Local Politics

Community college board to discuss ban on illegal immigrants

Posted August 13, 2008
Updated August 14, 2008

— The State Board of Community Colleges will meet Thursday on whether illegal immigrants should be allowed to attend North Carolina community colleges.

The board will hear from people on both sides of the complex issue Thursday and Friday. Members expect to put the issue to a vote on Friday.

U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, a Republican from Charlotte, is proposing a bill to withdraw federal funding if schools knowingly admit illegal immigrants.

She hopes her bill would clarify current law, she said Wednesday. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has said admitting illegal immigrants is not banned under any federal law, leaving any decisions and enforcement up to the states.

In North Carolina, that position has changed four times in the past eight years. In May, the state system barred illegal immigrants from admission to degree programs. Students already enrolled pay tuition at the out-of-state rate.

That's not enough for Myrick. "We just can't wink at it and pretend it doesn't exist," she said. "Illegal is illegal."

In a letter to the community college system, State Sen. Philip Berger (R-Rockingham), agreed, saying, "All indications are that the vast majority of our citizens are opposed to admission of illegal immigrants to the state’s community colleges. ... I encourage the board to support our legal citizens and not reward or encourage breaking our laws."

Chancy Kapp, the community college system's director of marketing and external affairs, said, "I would characterize this as an issue which engenders a lot of passion."

In North Carolina, 800,000 students attend 58 community colleges. Of those, a fraction – 112 at last count – are illegal immigrants.

Tony Asion, executive director of the Latino advocacy group El Pueblo Inc., sees the value of that opportunity. His group thinks giving everyone an education makes good sense.

He said he thinks the plan to ban illegal immigrants from community colleges is merely a political ploy.
"I think it's sad that a person who became a public servant to allegedly help people would go out there and say 'Let me see how I can harm people'," he said.

Kapp said she has confidence in the board. "They're very thoughtful people," she said, "and they are taking this very seriously."

Asion, too, will be awaiting Friday's outcome. "I sincerely hope they would do the right thing and not fold to political pressure."


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  • joannral1 Aug 14, 2008

    I can't believe "OUR" government has allowed the illegals to remain in our borders! Have your seen our schools and there "no child left behind" policies? I for one am sick and tired of paying taxes that are going to be use to help destroy our government, bring in more crime and by all means-let's us know that we should be supporting them and the litter of babies they come to spawn. They should be in there own country trying to make it a better place to live. OUR daycare, schools, hospitals, etc have been over run with illegal persons coming here to live. I work in the Wake County Public school system and for one and feed up. They don't care if they are caught for DWI, fighting, gangs, shoplifting and larceny-they don't pay taxes - why should they "this isn't they homeland". NC has there hands full of own problems without the illegals.

    If the bill passes - everyone should get their money back from schools free is free!

  • mommy2mkg Aug 14, 2008

    I am a student at one of the community colleges in NC. I know in order to even apply for college, I had to give my social security number to the college. These illegal immigrants don't even have social security numbers. The people who are called illegal immigrants are just that...illegal. They should NOT be in the USA period. So much for Homeland Security.

  • Obscurite Aug 14, 2008

    ""ONLY" 112 illegals attempting to earn degrees, make the provision and how many will more come? Thousands?" primedesignmaineanjou

    LOL...you did read what this bill was about right? People, really, the community colleges didn't just open yesterday and 112 illegal immigrants just signed up. If this is the full extent of a long standing problem (14/1000th of a percent), why would you assume an increase in volume by thousands? Alarmist, much?

    Seriously, enforce the existing laws and don't create meaningless laws just to make yourself look better in the eyes of the public.

    This is legislation for sheeple appeasement at best.

  • GWALLY Aug 14, 2008

    they will be allowed in....cause it's all about the money....not what is right!!!

  • WRALwontdeletemyaccount Aug 14, 2008

    If they vote to allow illegals on OUR tax dollar, we need to VOTE THEM out and file a lawsuit!

  • hlmblondi Aug 14, 2008

    i cant believe they ever started letting illegal immigrants into the school system let alone the country. i hate to see where the country is headed next thing we know we will have to learn spanish just to survive in our own country. all these immigrants seem to have it figured out if they can just make it across the border look what we have waitin for them. An education, mediciad and wic for the children they have when they get here and food stamps.

  • whatusay Aug 14, 2008

    All NC citizens who are considering attending a NC community college should seek education elsewhere. Let the community colleges close up due to lack of students. Then see if the board will see the light.

  • whatusay Aug 14, 2008

    Do the illegals in this country serve in the military for the U.S.? Do they pay their share of taxes? All they do is suck more taxes from the citizens of this state. NC has become a magnet state for illegals, thanks to idiots running our community college system. Does anyone in our N.C Government see what they are doing to this state? This economy will eventurally crumble like that of Mexico.

  • peppercorns Aug 14, 2008

    I can not believe that the United States men and women that have fought and died in war for freedom would approve of all the illegals being on the land of the free. It seems that American politicans have forgotten what sacrafices our soldiers have made. They didn't do it for those that do not want to practice English.
    August 14, 2008 3:16 p.m.

    I like this Guy/Gal! This country is getting too soft and forgetting what we started. I believe we should help immigrants only when they come here LEGALLY. My father served in WWII and I know many Vets and Current soldiers - they fought for America and the American people - not for a bunch of squatters who drain our healthcare, take jobs, refuse to speak the language and who are disproportionately law breakers, as compared to the rest of the population. If this is such a democracy - then lets vote on it. Give them free education? Give them free health care? Give them money to send home? Hire them? I vote a resounding NO!

  • alwaysCool Aug 14, 2008

    Agree, Fire the board!!! They need to go back to school and see what Illegal means!!! So does that mean we citizens can go to school for free?