Visualize the head-scratching shock of a proud, legal-immigrant family living in Chattanooga or Charlotte upon being informed that to send their son to any USG institution, they will need to pay about three times the amount of tuition that an illegal alien from Mexico pays at the same Georgia school.
Because of a pending lawsuit, it is increasingly possible that these shameful, but now imaginary, scenarios could again become reality in Georgia.
Implemented in 2010, current policy from the Board of Regents (4.1.6 – “Admission of Persons Not Lawfully Present in the United States”) was designed to ensure that the above “no illegal alien left behind” system does not make a comeback to Georgia’s tax-funded University System.
Note the term “lawfully present” in the above regulation. It will come up later.
Currently — if the USG policy is actually enforced — the result is that illegal aliens are not admitted to UGA, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Georgia College & State University and Georgia Regents University and are paying out-of state tuition in the remainder of USG schools.
In response, the resentful illegal alien lobby has been screaming that the policy is blatant “hate,” “segregation” — and my personal favorite: “a violation of Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution” and should be overturned by a judge.
With the intention of doing exactly that, Georgia immigration lawyer Charles Kuck has filed a lawsuit demanding that the illegal aliens in Georgia who are the beneficiaries of President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election-year inspired “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” be further rewarded with admission to all USG taxpayer-funded institutions and charged the lower in-state tuition rate.
Kuck is also vice-Chairman of the Board at the leftist Georgia Association of the Latino Elected Officials Corporation, which is the most well-funded, anti-enforcement, community organizing group in the Peach State.
In addition to deep-pocketed supporters such as the Service Employees International Union, Coca-Cola, State Farm and Georgia Power, GALEO proudly lists Jane Fonda as a “Founding Friend.”
Most Georgians are unfamiliar with Obama’s DACA de facto amnesty scam and it was greeted with virtual silence by most Republicans both nationally and here in Georgia. The basics are that in addition to being promised that deportation proceedings would be “delayed” for two years, the DACA recipients were awarded work permits and genuine Social Security numbers. DACA status is renewable. Indefinitely.
But, according to no less than the official White House blog and the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement website, “Deferred action does not provide an individual with lawful status.”
Kuck readily admits that the DACA illegal aliens now taking college seats from Americans are still illegal aliens.
“We’re not talking about legal status — that’s an entirely different thing — nor are we arguing that these children have legal status. They do not. But they do have lawful presence and if the language ‘lawfully present’ is present in the Board of Regents’ tuition policy and the federal government says that these children are lawfully present if granted DACA, there is no lawful reason why these children are not given in-state tuition in Georgia,” Kuck told GPTV last year.
Rather like litigating what the meaning of the word “is” is, Kuck’s suit hinges entirely on the perceived meaning of the terms “legal status” and “legal presence.”
The intent of the Regents 2010 action, not to mention American immigration laws, was and is crystal clear.
To easily end this ridiculous and volatile situation and to limit the state’s cost of defending the USG admissions policy from the illegal alien lobby’s lawsuit, the Regents can and should simply alter the existing 4.1.6 regulation to include the term “status.” Kuck’s “it depends on the meaning of lawfully present” lawsuit would go away immediately.
The existence of borders and immigration laws creates winners and losers. Future actions — or the absence thereof — on this issue will provide a great deal of insight into the Regents’ determination to decide into which category they put American students and families looking for a better life in their own country.
D.A. King is president of the Cobb-based Dustin Inman Society. Twitter: @DAKDIS