My Turn, Your Turn: Illegal immigrants and community college - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC


My Turn, Your Turn: Illegal immigrants and community college

By Gary McNair - bio|email

Last week the North Carolina Board of Community Colleges voted to allow illegal immigrants to enroll at their schools next year

Now I understand that most of these people are here because their parents crossed our borders illegally, so why punish them for something Mom and Dad did?

Well I'll tell you why.  There is a right way and a wrong way to become a resident of this country, and this is just another way we encourage people to break the laws of this land and do things the wrong way.

These are tough times.  Unemployment is at historically high levels and our community colleges are overcrowded.  We need them to be training the North Carolina citizens who've lost their jobs - instead of those who can't legally get a job here once they've finished school.

We are a nation of laws, and we should be doing our best to make sure those laws apply to everyone.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at

Emailed response from viewers:

I agree!! I am very upset about the fact that they can go to our colleges and get a degree when my son can not. I was not able to send him to school because it was not affordable for me to do. I cried and cried and feel so badly that I was not able to provide his education further. I tried to get grants for him but I either made too much or he did not qualify for one reason or another. He got a job and then was layed off this summer and has been looking every since with no success. It breaks my heart to see him try so hard to get no where Then to hear that illegal immigrants can go to college is like a slap in the face to me. I don't understand it. They have broken the law by being here and now we are going to reward them for it? What am I missing here? It is wrong so very wrong.


Think about it . Most of our forefathers were illegal immigrants. The native Americans did not want them here.


I think it's a sad country, state, day, when we consider illegals before we think about our own. When I read the news a majority of crimes and traffic violations are occurring from illegal immigrants. Well I'm ready to make a stand against this, for myself and my kids (who are both CURRENTLY going to CFCC).


It is amzing how people that are unable to comply with the law will try to use the law to getr benefits that are their rights or benefits.  I would appreciate a constitutional amendment that eliminated the practice of granting citizenship automatically due to birth here.  If the parents are not legal citizens of US then the person is a citizen of home country of US.  Much of this comes from laws that are antigated and laws that were designed to demonstrate the compassion of our country, for example the policy/law that says that the ER must treat anyone who presents to ER.


I don't care how they got here or why.  They should be made to obtain a citizenship before being allowed to attend our schools and colleges.  Next thing you know, they'll be allowed to take on any job without becoming a citizen, but I'm sure that idea has already been entertained and probably in the process of being passed. 


It is absolutely not right for any person to be able to attend any college if they are here illegally.  The first requirement shoud be showing proof of citizenship of the student (and parents).  My child will probably be turned away to allow an illegal room for the illegal student.  How right is that??  Not only are do they allow them to attend schools here, but they also can get Medicaid without a social security number for themselves and their children.  How is this possible??  I cannot get any insurance (Medicaid) on my child (my husband is on disablility; I work full time), but I was told we do not qualify for any assistance; yet when I went to DSS to appy, the whole place is fulled up with illegals.  How can you do this to your USA born citizens?????


I agree wholeheartedly with Gary McNair's view that we should not encourage those who break our laws with impunity, and then get rewarded. Our community colleges are important, I just don't understand how our tax money can be used this way without letting the people have a say in it!


Thank you  for your astute opinion on the growing problem of legitimizing illegal's. They are not immigrants and so I won't refer to them as such.

I am outraged to hear that North Carolina community colleges have deemed it ‘ok' to admit ILLEGAL aliens.

They are ILLLEGAL and therefore not eligible for ANTHING that is available to citizens of this country (and North Carolina).

Who could possibly defend this decision? Maybe we should send their email address to


Thank you my hat is off to you. I totally disagree with what the community colleges are doing. It's all I can do to send my daughter to one and now will have to pay to send an Illegal to one with my tax dollars go figure. I believe this should have been something we the people should have voted on. These men and women running these Colleges have lost their mind. Thanks again for standing up.


I  am a disabled Vet at 53 yrs young and not working. I can't get retrained in a job field. Can't affort to go back to school, learn a new way to work to support my family. And if I was a  illegal immigrant, then I will beable to support my family with a good education buy breaking the federal law and state law in my great state of North Caroline. My Taxes are helping to sub. their schooling.


Why don't we just go a few steps further?  Why allow them any education at all?  Deny them any medical services....but, for that to happen "they" would need a nation ID card - after all, someone who "looks" Latino might be denied medical emergency services if not carrying a national ID card....then, there are those who happen to have a "tanned" skin who might be harassed -maybe they're from India - or are Native Americans? How would we know?  NOthing better than having a lot of sick, ignorant, illegals roaming the countryside.    

Then, there are people who look like my husband - fair-skinned who wouldn't be denied services because their skins are whiter than most Americans - what if he wasn't here legally (he is, by the way) but looked "OK" - so he could receive services?  Golly, we'd have to change the names of all the cities in  California, the state names of Montana,  Colorado and Nevada..and, oh yeah, New Mexico - we wouldn't want all their people discriminated against just because they started with Spanish/Mexican origins....oh, and we couldn't forget Texas.  

Perhaps, if we're going to respect "the letter of the law," we should start by reclaiming the Alamo which, after all, was actually stolen by those people calling themselves Tejanos....oh, excuse me, Texans.  

We'd need to ask Montana to change their state motto from "oro y plata" to something more American.


Right on!   This IS a country of laws, and it's about time that someone enforced OUR rules.

There are millions of people from all over the world awaiting their turn to be admitted to the U.S.  It is NOT fair for all the people who are crossing our borders every day, and disregarding our rules while taking advantage of all the medical/educational/working benefits to which they did NOT contribute and are therefore not entitled.

Our schools and jails are full thanks to them (they are driving here illegally with complete ignorance of the rules of the road).  They are NOT even attempting to learn English, and have NO allegiance to the U.S.--as did all the previous groups of immigrants.

Our Medicaid will not be broke were it not for all the children of illegal immigrants!


 On the tonights segment about illegal immigrants in Community Colleges is the smartest commentary I have ever heard.Its about time the people of NC speaks and lets our government know we are tired of them looking out for everyone but their own taxpaying North Carolinians.I hope you will pursue this issue as there are lots of people who feel the same as you,thank you.


I just want it to be known and I hope all other taxpayers and voters do the same thing, "NEVER" again will I vote yes for another bond for the community colleges. This makes me so angry that "OUR" tax dollars will be yet supporting illegal immigrants in just "ANOTHER" way. Don't they already get enough of our tax money, (WIC, Medicaid, foodstamps, public schools, extra money spent to press 1 for english), I could go on forever.


I also agree with you.  First, if one is here illegally they are not entitled to any benefits of citizenship, such as going to our schools.  It not only is not just for American students but it is not just for foreign students that come to America for education with proper paperwork in accordance to our laws.  Also how are they to pay?  Are they to be eligible for student aid?  Are my tax dollars going to pay for someone who is here illegally (that means against the law, as in they can be arrested for this) to get an education? Someone isn't thinking this through correctly.


Not that it's gonna change anything, but I think you are right to be upset at this new law...well so is my family! We are here as legal immigrants from Canada and we have been paying all due taxes in the USA-NC-NH-Wilm for the last 20 years but we are still living here on visas...My twin daughters where born in Canada ( my son is american) and now that they are over 21 we have to pay international tuition to pay for their college education in North Carolina! Talk about a fair law!!!


Here! Here! You hit the nail on the head.

The Governor's committee reacted just like most of our politicians. Once they are elected or appointed, they ignored the will of the people. Decisions like this make me wonder how much money went under the table to make them vote to accept them.


You have a valid point.  However, here's another point.  The illegal immigrants are here, and they're going to stay here.  Is it better for them to have an education and a job or would you rather have them join a gang or hang out on the street getting into other types of trouble?  If they have an education and can get a job and feel a part of the community, they will probably apply for citizenship and could turn out to be more useful members of the community than many of our "born here" citizens whose parents have been on welfare for generations and know no other way.


Right on!  It never ceases to amaze me that we offer benefits to those who are "illegal."  We are indeed a nation of laws and principles.  I support LEGAL immigration.  I do NOT support giving any benefits to those who are here illegally.


Have they lost their minds? No, they're just lining their pockets. These colleges are bursting at the seams with students and just recently voted to increase the tuition, now they want to let illegal aliens in? I think these commitee members are just wanting a salary increase! How can you break the law, but be allowed to enroll in community college? How can you break the law and be given federal assistance for this education?

  Fine, allow these immigrants the chance to better their lives. At least make them sign the papers to begin citizenship! At least make sure they are paying internatioal tuition! We are the land of oppurtunity, but we also have laws. Don't reward law breakers! Come on committee...stop thinking about your next vacation and STOP MAKING IT SO EASY FOR THEM!


I totally agree!!!!  It frustrates me as a hard working, true US citizen to see others get benefits that should rightfully go to those who need them.  If someone wants OUR benefits they she be required to do what WE have to do to enjoy them.  I did not cross over the border illegally but I come from a very under privilaged family. North Carolina is NOT helping me with anything (i.e. repaying my student loans, medical coverage, or any govt assitance) and you mean to tell me they can get what I can't for free.  Where is the justice in that.  There are people who work hard like myself who make just enough to be broke.  My mother always said take care of home first and I am a firm believer of that!


I always thought that illegal meant that it was against the law and therefore consequences would follow.  Why does this not apply to illegal immigrants?  It is amazing to me why illegal immigration is even up for debate...IT'S ILLEGAL, what is there really to debate?  I don't expect to sneak over into another country, or on an expired visa, with hopes of permanently living there without first having gone through the legal system, that's common sense...or so I thought.  It's time that we stop thinking about what new laws to make to deal with this problem and actually enforce the laws we already have.

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