California will allow some Mexican residents near the border to obtain in-state community college tuition

Low-income Mexican students who live near the U.S. border can now cross and attend certain community colleges in California at in-state tuition rates under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The legislation, signed by the Democratic governor on Friday, applies to low-income Mexican residents who live within 45 miles of the California-Mexico border and want to attend one of the participating community colleges in the southern part of the Golden State .

Students involved in the pilot program, which will begin next year and run until 2029, must be U.S. or Mexican citizens with the required visa.

The current average annual tuition for California community colleges is $1,246 for in-state students and $6,603 for out-of-state students.

The new law that significantly lowers college costs for residents of Mexico will help make education more accessible to low-income students and prepare them for jobs, said California State Assemblyman David Alvarez, author of the proposal.

“There are students who could actually be U.S. citizens but live in the Baja California region because of the cost of living,” Alvarez told the Los Angeles Times.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law allowing low-income Mexican residents near the U.S. border to attend certain community colleges by paying in-state tuition. AP Photo/José Luis Villegas, File

“So there are some students who find themselves in that situation who don’t have a residence in California because families can’t afford to live here.”

Currently, about 7,000 students cross the California-Mexico border each day, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Mark Sánchez, president of Southwestern College in Chula Vista, California, about seven miles from the Mexican border, said many of his students divide their time between the two countries.

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“Without this pilot, we risk everything in terms of losing talent,” he said.

The program is only for people from low-income families who live within 45 miles of the California-Mexico border and who attend participating universities. Photo by GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP via Getty Images

Under the legislation, community college boards will be required to submit a report to lawmakers by 2028 to show attendance rates and demographics of students involved in the program.

Separately, Newsom also signed a new law on Friday that increases the minimum wage for health care workers to $25 per hour over the next decade.

The new law is the second minimum wage increase Newsom has signed after passing legislation to raise the minimum wage for fast food workers to $20 an hour.

According to the president of Southwestern College, many of the school’s students divide their time between California and Mexico.Southwestern College

The latest move was somewhat unexpected given that the Newsom administration had previously expressed concerns about the bill due to how it would affect the state’s budget.

California’s Medicaid program is a major source of revenue for many hospitals.

The Newsom administration had warned that the pay increase would have caused the state to increase its Medicaid payments to hospitals by billions of dollars.

With postal cables

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