Community Colleges To Enroll Illegal Immigrants

The State Board of Community Colleges has voted to allow illegal immigrants to enroll at North Carolina campuses starting next year.

The board voted Friday to approve the plan, allowing undocumented immigrants to attend the system's 58 campuses if they've graduated from a U.S. high school and pay out-of-state tuition. Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton was the only board member to vote against the plan. He did not explain his reasoning during the debate.

The policy committee's chairman, Stuart Fountain, says the children of parents who came into the country illegally shouldn't be punished for the federal government's failure to deal with their legal status.

Illegals can win admission to the campuses after April 1, 2010.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

North Carolina community colleges are one step closer toward returning to a policy of accepting illegal immigrants as students.

A committee of the State Board of Community Colleges voted unanimously Thursday to endorse new rules that would allow undocumented immigrants to enroll at the 58 campuses. The system has changed its illegal immigrant admission policy four times since 2000.

The proposal heading to the full board would admit illegal immigrants if they graduate from a U.S. high school and pay the out-of-state tuition rate. That's about five times the in-state rate.

Panel chairman Stuart Fountain said the policy is balanced and fair and sets a high bar for admission. About 50 opponents to the policy change protested outside community college offices in Raleigh.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Some groups are planning to protest today outside of a meeting of the state board of community colleges, at issue-whether people who are not in this country legally should be allowed to attend community colleges.

The State Board of Community Colleges will discuss the policy today that currently bars illegal immigrants from enrolling in community colleges, even at out-of-state tuition rates. Some members of the state board said over the summer, they want to reverse the ban, and allow illegal immigrants to enroll. The students would pay out-of state tuition rates of about $7,000 a year.

A study commissioned by the system showed that South Carolina is the only other state that bans illegal immigrants.

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