Alabama Bars Undocumented Immigrants from Community Colleges

By Mary Ann Zehr — October 03, 2008 1 min read
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Alabama has joined North Carolina in deciding not to admit undocumented immigrants to community colleges. The policy will go into effect next spring, according to a Sept. 26 Associated Press article. The Alabama state board of education approved the policy on Sept. 26.

Last May North Carolina barred undocumented students from community colleges and decided to stick with that policy even after it received clarification from the federal government that it could go either way: admit or not admit them. South Carolina has enacted a law saying undocumented students can’t be admitted to ANY state colleges. And Arkansas education officials have said the state won’t pay for colleges and universities to educate undocumented students--and they are requiring state institutions of higher education to ask students about their immigration status.

This list of states that are denying access is short, but all of these policies came about only since spring, so the trend has gained momentum in a short while.

Meanwhile, the Mexican American Educational and Legal Defense Fund is trying to get the word out that although a California appellate court decided on Sept. 15 that giving in-state tuition rates to undocumented students conflicts with federal law, the provision for undocumented students to receive such rates is still in effect—at least until the matter is resolved in court. The appellate court sent the matter back to a trial court for further proceedings.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.