BOSTON (AP) -- Gov. Deval Patrick has instructed state colleges and universities to allow some illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates to attend state colleges and universities.
In a letter sent Monday to the Board of Higher Education, Patrick said immigrants who obtain a work permit through a new federal program instituted by President Barack Obama would be eligible to pay the lower rates. Those rates cut in half the annual tuition to attend the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, for instance.
The governor told reporters the directive is in line with an existing state policy that allows people with work permits and valid Massachusetts residency to qualify for in-state tuition. But he said it was only a first step toward comprehensive immigration reform.
It wasn't immediately known how many immigrants might benefit from the Massachusetts program.