Testimony on HB 5031: An Act Equalizing Access to Student-Generated Financial Aid Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee

On behalf of the National Association of Social Workers, CT Chapter representing over 2600 members we urge support for HB 5031. This bill will equalize access to student-generated financial aid to all CT students in our state’s public universities and colleges regardless of immigration status.

All students who pay tuition are paying into student-generated financial aid, yet not all students are currently eligible for such aid. Undocumented immigrant students are thus being unfairly penalized. We are accepting their tuition money but not accepting them as potential aid recipients. It reminds me of one of the reasons for the American Revolution, taxation without representation. Only this time it is tuition payment without access to funds that come from the very tuition payments undocumented immigrants are paying into.

We all know that an individual’s likely income levels is directly correlated to level of education received. Immigrants who are able to attain higher education will likely be more successful, contributing to our communities and state through their work and taxation. HB 5031 will assist immigrants to be able to afford to complete their studies and enter into the workforce in the career of their choice.

Equalizing access to aid will cost the state nothing. On the other hand it is an investment in our state’s future productivity and tax revenues. It is truly a win-win situation.

During this time of attacks on immigrants, equalizing student-generated aid is not only a positive step for immigrant students, it is a statement as to the equal worth of each individual resident of Connecticut.

NASW/CT urges swift action to pass HB 5031 out of committee and toward full passage in the General Assembly.


Submitted By Stephen Karp, LMSW

February 13, 2018

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