Rep. Huffman, others introduce act to make it easier for refugees to go to college
Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), along with 47 other members of Congress, introduced an act to make higher education opportunities more attainable for refugees, on Tuesday (World Refugee Day).
Called the TORCH Act, an acronym for To Offer Refugees College Help, the bill would expand affordable access to college for refugees, those granted political asylum, and Special Immigrant Visa holders who have assisted U.S. armed forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a press release from Huffman’s office.
“Even in this difficult year, America is a welcoming nation, and we have an obligation to support those who have escaped violence to build a better life here for themselves and their families,” Huffman said.
“On World Refugee Day, and every day, we should support those who flee to our nation and whose hard work sustains and refreshes the American Dream. The TORCH Act will improve refugees’ access to higher education as they make a new life in the United States, allowing these individuals to better integrate into the American fabric of life and contribute back to the country who welcomed them and offered them shelter.”
The bill would guarantee in-state tuition to people in the three aforementioned groups, “for whom education is a critical step towards economic self-sufficiency and self-determination – regardless of their state residency status,” the release states.
In-state tuition would only apply for the state in which a refugee established residence after first being admitted to the U.S. Those who have yet to establish state residency, a process that can take years, would be ineligible.
The federal government already provides federal student aid assistance for refugees and requires in-state tuition for active duty service members and veterans.