These students don’t seem to realize that their demands, if met, would only raise their tuition.

Kellie Woodhouse of reports.

University of Michigan student protesters demand tuition equality for illegal immigrants

With red tape over their mouths, roughly 100 University of Michigan students wearing maize T-shirts pushed their chairs aside and sat on the ground during a Board of Regents meeting Thursday.

The students were silently protesting against current tuition practices at the university, which don’t offer illegal immigrants who attended Michigan high schools in-state tuition.

For more than a year, a large group of students have petitioned U-M for tuition equality.

“What’s happening isn’t right. Undocumented students unfairly have a barrier,” said John D’Adamo, a U-M junior and a member of the U-M Coalition for Tuition Equality who protested during the 4 p.m. regents meeting. “They’re often discouraged from coming to the University of Michigan.”

Tuition equality would allow illegal immigrants who attended Michigan high schools to attend the college for in-state rates, which are $12,994 for underclassmen this year. Currently, illegal immigrants would pay $39,122, the out-of-state rate for underclassmen.

The tuition difference, equality supporters say, puts U-M out of financial reach for most illegal immigrants that grew up in Michigan.