Georgia Banning Undocumented Students From University System

The Georgia Board of Regents has acted to ban undocumented students from attending 5 of the 61 Universities and Technical College Systems of Georgia starting in the fall of 2011.

Georgia And South Carolina Banning Undocumented Students

Georgia thus becomes the second state, after South Caroliina, to try to block undocumented students from attending its universities. The Board is taking this action in spite of the fact that of the 310,000 students in the Georgia system, only 501 are undocumented, and all of these pay out-of-state tuition, which presumably more than covers the cost of their instruction.

The motive driving this decision seems reasonable enough: the Residency Verification Committee wants to make sure that public universities are not being “swamped” by undocumented students, that Georgia taxpayers aren’t subsidizing these students through in-state tuition, and that undocumented students aren’t stealing spots from native Georgians.

However, none of these seems to be the case here: a mere .16% of Georgia’s students are undocumented, and the few that do attend college pay out-of-state tuition. So this would appear to be a poor decision from the Board of Regents.

Undocumented Students Working For The DREAM act

A similar sad tale was related in The New York Times Magazine on Sunday, October 24, in Maggie Jones’s brilliant piece, “Coming Out Illegal.”

Jones narrates the life of young, undocumented women at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) who risk their lives to stand up for the DREAM act, which would create a legal pathway to residency for immigrants who arrived in this country as children. (See Jessica Pieklo’s article here on the status of this bill.) In particular Jones focuses on Leslie, a history major, who at age 6 was brought to the United States by her mother. Leslie was originally told by her high school counselor that as an illegal, she was ineligible for college.

As Jones tells it, “Later in her senior year of high school, Leslie learned that, in fact, she could go to college and that California law AB540 allows undocumented California students to pay in-state rather than out-of-state tuition; California is one of 11 states with such a law.

UCLA Graduates – Nowhere To Go

And what are Leslie’s prospects after graduation? She expects to work cleaning houses and waitressing. The reality is that many undocumented graduates are short-order cooks, waitresses, baby-sitters, jobs for which they don’t even need a high-school diploma.

Still, at least in California, Leslie can go to college and pay in-state fees. And things could change with the passage of the DREAM act.

Not so in Georgia, where the Board of Regents would like to take away even the opportunity to study at its university, at least in the most selective public colleges.

Shame on them.

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116 comments

Sue ( Snow Owl) Clayton

UNITED States of America !!!! I think NOT !!!! America is ONE country and our Creator did not put lines on it. ALL children born in the country DESERVE and have a RIGHT to be educated. How can a piece of paper determine whether children are educated or not??????

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Sharon Beth L.
Sharon Beth Long7 years ago

I think that it is important to realize that far more American citizens rip off the system than immigrants, both legal and illegal. Most undocumented immigrants and many legal immigrants DO NOT have medicaid, food stamps, etc and DO pay taxes. However I have worked in child support enforcment and it appears that everyone who can work off the books does. Millions of citizens are not paying their fair share of taxes and are still getting services. If we were able to eliminated tax evasion we could probably pay off at least a quarter of the U.S debt!

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Kenneth K.
Kenneth K.8 years ago

There are many now in the House putting bills in the hopper to stop instant citizenship for Anchor Babies. So why should not states , schools, public institutions stop all illegals from taking advantage of the taxpayer. It has gone on for too long and only the leftist brainwashed think this is the 'right' of 'undocumented' to use American institutions at your, our, my expense. BTW, many SW Hispanics want legal immigration so that their cred will actually be hiked instead of dissed.

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Judith S.
Judith S8 years ago

Krista, no. Schools are subsidized, even most colleges.

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Krista Israel
Krista Israel8 years ago

Why are school that obviously need the money turning it away? If you have the grades and the money then what else matters? It's not a damn free clinic that you could complain your taxes are paying for, it's education that the students family pays for.

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Sandra S.
Sandra S.8 years ago

WHAT A SLANTED POLL QUESTION!!! Qualified, would mean whatever it takes to qualify for a particular school. If the school says a student must be a legal resident, then THAT IS A QUALIFICATION!! Good for Georgia. It is standing up for what is right.

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Charles Webb
Charles Webb8 years ago

They have had plenty of time to get their citizenship. Throw them out of the country! And their parents!

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Tori W.
Past Member 8 years ago

the entire issue is that we do have legal immigration. illegal immigrants do end up costing taxpayers plenty. how many drug gangs does anyone think did not begin here with imported drugs and imported illegals? add the costs of additional education expenses as well as medical,housing, accidents with no insurance,interpretive services and it all adds up. in one year along at a non-profit, the costs of providing interpretive services went from $20,000 to $200,000 with no indications it would slow done.it is expensive to taxpayers and for illegal immigrants, why would they actually abide by any laws when they are here illegally? they become immediate prey to some really nasty people. if we really care about these people, we'd like to stop them from being victims of those willing to take advantage of their legal status.finally, why are they all here? is Mexico really so bad? if so, then maybe Mexico needs to fix it's problems instead of shipping their decent population to the U.S. illegally. i just have to ask why such a huge influx in the past 2 decades? the draw for illegal immigrants is much more than just the dream of a possibilty and perhaps Mexico really needs to clean up its' act so its population can remain where they really want to be.Mexico is only dumping their problems on us!

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Louis B.
Past Member 8 years ago

Well said and thanks Judith and Vince. While it is a very complicated issue, it really isn't about racism at all. Its more about nationalism, immigration reform and control, and education cost management. If Georgia wants to invoke that rule, I believe they should be able to. States still have authority to do something, even though I am being to wonder about that... poor Arizona. They are definitely taking several for the team. All states need to support their rights, because if they can take away Arizona's rights, they can take away other states' rights as well. That is how it starts, then precedence becomes the new law. That is how the constitution gets changed... through judical process, or judicial law making, rather than judging based upon constitutionality, only. Activist judges like Sotomayor and Kagan will be trouble in the future, and as young as they are, will be for a long time. Watch carefully how they rule.

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James Makowski
James M8 years ago

I guess as long as they can pay there own way but undoumenten as in an illegal no we should ship them back if they are not here legally

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