NCCCS President Scott Ralls announced today that community colleges will cease admitting illegal aliens to their degree-granting programs. The colleges will continue to admit illegal aliens to continuing education programs, such as the Basic Skills Program. The announcement came on the heels of a letter from the attorney general’s office warning that the current NCCCS policy (CC 07-275) of forcing every college to admit illegal aliens is vulnerable to a legal challenge.
Why the change?
Simple. Rather than risk legislation that would definitively ban illegal aliens from attending community colleges, the system decided it was better to retreat and leave this issue for another day. During the last 7 years, NCCCS has changed its position on enrolling illegal aliens four times:
In 2001, NCCCS issued a memo (CC 01-271) confirming that federal law prohibits illegal aliens from attending community colleges.
In 2004, this policy was changed (CC 04-171) to permit each institution to decide for itself whether to admit illegal aliens.
In 2007, NCCCS began requiring all colleges to admit illegal aliens.
In 2008, NCCCS announced (CC 08-114) that it will return to the policy it originally implemented in 2001.
After session is over … who knows? Perhaps they will change the policy again. What is really needed is legislation that will clarify that illegal immigrants are not eligible for higher education benefits and so should be prohibited from attending all public universities and colleges.