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Policy Would Require Colleges to Admit Illegal Immigrants

Policy Would Require Colleges to Admit Illegal Immigrants

Source: Times-News

August 24, 2009

Aug. 23—Community colleges in North Carolina would be required to admit students who are not legal residents of the United States if the state approves a proposed policy.

The state Board of Community Colleges will consider a proposal that would admit students who aren’t in the country legally and require them to pay the out-of-state tuition rate. The policy says those students would not be eligible for state or federal grants or loans.

The proposal was discussed last week during a committee session of the state board. The panel recommended rules that would keep people not in the country legally from filling spots wanted by legal residents.

“Students lawfully present in the United States shall have priority over any undocumented immigrant in any class or program or study when capacity limitations exist,” the proposed policy says.

It says immigrants in the country illegally would not be admitted unless they graduated from a public, private or home school in the United States that operated in compliance with state and local laws.

The proposed policy also gives colleges discretion in admitting students to particular courses of study. “When considering whether to admit an undocumented immigrant into a specific program of study, community colleges should take into account that federal law prohibits states from granting professional licenses to undocumented immigrants,” it says.

Alamance Community College President Martin Nadelman said the out-ofstate rate is set high enough that students are paying more than the actual cost of their education. The cost for a student taking 15 credit hours, he said, would be $3,600 per semester.

Nadelman predicts the policy will have no impact on enrollment at the local college. Before the state’s current ban on illegal immigrants enrolling in community college was in place, he said, there were no instances of someone living in the United States illegally enrolling at the college.

He said that might be more likely in more urban areas, particularly if an employer were willing to pay a student’s tuition.

Megan George, a spokeswoman for the state’s community college system, said the board is likely to vote on the proposal in September.

Nadelman said the policy would be consistent with procedures at the state’s fouryear universities, which allow people in the country illegally to enroll but requires them to pay out-of-state rates.