A bill sponsored by Immigration Anti Rep. Tom Rice (R- Norcross) that would prohibit undocumented immigrants from attending any of the state's colleges and universities has cleared the House Higher Education Committee. The next step for HB59 is for the bill to be voted on in the Georgia House, and then passed by the Senate if it does clear the House.
Currently, undocumented students can enroll in any of the Georgia universities as long as they pay out-of-state tuition (which is of course much higher and not subsidized and thus a great revenue stream for the schools). The bill proposes that potential students' names would run through the SAVE database to check on the validity of their immigration status.
Rep. Rice justified his bill because "There's no way of knowing ... whose spot an illegal person may be taking" - what a bunch of nonsense. Most of the undocumented students are not taking anyone's spot.
Chancellor Erroll Davis questioned the bill, stating that 'Our capacity is not being stressed by thousands of illegal students'. In fact, out of more than 310,000 students that were enrolled in the Georgia University System this past fall, only about 500 were classified as 'undocumented' and paying out-of-state tuition.
Right now South Carolina is the only state that bars undocumented immigrants from public colleges. Even Arizona's tough immigration law allows undocumented immigrants to attend if they pay out-of-state tuition. What a sad state of affairs if Georgia will join South Carolina in this. Is Rep. Price willing to reimburse taxpayers for the difference between the out-of-state tuition these people are paying and the subsidized in-state tuition others are paying?