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Louisiana Policy

Updated As Of: April 26, 2017

The state of Louisiana does not provide in-state tuition for undocumented students.
  • The Louisiana legislature has yet to introduce a bill that would allow undocumented students to receive in-state tuition.
  • In 2016, HB 1148 was introduced. If passed, it would have prohibitied state and local political subdivisions from adopting or enacting sanctuary policies. It was passed by the House, but died in a Senate committee.
  • In 2016, HB 973 was introduced. If passed, it would have required employers to verify the work authorization status of employees.
  • In March 2016, HB 453 was introduced. It would prohibit governing authroities or officials of local government from adopting or enforcing policies that prohibit officers from cooperating with federal immigration officials or limit investigation into a suspect, arrestee, or other person in custody's immigration status. It passed in the House, but died in the Committee on Senate and Governmental Affairs.
  • In February 2016, HB 151 was introduced. If passed, it would have prohibited the creation of sanctuary cities.
  • In 2013 a Lousiana court struck down a state law known as Revised Statute 14:100.13 that made it a felony to drive without a driver's license. 
  • In 2011, HB 59 was introduced to the Louisiana state legislature. The bill simulated Arizona's restrictive SB 1070 law by requiring law enforcement officials to verify an individual's citizenship or immigration status. The bill also would have prohibited undocumented individuals from receiving public benefits, including those associated with higher education (e.g., in-state tuition). The bill died in committee.
  • In 2011, Louisiana state legislature passed HB 646, which requires employers to confirm the citizenship or immigration status of new employees through the E-Verify system.
  • In 2008, House Bills HB 1357, which criminalizes the harboring, concealing, or sheltering of undocumented individuals, and HB 1358, which prohibits transportation of undocumented individuals, were introduced to the Louisiana state legislature. Each bill passed in the House and was then sent to the Senate committee. As of now, no further action on the bills has been taken.
  • In 2006, Louisiana state legislature passed SB 753, which became Act No. 636. The act prohibits the hiring of undocumented individuals and authorizes the issuing of a cease and desist order after the discovery of an undocumented employee.
  • Pending

Federal law has been unsuccessful at addressing comprehensive access to postsecondary education for undocumented students. Despite efforts to pass the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform, Congress has not addressed the current ambiguous language in IIRIRA regarding undocumented students' eligibility for educational benefits (i.e. in-state tuition and state-funded financial aid programs). Therefore, much of the policy activity regarding postsecondary access for undocumented students has shifted to state and system levels. As a result, state policymakers and higher education institutions take varied approaches to either broadening or restricting access to postsecondary education and educational benefits. Others states have yet to take formal action on this issue, leaving the decision to individual campus leaders.

Under the provisions of this ambiguous policy context, undocumented youth encounter contentious environments with policies that range from inclusive, restrictive, or unstipulated stances.

Inclusive: States with policies that explicitly grant in-state tuition and/or eligibility for public financial aid for undocumented students.

Restrictive: States with policies that explicitly deny eligibility for admission and/or in-state tuition for undocumented students.

Unstipulated: States that do not have stated policies that explicitly address undocumented student access to postsecondary education.

State and system policies are volatile and continuously changing. For the latest, please visit the uLEAD NewsdeskFor information specific to individual state context, click in the subheadings below.