Gov. Mike Easley says he will support a new community college policy requiring all campuses to admit illegal immigrants.
The Democratic governor said the children of illegal immigrants shouldn't be punished for their parents' decisions. It is a stand that runs counter to the views of the five leading candidates to succeed him when he leaves office.
A community college attorney recently sent a memo telling all 58 campuses that they cannot deny admission to illegal immigrants. That overrides a 2004 policy that gave individual schools the option to decide whether to admit them.
Easley says he would rather not have illegal immigrants in North Carolina. But he said lawmakers in Washington have failed to pass a comprehensive immigration reform plan that would deal with the children of people who came to the U.S. unlawfully.