Thursday, April 18, 2024

State Board of Regents in Georgia says Undocumented Students Can’t Enroll in Universities

Yesterday, the state board of regents in Georgia ruled that students who can’t prove they are in the country legally won’t be allowed to enroll at the University of Georgia and four other state colleges.

The new policies were decried by immigration rights activists and civil rights advocates.

“Clearly, we are very disappointed that the board of regents has not lived up to its mission of increasing access to higher education,” Jerry Gonzalez, executive director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, said. “It’s a very shortsighted and politically motivated decision, and again it makes Georgia only the second state in the entire country to have such a regressive policy towards access to higher education. That’s not something we should be proud of.”

Some of the regents and legislators in the state said in the spring that undocumented immigrants might be taking college slots away from qualified legal residents or could be getting cheap in-state tuition illegally.  College presidents and university system administrators began to look at how many students are undocumented and how many of them are getting in-state tuition rates in the summer.

Only two of the regents voted against the policies which will go into effect next fall.  The new rules will prohibit any public college or university from allowing undocumented immigrants to enroll if the school had turned down any academically qualified applicants for admission during the two most recent academic years.  The policies will not affect any students enrolled before that date.

Some groups say they may take legal action against the ruling.  Azadeh Shahshahani, of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, said prohibiting undocumented students, many of which grew up in the U.S., from enrolling at the state’s top schools is unfair.

“We’re going to actively monitor the situation and investigate whether there are ways to challenge this proposition that was voted on today,” Shahshahani said.

Online Athens


  1. Juana Ilegalme says