Fourteen Republican state senators have told the state Board of Regents that they want Georgia’s universities completely shut off from illegal immigrants.
The university system has argued that federal law prohibits awarding in-state tuition to those in the country unlawfully, but that it is silent on whether they can attend upon payment of full tuition rates.
In the wake of a Kennesaw State University senior discovered to be in the country illegally – her parents brought her here from Mexico when she was a child – the state’s universities have been ordered to check the citizenship status of all students by this fall.
The senators praised that effort, but said it was not enough:
However, we remain disappointed and perplexed that the Board of Regents seems to be engaged in verbal gymnastics in an effort to escape the obvious and full application of law. Persons not lawfully present in the United States are not eligible, regardless of tuition rates, to attend taxpayer supported colleges and universities in Georgia.
Beyond the clear inappropriateness of denying a legal Georgia resident an educational opportunity in favor of an unlawful alien, is the inescapable lack of wisdom in forcing Georgia taxpayers to subsidize the education of a person who upon graduating is not legally eligible to be employed.
Expect a raftful of immigration bills when the General Assembly convenes in January.