Illegal Immigrants are a source of revenue and it costs campuses too much to verify immigration status. Those are two of the preliminary findings delivered by a consultant at yesterday’s meeting of the State Board of North Carolina Community College System. Last fall the board hired a consultant to "study" whether the 58 community colleges around the state should admit illegal immigrants.
Surprised by the findings? Don’t be. In my view, the consultant’s study is merely a fishing expedition. Board members know the conclusions they want. They just need the facts. Though, someone should tell them yesterday’s “facts” are a little weak. I don’t accept the consultant’s statement that it costs campuses about $9,000 to verify the immigration status of students. The numbers are too high and the methodology is problematic, but that’s another issue. But say we do accept the $9,000 figure, is it really too expensive for schools? Pamlico Community College – just about the smallest school community college in the system has an operating budget of about $550,000. The $9,000 figure is approximately 1.6 percent of the budget. Stuart Fountain head of the Board's Policy Committee thinks it may be to burdensome for colleges. Too expensive? Give me a break. Maybe schools should just admit 6 illegals at the out-of-state tuition rate. The $1,650 in additional revenue per out-of-state student would pay for the entire project — and then some. Next problem.