Local News

Community colleges can admit illegal immigrants

Posted July 25, 2008

— Two months after recommending that North Carolina community colleges deny admission to illegal immigrants, the state Attorney General's Office has reversed that stance.

The switch comes after U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials told state officials that federal laws don't prohibit illegal immigrants from attending college.

Community College System officials decided in May to stop allowing illegal immigrants to enroll in degree programs after the Attorney General's Office issued an advisory opinion recommending that community colleges tighten their admissions standards to be more in line with federal laws.

J.B. Kelly, general counsel for the Attorney General's Office, sent a letter Thursday to Community College System officials saying it was up to them to develop a policy on illegal immigrant students.

"Homeland Security does not consider admission of undocumented aliens to post-secondary educational institutions to be prohibited by federal law," Kelly wrote.

Community College System President Scott Ralls said in a statement Friday that the 58 colleges in the system would continue to bar illegal immigrants until the state board overseeing the system could discuss possible revisions to the policy.

“This is an important issue for our colleges and our students, and given that authority, our state board needs the opportunity to review and discuss these findings with the care and thoroughness they deserve," Ralls said.

The system last fall began admitting any illegal immigrant who was at least 18 years old and a high school graduate.

Of the nearly 300,000 curriculum students in community colleges statewide, 112 are illegal, according to the latest state figures. Twenty-seven of the 200,000 students in the University of North Carolina system are apparently illegal.

All of the illegal immigrants pay out-of-state tuition at both UNC and community college campuses.


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  • MamaBearNC Jul 29, 2008

    It is not the schools fault it is the employer's fault. The people that employ illegals need to be fined. Doesn't NC now have the new law or are looking into the new law that requires employers to verify immigration status before they can hire them? http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0608/061008cdpm3.htm

  • superman Jul 25, 2008

    Whoop TO Do! You folks getting upset over a total of 139 people in the entire state. Get a life-- surely that small number is not filling up any class state wide. Most of these people probably work and someone is paying them--and not only that people are renting to them or selling houses to them. Stiff penalties to hire them and take away the apartment building from people who rent to them. No jobs and no housing and they soon go home.

  • IfByWhiskey-a-go-go Jul 25, 2008

    3 pages was enough. Enough of this insanity. America, The United States, is gone. No matter who we vote for, the same globalist socialist policy remains. WE ARE DONE. Put a fork in us.

  • doubletrouble Jul 25, 2008

    I know in our CC system, there is a limit on how many students can take a particular class and the reason why the mad rush during registration day. To have an illegal, get that slot from a legal citizen, should be a crime.

  • whatusay Jul 25, 2008

    Th U.S. is the weakest it has been in over 100 years. Few Americans know the Pledge of Allegiance, or the national anthem. Few would die for this country because it has become corrupt with dishonest politicians and ignorant people who think not working is a way of life. It is a shame that I have seen it crumble in my lifetime.

  • Kellion Jul 25, 2008

    I kind of liked Roy Cooper until this decision was made. This is pathetic. I know who I'm not going to vote for in the next elections-the majority of the idiots currently running the county, city, state, and country. Why don't we, the people, get to vote on decisions like this? Why don't we, the tax payers, get to vote on if illegals can stay or not?

  • momof3inNC Jul 25, 2008

    Who said they didn't work hard? They might work hard but I guarantee you MANY of them do not pay taxes. I know several illegal families here from Mexico and other various places. They are actually normal people like you and I, trying to make a better life for themselves, BUT you know what? They even admitted that they are here ILLEGALLY and said they do NOT pay INCOME taxes but yet they put their kids in public schools, receive welfare, foodstamps and medicaid. (and now have the RIGHT to go to college) As far as I am concerned if you are in a country illegally, why should you have ANY rights that citizens of that country have? YOU SHOULDN'T. They even know that, but unfortunately they don't care about the effect they are having on America, as long as they aren't living in poverty. (Most live in poverty here, but poverty here, is nothing like poverty where they came from.) How is it ridiculous to be upset that they are draining America?

  • waste-of-time Jul 25, 2008

    what an ignorant comment. undocumented workers are some how not hard working, pay no taxes, and make more money than citizens...ridiculus

  • momof3inNC Jul 25, 2008

    So when American citizens can't afford college, illegal aliens can? Oh, that must be because they don't pay taxes for their wages earned, so they have enough. Unlike us hardworking, taxpaying, responsible, LEGAL Americans.

  • VT1994Hokie Jul 25, 2008

    This makes me SICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE have so many lax laws in America today. NC is just going along to get the monies poured into the CC system. Totally wrong.