Opponents Protest Georgia Law Banning Undocumented Immigrants from Colleges

Students, educators and lawmakers will rally Tuesday at the Georgia Capitol against legislative proposals to keep undocumented immigrants out of the public higher education system.

The ACLU of Georgia, the Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance and the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights oppose Senate Bill 458. The bill would bar undocumented immigrants from all state colleges, universities and technical schools and also makes tweaks to other state laws having to do with illegal immigration.

The state legislature's Senate Judiciary Committee approved SB 458 and the measure now moves to the Senate floor.

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Supporters of the bill say it's necessary to preserve state-funded education for citizens and legal residents. Opponents say the bill unfairly denies motivated students the opportunity to further their education.

Already a university system policy bars undocumented immigrants from any state school that has rejected academically qualified students in the prior two years.

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Of the system's 318,000 students, some 300 are undocumented, according to University System Chancellor Hank Huckaby. The number has dropped from 500 last year as a result of Georgia's law cracking down on illegal immigration, Huckaby said at the committee hearing for SB 458 last week.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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