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After six hours of testimony, Republicans in the Colorado House Education Committee voted down the Colorado ASSET bill on Monday. If passed, the legislation would have granted unsubsidized in-state tuition to undocumented youth.
While the vote results weren’t surprising, the biggest disappointment came from Robert Ramirez. All eyes were on the Colorado House’s lone Hispanic Republican. The Denver Post reported:
Ramirez, whose father immigrated legally to the United States from Mexico in the 1960s, said he agonized over the vote.
“It saddens me no matter how I vote,” Ramirez said.
On one hand, he said, he did not want to create an underclass of uneducated people, but on the other, he did not want to send the wrong message.
“Yeah, it’s the parents of some of these children that violated the law,” Ramirez said, adding, though, “Are we teaching a new generation of our country that it’s OK to violate the law? That scares me.”
What exactly does Ramirez think his vote will teach the new generation, then? “Don’t bother studying or working hard for a better future.” Scary, indeed. Ramirez and others denied undocumented youth the chance to go to school and contribute to our country all because of a decision that they, as children, had no part in making in the first place. Needless to say, Robert Ramirez’s vote won’t be forgotten.