Opinion

Commentary: Children of illegal immigrants deserve access to college education

So you came to North Carolina at 2 years of age with your parents, who crossed the border illegally from Mexico. Since that time you've attended public elementary and secondary schools and done well, and your folks have worked steadily, though they have not attained citizenship. Now you wish to further your education.

Doing so at one of the state's community colleges might seem a good choice. You'll face higher out-of-state tuition rates, about $7,000 a year, because North Carolina hasn't chosen to join other states that offer in-state rates, but still, the community college tab is less than in the UNC system. .

Lately, however, even that option hasn't been available. For children of illegal immigrants who graduate from our high schools, there is not yet a happy or sensible end to this story.

The community college system has changed its policy on admitting illegal immigrants several times in the past few years. Currently, these students are not admitted. But they have been, at some schools, in the past. As of 2007-08, the last period in which they were admitted, only 111 such students were enrolled statewide — not much to get excited about, you might think.

Yet there's strong opposition, rooted in part in politics and ideology. Some politicians in the General Assembly have opposed admitting illegal immigrants because they are in the country illegally. Period, end of their story. It is a narrow view. It also is not very practical.

To read the complete editorial, visit The (Raleigh) News & Observer.

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