpt from A Plea for Compassion and Common Sense, a report by the Immigrant Family Advocates in Bend documenting the impact of immigration enforcement on the local community

For the majority, the injustices against many immigrants in our state are like silent drops in an invisible bucket, how much more until it overflows? Our laws prevent over 160,000 Oregon residents from being able to legally drive, work, travel freely, or afford to go to college. Many of these people are fully integrated into the fabric of our economy & culture, but have no avenue to get documents to legalize their status.

So what do we do about it? As immigrants are disappeared from our communities through deportations, lack of licenses, and barriers to education, what is the role of a white ally? What is the role of immigrants themselves, or of Latino communities? How do we build the kinds of cross-race alliances we need to get things done?

One thing we know is that we can act when it counts. And right now it counts. Please respond to this urgent action alert from CAUSA, and forward it widely!

A bill to create Tuition Equity cleared the Oregon State Senate Education Committee last week, and is now on the Senate floor waiting for a vote!

The bill keeps top talent here by offering in-state tuition to long-time Oregonian high school graduates who’ve gotten into an Oregon college and are pursuing citizenship but who never got documentation when they were brought here as kids.

To make sure we get the votes we need — We need ALL constituents to call their senators ASAP to support the bill. Please call your State Senator TODAY!

To contact your Senator, go to or call 1-800-332-2313 and ask for them by name.

Tell them,
I support Senate Bill 742 Tuition Equity because access to affordable higher education is important for the future of ALL Oregon students and for Oregon’s economy. It capitalizes on Oregon’s investment in K-12 students, and requires students to pursue citizenship. This will boost the education level of Oregon’s Workforce. For this reason, I hope you will support SB 742 and vote "Yes" when it comes up for a vote.

After you call your State Senator, please call one of the undecided Senators listed below and tell them their vote matters for the future of Oregon’s young people and our state’s economic future.

Senator Monnes Anderson (D- Gresham)
Senator Winters (R-Salem)
Senator Verger (D-Coos Bay)
Senator Boquist (R-Dallas)
Senator Girod (R-Stayton)
Senator Johnson (D-Scappose)
Senator Olsen (R-Albany)
Senator Telfer (R-Bend)
Senator Whitsett (R-Klamath Falls)

We can make Tuition Equity in Oregon a reality TOGETHER! Please make your calls today!

But it doesn’t end there!

Monday, April 4th from 4:30 to 5pm: ROP will be hosting a live update via conference call on the Tuition Equity bill and the Driver’s License access bill, two top priorities for immigrants’ rights this year. We’ll share the status of the bill, and feature one effort in Southern Oregon to use local organizing strategies to impact the outcome. Respond to to get the call-in information.

Thank you for all that you do!

P.S. The annual ROP Caucus, (Bend, May 7th) will feature a panel discussion and workshop to look the question of how can Latinos & white allies build safe & welcoming communities for immigrants. Register now – early bird registration closes on April 7th!!

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