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Consultant gives community colleges options on immigrants

Posted April 16, 2009

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— North Carolina's community college system is trying to figure out whether to change its policy barring the admission of illegal immigrants.

A state community college board committee that met in Asheboro Thursday received a report from an outside consultant examining the issue. Maryland-based JBL Associates made no recommendations in the 136-page report but outlined options for the system.

Colleges could profit from illegal immigrants

The community college system decided in November 2007 that its 58 campuses must admit illegal immigrants. But the system reversed the decision six months later after the state Attorney General's Office said the policy violated Department of Homeland Security rules.

Federal officials said later it was up to each state to decide who can be enrolled.

During the 2007-2008 academic year, 111 of the nearly 200,000 students enrolled in the system were illegal immigrants, according to the consultant's report.

JBL examined how 11 other states handle enrollment of illegal immigrants and found that California, Illinois, New Mexico, New York and Texas allow them enroll and pay in-state tuition. Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia and Virginia charge them out-of-state rates. South Carolina denies admission to illegal immigrants.

The report noted that out-of-state tuition would cover the cost of instructing a student at every campus except Pamlico Community College in Grantsboro. On average, the state could net $1,680 off each illegal immigrant who enrolled full time.

"Out-of-state students actually allow tuition to be cheaper for North Carolinians because they give a surplus of money to the system," said Irene Godinez, advocacy director of El Pueblo, an organization dedicated to strengthening North Carolina's Latino community.

Wake Technical Community College could make $1,795 by enrolling an illegal immigrant, while Durham Technical Community College could make $2,106 and Fayetteville Technical Community College could make $2,748, one of the highest returns statewide, according to the report.

Godinez said she hopes the data in the report will encourage the community college system board to change its policy and admit students who are in the country illegally.

"We were the first state to allow access to higher education in the country, and I hope we continue to live with that tradition," she said.

The University of North Carolina system admits illegal immigrants who graduate from U.S. high schools but counts them as out-of-state students and charges them the higher tuition rate.

Ron Woodard, director of NC Listen, which opposes illegal immigration, said he doesn't believe immigration should be turned into a money-making scheme. An open-door policy would cost the state a lot more in the long run, he said.

"I think (the report is) a lot of gobbledy-goop," Woodard said. "If we have community college students illegally here and graduating and taking a job, that's going to keep another North Carolinian drawing unemployment and probably getting health benefits. So where's the savings?"

A community college system spokeswoman said the full board would receive the report Friday but isn't expected to discuss its contents until later.

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  • GodBless Apr 17, 2009

    I tried to go to college to get a 2 year degree in medical assisting after I lost my job in December. I did not qualify for any type of financial assistance...so I couldn't go. I was born in the US and have remained here my entire life! I am adamantly opposed to allowing non-citizens in our colleges!

  • HM_Stitches Apr 17, 2009

    hereandnow99...yes we are all human beings but simple fact is I don't want to pay for them so yes I would deny healthcare to the sick and yes I would deny illegal children school and yes I appose anchors (illegals having kids here who are considered citizens...btw thats how they get healthcare wick and foodstamps) now that may sound harsh but americans come first.

  • affirmativediversity Apr 17, 2009

    I truly wish the media would STOP referring to these CRIMINAL MIGRANTS as "immigrants". THEY ARE NOT IMMIGRANTS!

    The use of the term "immigrant" to refer to these CRIMINALS is insulting and causes great stress and prejudice to TRUE IMMIGRANTS....those people who respected this country's laws and processes, waiting their turn and entered the LEGAL way!!!

  • bngexpress Apr 17, 2009

    " PROPER PAPERWORK " are you kidding me ? these people knowingly entered this country breaking the law,they didn't for get to cross an t or dot an i,they porpously broke the law to get here, no different that a criminal robbing a bank or stealing your car. these criminal immigrants are here to take advantage of the social,education,health care systems that taxpaying American citizens have worked and paid into, to witness this first hand one has only got to go to the e.r. or local grocery store,or public school event, no respect for our country or our culture, so yes it's much,much more that just doing the proper paper work!

  • Ouaouaron Apr 17, 2009

    My question is this: if there were 111 people identified as illegal immigrants - WHY were they not immediately deported (after paying hefty fines and court costs, of course).

  • emersombigguns Apr 17, 2009

    They should be admitted into a bus headed back to Mexico

  • lorivalentine1 Apr 17, 2009

    Illegals should not be admitted into any schools (college or other wise) any where in the US. They are not legal citizens and are commiting a crime by being here. That being said what makes anyone think they should be entitled to enroll in school or receive any other benefit when they are committing a crime simply by being in this country? They should all be denied benefits of any kind and sent packing!

  • atozca Apr 17, 2009

    hereandnow99,

    I realize that being an atheist, you wouldn't understand Christianity, however, Christians understand love the sinner and hate the sin. I don't agree with nor condone telling a lie either but that doesn't mean I hate all the people who tell a lie. Wrong is wrong and has nothing to do with love.

    Where is your compassion for those who are losing their jobs, homes, health care, etc. because of the financial strain that is put on them from those who break the law?

  • superman Apr 17, 2009

    A lot of time and money wasted and then they made no recommendations. It involved a whopping 111 students. That is about one student in each community college. Just forget about it-- surely there must be more important issues! They probably enroll and dont attend class anyway.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Apr 17, 2009

    We are all human beings. We're talking about people who didn't fill out the proper paperwork. dw172, would you really deny healthcare to someone who is sick and in need? How 'bout a child who was brought here? I cannot understand the amount of hate generated here toward fellow humans...especially these who want to be educated and work.

    And as an Atheist, I'm often pummeled by the statistic of 75% of the population being Christian...but they must be ignoring MAJOR parts "forgive trespasses", Golden Rule, etc.

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