RALEIGH, NC (WECT/AP) - The State Board of Community Colleges voted Friday to allow illegal immigrants to enroll at North Carolina campuses starting next year.
The plan allows undocumented immigrants to attend community colleges statewide if they graduated from a U.S. high school and pay out-of-state tuition.
Leonor Bautista has been living in the United States for five years and is a legal citizen who is a student at Cape Fear Community College. She said the future is now bright, even for those who are here illegally.
"With education you can have a good job, and you can raise our next generation in better conditions that you couldn't have in your country," said Bautista.
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.
But not everyone keen on the idea. Many college students are sitting on the fence when it comes to this sensitive issue.
"I think they need an education, just as well as we do, but I believe they need to go through and get citizenship before they're able to go to college," said CFCC student Valerie Moore.
"If they go through the process getting naturalization and citizenship by all means lets do it, but no," said CFCC student Andrew Leonard.
Illegals can win admission to the campuses after April 1, 2010, but will not be able to qualify for state or federal financial aid.
The following is information provided by Cape Fear Community College that outlines information on undocumented immigrant admissions at N.C. community colleges.
Based on the outcome of the August working session and regular committee meeting, the Policy Committee of the State Board of Community Colleges will discuss and vote on an admissions policy recommendation (link to POL 8, policy attachment) that would admit undocumented immigrants with three requirements:
Background on admission numbers:
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