New Utah law could extend in-state tuition to refugees & asylum seekers

Jan 27, 2023, 7:30 PM | Updated: 7:34 pm

A House panel is endorsing a new Utah law, H.B. 102, which extends resident college tuition rates t...

A House panel is endorsing a new Utah law, H.B. 102, which extends resident college tuition rates to refugees and political asylum seekers. Rep. Tuescher speaks during the fourth day of the Utah general legislative session on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. Photo: Mengshin Lin, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A House panel is endorsing a new Utah law, H.B. 102, which extends resident college tuition rates to refugees and political asylum seekers.

Sponsor of the bill Rep. Jordan Teuscher (R-South Jordan) joins KSL At Night hosts Leah Murray and Greg Skordas to discuss the details of the bill.

Teuscher begins by explaining the bill. He says it helps refugees and asylum seekers in Utah looking to access in-state tuition rates for higher education institutions.

He goes on to explain the requirements of the bill.

“So these individuals would immediately qualify upon entering the state,” he tells Murray and Skordas. “They have to be ones that have applied for refugee status or asylum status.”

Teuscher says the bill is meant for individuals who have not necessarily chosen to be in Utah. Rather, they are in the state out of necessity.

“They’ve been forced out of their homes. They’re political refugees or [from] war-torn countries whatever it may be,” he says. “They’re trying to rebuild their lives, and it would make sense that they should be able to access the opportunities we have here in our state.”

Inspiration for the potential new Utah law

A number of immigrants have moved to South Jordan and West Jordan, Teuscher says, which inspires his support for the bill.

“Last year I met with a group of Venezuelan refugees, and we ran a resolution in the house to support this community,” he says. “In all of the conversations I had with them, I met many people who said ‘Man, I would love to be able to continue my education … but I can’t afford the out-of-state tuition rates.'”

When it comes to how taxpayers factor into the bill, Teuscher says there is “no expected fiscal impact for this bill.” These individuals will still have to pay for their tuition.

According to Teuscher, everyone in attendance at the committee meeting was moved by the refugees and asylum seekers talks. Voices from Venezuela, Afghanistan, Kenya and Egypt were all heard, Teuscher recalls.

“I mean, hearing the stories of refugees … all of them saying the same thing. They want the American dream, they want to be here. And I think everyone was really moved,” he says.

Teuscher says he has received little pushback for the bill. Everyone he has spoken to has been supportive.

KSL at Night can be heard most weekdays from 7 to 9 p.m.

Related: Utah immigrant youth to benefit from new Weber State scholarship

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

KSL at Night

Side-by-side images of Taylor Knuth and Ben Nadolski, the two candidates now running in the Ogden C...

Carlos Artiles Fortun

Get to know the Ogden Mayoral candidates

The two people running for Ogden Mayor are Taylor Knuth and Ben Naldoski. Both of them say the city's growth is a big priority.

18 days ago

Childcare needs Utah...

Carlos Artiles Fortun

Study shows childcare demand is high in Utah

The Utah Women & Leadership Project released new research looking at the need for childcare solutions in Utah.

24 days ago

Glendale Regional Park: Salt Lake City’s first regional park in over 60 years....

Carlos Artiles Fortun

Glendale Regional Park: Salt Lake City’s first regional park in over 60 years

The Glendale Regional Park project is now underway, it will feature a massive playground, an amphitheater and a pool.

28 days ago

Image of Heidi Balderree, who won the special election to replace Sen. Jake Anderegg. (Heidi Balder...

Clayre Scott

Heidi Balderree discusses plans as Utah’s newest senator

As session Utah's 2024 legislative session approaches, Balderree said she will be focused on items like transportation and education. 

1 month ago

ep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, and Senate Minority Leader Luz Escamilla, D-Salt Lake City, talk ...

Kristine Weller

Utah is ‘stepping up’ by providing health insurance to immigrant children

A bill that allows children of immigrants to be eligible for the state's Children's Health Insurance Program was passed earlier this year.

2 months ago

The Dan Jones Center for Public Service opens at the University of Utah...

Carlos Artiles Fortun

Dan Jones Center for Public Service opens at University of Utah

The Center will continue Jones' legacy of public opinion polling and provide education opportunities for students.

2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

New Utah law could extend in-state tuition to refugees & asylum seekers