When the only two states doing something are Georgia and South Carolina, we are in poor company and have likely enacted poor policy.
And that is the case with the decision just reached today by the Regents — under pressure from an irrational anti-immigrant fervor sweeping the state — to bar illegal immigrants from attending the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and other academically competitively public colleges, starting next fall.
In its vote, the Regents have allied Georgia with South Carolina as the only states banning illegal immigrants from public colleges. South Carolina bans these students from all public colleges, while Georgia’s rules will apply to some campuses.
I have a simple rule in my own life: Look to successful people for road maps on how to do it right. If we look at the most successful states in education, they’re the ones educating everyone who lives there because no one is served by keeping people uneducated.
Not the children of illegal immigrants, who should not be punished for their parents’ choices and who have no route to becoming US citizens under current immigration policies. Nor is the state of Georgia served since we already have too few educated residents in this state.
I think this is a mean-spirited policy that hurts kids who worked hard to qualify academically for Georgia Tech and UGA. Many of these children came here as babies. They went to school; they studied, they excelled and now we are telling them that there is no recognition of their effort, no reward for their struggles, no hope for their futures.
That is un-American.
According to the AJC:
Before the meeting, about 20 people organized a protest and urged the regents to vote against the ban. The group included students, professors and representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union. They called the ban “un-American” and carried signs that read: “Education not deportation!” and “Board of Regents, do the right thing, please don’t ban me!”
The regents also ordered all 35 campuses in the University System of Georgia to verify the legal presence in the U.S. for any admitted student seeking in-state tuition rates. Illegal immigrants are required to pay the higher out-of-state tuition rates.
There was little discussion over the new rules. Regents Felton Jenkins and Richard Tucker voted against the two items.