NC community college will no longer admit illegal immigrants

NC community college will no longer admit illegal immigrants

Raleigh, NC, 05.13.2008

North Carolina's community college system said Tuesday it will no longer admit illegal immigrants into degree programs, following the advice of the state Attorney General's Office.

Last year, the system said it would enroll illegal immigrants who are 18 years old and high school graduates at all of its 58 campuses. While the change was supported by Gov. Mike Easley, it provoked heavy criticism especially from the leading candidates running to replace the outgoing governor.

The system later asked North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper for guidance on whether the admissions policy was legal under federal law.

But federal immigration officials said last week there is no law prohibiting the state from educating illegal immigrants at public colleges and universities.

``The Department of Homeland Security does not require any school to determine a student's status,'' U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear what further information Cooper's office is seeking from federal authorities.

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(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)