The eleventh recommendation in the Civitas Institute Agenda “20 Changes for 2010: A Primer for State Reform” focuses on ending the admission of illegal immigrants to North Carolina community colleges.
Problem: Immigration experts estimate that illegal immigration costs North Carolina taxpayers over $1.7 billion annually.1
Last September the State Board of Community Colleges voted to require the state’s 58 community colleges to admit illegal immigrants. The policy also requires that any illegal be a graduate of a North Carolina high school, must pay out-of-state tuition and may not displace a North Carolina or U.S. resident from a class or program.
Despite assurances from illegal immigration advocates, this policy is sure to raise the costs of public education. First, it is likely there are far more illegals in the community college system than reported. A March 2009 survey from a higher education administrator association found that 70 percent of two-year colleges said they admitted illegals and only 20 percent said they verify the immigration status of respondents.2 Second, only 13 percent of NCCCS revenue comes from tuition. Tuition does not cover plant, maintenance or capital costs.
11.) Eliminate the taxpayer subsidization of higher education benefits for individuals in the country illegally.
In the January 2010 Civitas DecisionMaker Poll, likely voters were asked if they favored or opposed the current policy which allows community colleges to admit illegal immigrants and charge out of state tuition. 64% said they oppose this policy, compared to 28% who support it.
- Pass legislation to prohibit illegal immigrants from enrolling in community colleges or the UNC system. Similar legislation (HB 922) was introduced during the previous legislative session by Reps. Holloway (R-Rockingham), Blust (R-Guilford), Cleveland (R-Onslow) and Neumann (R-Gaston), but never came to the floor for a vote.
If enacted such legislation would:
- Prohibit illegals from accessing an educational system whose rising enrollments are forcing many schools to turn away students because they can’t gain access to classes.
- End the practice of forcing North Carolina taxpayers to subsidize the higher education of individuals who are in the country illegally and cannot legally hold a job in the United States.
For additional information about illegal immigration in North Carolina see: www.nccivitas.org/issues/immigration
2 See American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers Surveys, March 2009.