New bill would end illegal immigrants’ enrollment from public colleges

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Republican State Representatives George Cleveland and Chris Whitmire proposed House Bill 218 titled No Postsecondary Education/Illegal Aliens in Raleigh on Tuesday,  which would ban illegal immigrants from community colleges and universities.

The bill states the main purpose of each and every institution is to offer vocational and technical training, "for students who have lawful immigration status under federal law" and proposes "no admission for aliens who do not have lawful immigration status" including those who have an expired visa but who exclude currently enrolled students.

Guilford Technical Community College President Dr. Randy Parker said there are only 10 illegal immigrant students of the 15,000 students each semester.

However, Parker said many of them grew up in the North Carolina public system and should be given the same opportunity for their postsecondary education.

"I'd rather have them in our college getting an education, than out on the streets getting in trouble and have them end up in our correctional system, where we would have to pay to support them in our correctional system," Parker said.

Under the current state policy by the NC Board of Education, illegal immigrants can enroll into community colleges or universities but must pay out-of-state tuition.

At GTCC, illegal immigrants can only enroll after US citizens and apply, if there are slots left in their desired program. However, they are not eligible for financial aid or loans.

Davidson County Community College does not track how many illegal immigrants are enrolled and did to not comment on the bill.

Forsyth Technical Community College said they will continue to follow the State Board of Education Policy.


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