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Utah County lawmakers discuss host of issues with local leaders

Utah County legislators met Saturday with local leaders to discuss issues such as illegal immigration, gambling and pornography and what they're doing during the current session to address them.

A major topic of discussion was the bill to repeal a 2002 law allowing undocumented immigrant students to pay in-state tuition for education beyond high school. Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem is co-sponsoring the bill.

Currently, undocumented students must be high school graduates and have lived in Utah for at least three years to receive in-state tuition. According to the Utah System of Higher Education, only 182 of these students use the law to their advantage with a total savings of $887,790.

If the bill is passed, undocumented students receiving in-state tuition before May 1, 2007, would continue to get the in-state rate until graduation. The bill is one of many aimed at curbing illegal immigration, whether it is repealing driving privilege cards used by undocumented immigrants or allowing state law enforcement to act in the stead of federal officials to enforce immigration laws.

"(Immigration is) a big problem, and it seems we want to close our eyes to the problem, and we've got to do something," said Provo City Council chairman George Stewart. He urges simplifying the legal immigration process.


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