Education

Tom Tancredo's Metro State ad seeks plaintiffs for undocumented-student tuition deal lawsuit

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Some background: During the most recent legislative session, a number of lawmakers pushed a measure called Colorado ASSET. As Patricia Calhoun noted in the post linked above, the bill would have created a third category of tuition at state schools in addition to in-state and out-of-state -- one tailored for undocumented students who attended three or more years of high school in Colorado and graduated and/or obtained a GED.

When this proposal failed, Metro State decided to enact its own version. In a post headlined "Metro State's tuition plan for illegals could teach the country a lesson," Calhoun tallied the dollars and cents: A qualified, undocumented student would pay $6,716 a year in tuition on the revised scale, compared to $15,985 a year for out-of-state students and $4,304 for in-state tuition.

After Metro's board approved the measure, Tancredo, who's nationally known for favoring stricter immigration enforcement, decried the move and threatened to file a lawsuit to stop it. The Metropolitan ad, which references Tancredo's political organization, the Rocky Mountain Foundation, is the next step in that process. Here it is:

As you can see, the ad doesn't mention a potential lawsuit -- but that's the motivation for advertising.

"We are trying to get a plaintiff or plaintiffs," Tancredo confirms. "The attorneys tell me that although we can bring a case just based on the citizens of the State of Colorado and taxpayers being harmed by this, it's a much stronger case with an actual plaintiff who says, 'I pay out of state tuition, and they don't, and they should, and I'm hurt.' And that's my purpose for putting the ad in."

As for the ideal number of plaintiffs for such a suit, Tancredo says, "We'll get as many as we can that fit the characteristic of paying out-of-state tuition. It could be a parent of someone who's in school and paying out-of-state tuition for their kids, or it could be students themselves."

Continue reading for more about Tom Tancredo's potential lawsuit against Metro State.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts