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Georgia halts college waivers to illegal aliens

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ATLANTA — The Board of Regents voted unanimously Wednesday to instruct the presidents of the state's public colleges to not grant any waivers to illegal aliens and nearly unanimously to review all applications for fall admission.

The motions back up a May directive by the University System of Georgia Chancellor Erroll Davis.

The regents acknowledged they were responding to public reaction. News in March of an illegal alien at Kennesaw State University getting in-student tuition discounts stirred passions already inflamed by Arizona's law empowering police to arrest anyone without proof of citizenship. Plus, candidates latching onto a volatile issue have fanned the controversy.

"If we don't do something, the public will think, just like every bureaucratic agency, that we're going to study it to death," said Regent Ken Bernard, author of the motions.

Before the vote, Regent Larry Walker, a former long-time member of the legislature and State Transportation Board, drew on his political instincts to offer his colleagues a warning.

"If we pass this thing, it's going to be controversial," he said. "If we don't pass it, it's going to be really controversial."

Only Regent Felton Jenkins voted against the motion requiring a review of the fall applications because he wanted to let a committee the board appointed Wednesday to have time to act.

That committee, which includes five regents and five college presidents, is to report by October on ways to strengthen procedures to catch illegal aliens from getting in-state tuition. Proposals it will consider include verification through a federal database or requiring every applicant bring proof of citizenship. It will also consider whether to deny admission outright to illegal aliens and the appropriate discipline for anyone found lying about citizenship on an application.

One of Bernard's motions targets a rule that allows each college president to waive admissions requirements or set lower tuition for up to 2 percent of applicants each year. Before Davis arrived, there was an informal understanding that a waiver for aliens was permissible, but he sent instructions in 2006 to clarify that the regents' policy and the law prohibit it, according to the regents' legal counsel Burns Newsome.

The bigger problem, Davis said, is how to affordably verify that applicants are telling the truth, including students who are legal residents of other states or whose parents have moved out of Georgia, ending the qualification for in-state discounts.

"We are comfortable that our policies are within the law," Davis said. "We have significant problems with verification."

He told reporters during last month's meeting that he figured it would cost $25 per student to verify their citizenship with the federal database, or roughly the cost of 20 professors. Opponents of admitting illegal aliens said the figure is closer to 50 cents.

Bernard told his colleagues that verification is cheaper than granting taxpayer-subsidized tuition to people who don't deserve it.

A 2007 analysis by the Georgia Department of Audits and Reports found that nearly one-third of the students in its sample at the time should not have been granted in-state tuition, though it didn't mention whether they were illegal aliens or residents of other states. It estimated the total lost tuition at $2 million per semester then.

Both state and federal law prohibits illegal aliens from getting any government benefits. The University System lawyers interpret "benefits" to mean in-state tuition or scholarships like the HOPE. Only South Carolina has concluded that also means they can't be admitted at all.

Sitting in the audience during the meeting was D.A. King, head of the Dustin Inman Society, a Marietta group that lobbies for greater enforcement of prohibitions against illegal aliens. King has filed criminal complaints with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and federal agencies alleging the University System is guilty of breaking state and federal law by admitting illegal aliens. However, he didn't speak during the meeting.

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corgimom
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corgimom 06/09/10 - 02:29 pm
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SC shows good sense.

SC shows good sense. Uncommonly good sense.

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 06/09/10 - 02:46 pm
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"It will also consider

"It will also consider whether to deny admission outright to illegal aliens."

Really? WOW! That is a REEEEAL hard issue you got there, I mean I feel that needs a lot of study...maybe they can hire a consultant to study the issue.

All I can say is WOW.

Brad

mable8
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mable8 06/09/10 - 03:59 pm
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I had to show proof of

I had to show proof of birthplace (and I am a citizen); perhaps new students need to attach a copy to their application to the school. For every illegal alien that is scarfing up our educational funds, a bonafide citizen is denied access to higher education. Glad to see this finally being enforced.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 06/09/10 - 04:09 pm
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Mable; your birthplace is

Mable; your birthplace is not important regarding whether you get in-state tuition. It is where your actual, bona fide residence is.

grinder48
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grinder48 06/09/10 - 04:12 pm
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why in the world were there

Unpublished

why in the world were there ever waivers in place in the first place? All this illegal immigration stuff is absolutely absurd. Today Mexicans are angry b/c our Border Patrol killed a 15 y/o who was in a crowd stoning border patrol agents for taking illegals into custody. Mexican President Calderon said Tuesday that his government "will use all resources available to protect the rights of Mexican migrants." Ridiculous ! ! ! Let's go ahead and have a war with Mexico and get it over. The audicity of those xxx thinking they can stone our LE officers and our LE officers are not suppose to defend themselves !!! Drive's me W I L D !

hobohobbitt
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hobohobbitt 06/09/10 - 04:14 pm
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What the heck???? Who gave

What the heck???? Who gave them PERMISSION to violate FEDERAL LAW?

hobohobbitt
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hobohobbitt 06/09/10 - 04:16 pm
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Duplicate.

Duplicate.

grinder48
1357
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grinder48 06/09/10 - 04:16 pm
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I know several cases of

Unpublished

I know several cases of high-performing, well-deserving native Georgia high school grads who were denied entry into UGA ... that's so we can have room for illegal aliens ? ? ? ? We has lost our minds ! ! ! We simply MUST get rid of obama and all elected officials that have allowed this problem to grow and aren't immediately stopping it.

happychimer
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happychimer 06/09/10 - 05:11 pm
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Obama does not make the laws.

Obama does not make the laws.

CobaltGeorge
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CobaltGeorge 06/09/10 - 05:28 pm
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"Both state and federal law

"Both state and federal law prohibits illegal aliens from getting any government benefits."

No further discussion. PERIOD.

dwb619
74755
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dwb619 06/09/10 - 07:54 pm
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Let's get BUSH"THE WORST"

Let's get BUSH"THE WORST" back. He did SO much to stop the illegals!

Nightwing
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Nightwing 06/09/10 - 09:03 pm
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It is a start. Legal

It is a start. Legal documentation of residency and citizenship.

Wildcat682
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Wildcat682 06/09/10 - 09:12 pm
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That goodness that someone in

That goodness that someone in Georgia is listening to us. Good Job Regents.

RoadkiII
6125
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RoadkiII 06/10/10 - 03:43 am
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President Bush didn't make

President Bush didn't make laws either. And referring to the president as just simply Obama shows a lack of respect for him and the office.

stillamazed
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stillamazed 06/10/10 - 07:52 am
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It is about time that

It is about time that something is being done but lets see how long it takes the ACLU lawyers to jump on this......they should rename themselves to the Illegal's Civil Liberties Union.

getalife
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getalife 06/10/10 - 08:49 am
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Finally this board shows good

Finally this board shows good sense!!

Neveragain
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Neveragain 06/10/10 - 09:47 am
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@ Littlelamb, birth place is

@ Littlelamb, birth place is important because as a legal citizen of US you are eligible for discount oppose to being illegal. Also a out of state residence pays 2300 for college summer school and resident pay only 700. Just think what the tuition is.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 06/10/10 - 09:52 am
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If one were born in Nebraska,

If one were born in Nebraska, but moved to Tennessee as a child, and the family established residence in Tennessee, when that child started college he would be eligible for reduced tuition in Tennessee, not in Nebraska. What matters for "in-state" tuition is where you live, not where you were born.

Neveragain
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Neveragain 06/10/10 - 09:55 am
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"Both state and federal law

"Both state and federal law prohibits illegal aliens from getting any government benefits."
It's not enforced they get gov't aide, free hospital, and do not even have to speak english. Their president have some nerve saying he will do everything in his power to protect the immigrants. Protect them by keeping them in Mexico, oh yeah I forgot, the cartel will get them.
The US should start with no more anchor babies. Be realistic. If the parents are illegal why should their kids be legal. Illegal plus illegal equals illegal. Other countries have done away with this law and we should too.

Neveragain
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Neveragain 06/10/10 - 09:59 am
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@ littlelamb yes instate

@ littlelamb yes instate tuition but what matters for the discount is citizenship. Aren't they allowed to give discounts to out of state residents?

neatercatapult
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neatercatapult 06/11/10 - 12:08 am
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funny how us US Citizens

funny how us US Citizens gotta prove who we are in practically every aspect of our lives....what gives illegals carte blanche to do as they wish with no documentation whatsoever?...I can also say,"me no speaky the english", when asked for my ID...ya think the cops would let ME go???...hell NO!!!, they no "enforcy the lawwy"!!!!....from the lowly parking authority to the White House....illegals get treated like they were foreign dignitaries instead of the cesspool vagrants that they are....our law enforcement departments ALL need to wake up....it might be their kid ODing on drugs or killed by a gang member, their wife or daughter raped or murdered, their Ma or Pa killed by a drunk driver....we got enough of our own crime to deal with...there's no reason to illegally import it....

America First
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America First 06/11/10 - 03:21 am
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GEORGIANS should start a

GEORGIANS should start a recall of FELTON JENKINS. Why does he want to stall out something that is so obviously needed? Why is he beholden to the pro-illegal ALIEN crowd? What is he hiding?

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