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Top Morning Stories 1/26/12: Tuition Changes, Perry's Polling, Mack Brown's Contract

Tuition Rule Change for Undocumented Immigrants   

Texas public colleges, universities, and community colleges will now be required to pressure undocumented immigrants receiving in-state tuition. Colleges will have to tell students every year to contact federal authorities about their legal status. That’s part of a rule change the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Boardpassed unanimously at a board meeting this morning.

Under the current rules, undocumented students sign an affidavit pledging to apply for permanent residency status as soon as they are able to. However, most of the students – who were brought to the U. S. by their families when they were children – are ineligible to apply under current federal law. The new rule says that schools must keep the affidavits on file, refer students to the proper federal agency, and remind students annually of their obligation.

TheImmigration Clinic at UT's School of Law will provide free legal advice to undocumented students this Saturday at the Texas Dream Alliance Summit on the UT Austin campus.

In the President's State of the Union address on Tuesday, he supported the DREAM Act legislation which would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for citizenship.

Rick Perry’s Approval Ratings Fall

As reported by the Austin American-Statesman, Governor Rick Perry has earned his lowest ever approval ratings among Texans and Republican voters.

“Almost 1 in 3 Texan Republicans said Perry’s performance on the national stage dimmed their view of the governor, and 40 percent said he should not seek re-election in 2014,” said the Statesman.

Perry hurt his image with the voters with his mistake-laden public appearances, and debate performances. According to the Statesman, the survey found “Only 40 percent approved of Perry's performance as governor – down 10 points from last year, and Perry's lowest approval rating in 10 years of polling."

The phone survey, conducted from Saturday to Tuesday, by Blum & Weprin polled 806 Texans.

U.T. Considers Extending Mack Brown's Contract

The U.T. Board of Regents will meet this afternoon to decide on changes to the current contract term for Head Football Coach Mac Brown.

U.T. President Bill Powers and Men’s Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds say they are recommending the boardextend Coach Brown’s contract four years beyond the current term, to end in 2020. In his 14 years at Texas, Coach Brown has compiled a 141-39 record.

Storms Sweep through Central Texas

The storms that swept through Central Texas yesterday morning brought much needed rain, but also damage.

The total rainfall was five-and-a-half inches at the Austin-Bergstrom Airport and three inches at Austin-Mabry. Martindale, in northern Caldwell County, got eight inches.

The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touchdown in northeast Austin around 3 a. m. Wednesday. The tornado path began at the intersection of Commercial Park Drive and Old Manor Road, where winds of 93 miles per hour tore down a warehouse. The tornado continued north through an industrial park, then across Highway 290 east, and through the Walnut Place subdivision. No injuries were reported.

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