Undocumented immigrants will now be able to attend community college in North Carolina. There have been multiple policy changes since 2001, but this latest ruling may bring some closure.
The new policy comes with restrictions. In order to apply for school, immigrants must have graduated from a US high school, they must pay out of state tuition which will cover all tax payer costs, and they will be last in line to register for classes; not displacing any US citizens.
Officials at Cape Fear Community College say given the school’s popularity, they don’t foresee the new regulations having much of an effect.
“In the case of Cape Fear Community College, at the end of fall registration we were about ninety percent full. There weren’t that many classes to choose from, so as far as Cape Fear Community College goes, I see this having very little effect,” said David Hardin.
The ruling has left CFCC students with mixed feelings:
“I don’t think they should be going to any schools here if they are illegal; whether its high school, elementary, whatever,” said Robert Cerasuolo.
Rene Plowden said, “I don’t feel like its necessarily a bad idea, but I think its kind of contradictory to US law to tell immigrants that they actually shouldn’t be here, but them promote them attending school here.”
Chris Boone added. “I mean, if they go through the process of becoming a citizen, then that’s all good. But they need to do that before they should be allowed to go to school in this country.”
Students say even if they do not agree with the policy itself they would not have any problem sharing the classroom with undocumented immigrants in the future.
Even though there was only one dissenting vote, State House Republican leaders say that in adopting this policy the board ignored and defied the people of NC and Governor Perdue.
Their polling has consistently indicated a large majority in this state reject extending educational benefits to undocumented aliens.