Five public colleges in Georgia have announced a new ban that will prevent illegal immigrants from being admitted into their schools. The state's 30 other public institutions will adopt a policy that doesn't allow undocumented students to be accepted into colleges or universities ahead of legal residents.
According to media reports, illegal immigrants will no longer be accepted to the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia State University in Atlanta and Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville. The list of schools may change over time.
The State Board of Regents states that only 501 of the 310,000 students within the university system are undocumented, and they currently pay out-of-state tuition. The new policies, which go into effect in the fall of 2011, will benefit academically qualified students with legal status who may have been rejected due to space constraints under old rules.
"Not enough Georgians graduate from high school and pursue post-secondary education," said regents spokesman John Millsaps, quoted by CNN. "We need more [state residents] to pursue higher education."
Last month, the U.S. Senate halted legislation that would have helped undocumented students gain citizenship. The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act would have allowed certain immigrants to become citizens if they met specific requirements, which included attending college or enrolling in the military.