I attended part of last week’s public hearing on a proposed rule change to allow the admission of illegal immigrants to North Carolina Community Colleges. For the better part of an hour I heard teachers, students and former community college officials say education is a right (it’s not) and how North Carolina can’t turn it’s back on these children ( Last I checked, according to the NC Comm. College System, the average age of a community college student in North Carolina was 32). From what I understand, there were only a handful of individuals who spoke out against the proposed rule. Most notably, Ron Woodward of NC Listen and Bill Gheen of Americans for Legal Immigration.
While the event was technically listed as a hearing, the timing was certainly curious. It was known last August that a hearing had to be held for the proposed rule. Why wait four months and schedule it for the Friday before Christmas? Not unless you’re trying to influence the turnout and generate support on one side or the other. A late December meeting would maximize the opportunities for students and teachers to attend, since many are already done with semester exams. Most everyone in the working world hase their days planned. Moreover, most have a few other things to do the week before Christmas.
Does the turnout for Friday’s hearing represent what North Carolina thinks about illegal immigration? Hardly. A February 2008 Civitas DecisionMaker Poll, showed 68 percent of voters opposed community colleges admitting illegal immigrants. Similar immigration questions in other polls have produced nearly identical levels of opposition.
Last month Civitas Institute crowned our “Bad Bill of the Year“. More than 10,000 votes were cast for 32 “Bad Bills” in a March Madness style tournament. What “Bad Bill” caught the ire of voters? SB 848, sponsored by Senator Charlie Alberston (D-Duplin), would allow illegal immigrants to enroll in North Carolina’s community colleges and universities.
If you think North Carolinians favors the admission of illegal immigrants, think again. Rulemaking is oftentimes the last refuge of those who lack the votes to get a bill passed. Take note citizens, November 2010 is less than a year away.