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SALEM -- The Oregon Senate has voted to allow some young illegal immigrants to pay resident college tuition if they were brought to the United States as children.

The Senate's 19-10 vote on Thursday sends the measure to Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber, who says he will sign it.

Students considered Oregon residents pay about $20,000 less per year to attend the state's largest universities.

Proponents of the measure say the nonresident tuition rates charged to illegal immigrants make it impossible for them to afford higher education.

They say the children shouldn't be punished because their parents decided to immigrate illegally. Critics say the state shouldn't be subsidizing a college education for people who are in the country illegally.

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