Leaders are expected to vote Friday on a new policy that would admit undocumented immigrants and require them to pay out-of-state tuition rates. The policy also stipulates that U.S. residents would be given priority for admission when classrooms are full.
During last year’s election campaign, the board stopped a longtime practice of allowing illegal immigrants to enroll at its 58 campuses at out-of-state tuition rates. It did so on the advice from the attorney general's office. The office later reversed its opinion, but the board decided to halt any additional action until it could review its policy.
The review, conducted by the consulting firm JBL Associates, concluded there would be no public subsidy of undocumented students who pay out-of-state rates. The report found that illegal immigrants paying out-of-state rates would pay an average of $1,680 more than the costs to the taxpayer of providing the educational opportunity.
Supporters say community colleges were created to give an education to anyone who wanted to learn and that these students, many brought to the country as young children, shouldn't be punished for their parents actions.
William Gheen, head of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, said several groups who believe illegal immigrants should not be allowed in public colleges are planning a protest at the Raleigh meeting.
"Since people will not be allowed to speak at this meeting, we are protesting outside," Gheen said. "Important decisions like these should be left to state and federal elected officials, not appointed bureaucrats. This board voting to allow illegal aliens access to our community colleges is against the wishes of a vast majority of NC citizens and is depriving us all of a voice and representation."
Photo: Charlotte students Laura, born in Mexico and Ed, born in El Salvador, were crushed when they found out last year that CPCC and other N.C. community colleges would no longer accept undocumented immigrants. DANA ROMANOFF - email@example.com