Community colleges' board backs off illegal immigrant ban

The doors to North Carolina's community colleges may reopen to illegal immigrants — but possibly not for long.

Members of the State Board of Community Colleges said Thursday that illegal immigrants should be admitted until the board can complete a study and develop a permanent policy for the state's 58 campuses. The study, to be done by an outside consultant, is expected to be authorized by the full board today. But several state politicians have already promised to try to pass laws this year that would deny admission to illegal immigrants, effectively nullifying any board decision.

Both candidates for governor have come out against college education for illegal immigrants. This week, U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, a Charlotte Republican, said she'll introduce a bill that would withhold federal money from colleges and universities that knowingly admit illegal immigrants.

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