NC Community Colleges Close their Doors

North Carolina's Community Colleges have just announced that they are closing their doors to undocumented students.

The Adelante Education Coalition and 83 community organizations are calling for the state of North Carolina to continue allowing the undocumented immigrants to attend our state's public universities and community colleges. A press release from the Adelante Education Coalition about this issue is below.

We're looking for allies to help us with our advocacy efforts. You can learn more about the roles you can play at the Adelante website. My organization, Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate, is part of the Adelante Education Coalition. I will be going to the state capitol on May 27 to talk with legislators. Let me know if you'd like to join in.

May 12, 2008

For immediate Release


Graig Meyer 919-918-2170
Marco Zarate 919-467-8424
Tony Asion 919-835-1525

Raleigh, NC - We, the undersigned North Carolina organizations, support the principle that all qualified students have access to education at NC's community colleges. We believe that the education of our youth is essential to the improvement of the quality of life for all North Carolinians.

Access to higher education for all students, strengthens our future tax base - It gives an opportunity to young people who have grown up in North Carolina, and been educated in NC public schools to obtain a higher education while also allowing our state to have access to the long-term economic benefits that these students can provide as a highly educated and bilingual workforce. This is about investing in the future of NC and the people who live, work and raise families here. Immigrant families are pulling more than their own weight when it comes to the taxes they pay, the contribution they are making to our growing economy, and what they bring to a diverse state like North Carolina. This is not about special rights; this is about not making the self-defeating mistake of cutting off the achievement and ability for them to succeed.

This is a workforce development issue - North Carolina's state and local governments, businesses, and industry are currently recruiting college graduates from outside the state, as well as outside the US, to fill shortages in the fields of business, education, and health services. A number of children of immigrants have the potential to satisfy many of these essential job needs in NC. Immigrants are here, are paying taxes, holding jobs, raising families, and most will be here for the rest of their lives and while it is good for the immigrants to get an education, it is even more important for all of us in North Carolina that they move up the economic ladder and become self-sufficient engines of the NC economy. Access to our state's colleges will increase the state's collective productivity and economic growth by preparing an educated workforce.

These are qualified North Carolina students - According to the law, any student in North Carolina is entitled to a public school education until the 12th grade, meaning that our state has already invested significantly in their education. These are high school students, who did not come to our state by their own choice, who have attended elementary and secondary schools in this state for most of their lives, are high achieving and highly motivated and are likely to remain in the state. By allowing them to pursue higher education, the state can benefit from students who are bilingual and bicultural and able to contribute to the state's collective productivity and economic growth.

Undocumented students must still pay out-of-state tuition to enroll into NC Community Colleges, which is over $2,000 more than the actual cost of educating the students. This is not about in-state tuition; it is about open enrollment admission. We as North Carolinians are proud of our public, post-secondary educational systems, the NC Community College System and the University of North Carolina campuses. Our state was the first to establish public higher education programs in the late 1700’s and we do not accept any efforts to restrict or deny education to certain groups of North Carolina students. Equal access, open door policies and nondiscrimination are very important values we hold.

Adelante Education Coalition is a collaboration among nonprofit organizations that focus on advocacy and public policy, community organizing, and grassroots support. We are working to ensure that North Carolina has a high-quality K-12 and post-secondary public education system where students will succeed and excel without regard to race, ethnicity, national origin, language, culture, socioeconomic or immigration status. Adelante focuses on education issues affecting Latino and migrant students and their families in North Carolina. The "Adelante" is a Spanish word that has several meanings, including: onward, moving forward, welcome, and "go for it."

For more information:

1. Adelante Education Coalition
2. El Centro Hispano, Inc. – Durham
3. El Centro Latino - Hickory
4. El Pueblo, Inc.
5. El Vinculo Hispano - Siler City
6. Jesus Ministry, Inc. - Charlotte
7. Latino Coalition of Randolph County - Asheboro
8. Mi Casa Su Casa de Recursos - Charlotte
9. NC Farmworker's Project, Inc – Benson
10. Student Action with Farmworkers - Durham
11. North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals, Inc.
12. The Chapel Hill Institute for Cultural and Language Education (CHICLE)
13. Bonilla Community Services - Durham
14. Latin American Coalition of Charlotte
15. The Hispanic/Latino Center, Inc. - Fayetteville
16. AMEXCAN - Greenville
17. Southern Coalition for Social Justice - Durham
18. Planned Parenthood of Central NC
19. North Carolina Council of Churches
20. League of Women Voters of Wake County
21. NC National Organization for Women
22. National Association of Social Workers – NC Chapter
23. Common Sense Foundation
24. American Civil Liberties Union of NC
25. North Carolina Justice Center
26. Center for Participatory Change - Western North Carolina
27. Literacy Council of Buncombe County
28. Service Center for Latinos Inc. - Spruce Pine
29. Progressive Democrats of North Carolina
30. Centro Latino of Caldwell County, Inc.
31. Radio Pa'lante
33. Migrant Education Program - Chatham County Schools
34. The Alexander International Center - Alexander County
35. NC Latino Coalition
36. Asociación Peruana del Triángulo –Triangle
37. Asociación Guatemalteca - Charlotte
38. Asociacion Venezolana del Triángulo - Triangle
39. CASA - Burke
40. Casa Guadalupe - Forsyth
41. Casa Guadalupe - Guilford
42. Casa Guanajuato - Boonville
43. Centro de Acción Internacional - Forsyth
44. Centro de Acción Latino - Guilford
46. Centro de Enlace - Yancey
47. Centro de Trabajadores Agrícolas - Benson
48. Centro Hispano de Forsyth Tech- Forsyth
49. Centro La Comunidad - Alamance
50. Centro Latino - Orange
51. Centro Latino - Catawba
52. Centro Latino - Caldwell
52. Centro para Familias Hispanas - Wake County
53. CHANGE - Winston-Salem
54. Coalición de Abogacía Latina - Hendersonville
55. Coalition for Family Peace - Chatham
56. Durham C.A.N. - Durham
57. Faith Action - Guilford
58. Farmworker Advocacy Network - Raleigh
59. Farm Labor Organizing Committee - Dudley
60. Green Street United Methodist Church - Winston-Salem
61. GoodWork - Durham/Raleigh
62. HELP - Charlotte
63. High Country Amigos – Boone
64. Iglesia Católica Inmaculada Concepción - Durham
65. Inmigrantes en Solidaridad - Boonville
66. Iglesia Metodista Cristo Vive - Durham
67. Latino Coalition - Randolph County
68. Liga de Fútbol del Triángulo - Triangle
69. Ministerio Católico Hispano - Boonville
70. Ministerio Episcopal Hispano - Beaufort County
71. Ministerio Metodista Hispano - Forsyth
72. Ministerio Presbiteriano Hispano - Guilford
73. Ministerios Sociales Católicos - Durham
74. Ministerios Sociales Católicos - Piedmont
75. Mujeres Mejorando el Futuro - Chatham
76. NC United Power
77. UFCW - Red Spring
78. Vecinos para Mejores Vecindarios - Forsyth
79. Voces Hispanas - Edgecombe
80. Blue Ribbon Mentor Advocate Program – Chapel Hill
81. Traction
83. National Association of Social Workers – NC Chapter
84. Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School Board


Just goes to show what damage one person can do

From all I can see, Roy Cooper has gone off the reservation on this. Maybe he thinks this will help him in some future appeal to right-wing xenophobic voters, but the consequence of his mis-guided actions are nothing less than a full-blown disaster.

Plus he's digging in his heels. His responses to the media about this were childish and embarrassing.

You may not like it

But right now illegal immigrants are not very popular with the voting public. This state is suffering through a shrinking job market and the illegals are considered to be holding wages down. Right now since it is believed that rounding them up is not possible, the starve them out is the next best thing. The only way you can end the thought process is to improve the economy otherwise you are spitting in the wind, and at least in the office I work in Roy Cooper has been elevated to folk hero status.

Are you cheering them on?

Are you part of the problem? Do you remind them that every square inch of land they live on was stolen from Native Americans?

Roy Cooper - Folk hero?

Basically, I think your assessment is right. We've got to humanize this issue though. We've got to help people see that these children have the same hopes and dreams as their peers. They are taught the American Dream every day in school - work hard, get good grades, go to college, and you can be whatever you want to be! It's immoral to teach them this and withhold the promise.

If Roy is such a folk hero, it's too bad he's not running for Senate. He could have ridden the anti-immigrant wave all the way to Washington. Sheesh...

The bigger picture

It seems madness to me to deny access to higher education to immigrant children growing up in our very own communities while at the same time aggressively recruiting people from other countries to fill positions that require a higher education. The growing shortages in nurses and other skilled medical workers, especially in geriatrics, is nothing less than frightening as the aging baby boomers will require more and more care.

Let's educate the students who are already here, native and immigrant, who have been educated in our public schools and shaped by our culture, and let's stop raiding other countries of their educated people.

There is a saying in Iraq that illustrates this kind of myopic stupidity. It translates roughly as "shooting the fly on one's forehead."

Resistance is Fertile

Shooting the fly on one's forehead

Heh—reminds me of this political cartoon I saw recently:

relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Lazy, bigots.

The folks who don't want these children going to college are just that - lazy, bigots. They are soooo afraid of the American Dream, that someone can come to the United States and work hard to have a better life and give a better life to their children. For generations people came here from England, Ireland, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Asia and the same thing happened over and over - lazy, bigots cried Wolf! Those {insert ethnicity here} are going to ruin our country with their language and their cooking and besides they smell funny!

Lazy. Bigots.

Only with continued immigration of people willing to work hard for a better life, rather than feeling owed a better life, will the United States continue to be ultra-competitive.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

amazingly ignorant bigots

These purposefully ignorant bigots, many of whom probably eat at establishments that employ said undocumented workers, and have their grass mowed and houses built and painted by them, have a disconnect because all they see is the The Brown MenaceTM streaming in unchecked. These bigots have enjoyed cheap labor, cheap food picked in the fields and a cheap meal because of these hard working people, but let their kids have access to a community college to raise their socioeconomic status? It's shameful.

Why punish an 18 year old undocumented student for being brought here as a minor by their parents? This is a horrible development. Like it or not these people are here, and if North Carolinians want to ensure a growing underclass, this is a perfect way to accomplish it. We will pay, one way or the other. More head-in-the-sand thinking, zero leadership.

Our government has had no sane immigration policy for decades, regardless of the party in charge -- the number of legal immigration applications unattended to in the queue is obscene.

Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend

Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend

just stupid

This is just stupid. Way to go Cooper.

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

This is one of those things that just

sucks the wind out of my lungs. I am simply not able to grasp how this is a good thing in anybody's eyes. I just don't get it.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Just as soon as we stop trying people under 18 as adults

I'll wait for some consistency. I reckon I'll be waiting a long time...

relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

That ain't it, Jjsmith

We don't have to call them children. But I thought we were discussing the sons and daughters of people who came here illegally. That is, these sons and daughters who were born (or carried in arms) here as opposed to those who chose to walk/ride/cross the border illegally.

It doesn't matter how old they are, unless you're implying that once they're no longer minors, it's realistic or reasonable to think they should just UP and say "AH, I'd better leave the only life I've ever known now, my family, my roots, and skedaddle across the border because my parents came here illegally."

That makes no sense. It's unrealistic. These sons and daughters are supposed to just do what -- disappear?

So, no, we don't have to call them children at all, but it's appropriate because that's what they are.

Bru- if they're born here, they can go.

If they're born here, they're citizens. The people on the right have a real problem with that - the whole "anchor baby" thing.

It's the older brother or sister who won't go, even though they went to high school. And many American citizens (children born here) who will feel marginalized by this, and either not go on to higher education, or they'll go outside of NC to a place that will take them.

I don't want to think that there is some conspiracy to perpetuate a permanent base of under-educated workers. Whether or not that is the goal, it will be the outcome.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Stories we have any REAL people that are affected by this decision? It's easy for both sides to turn this into a cause celebre.

But will someone give me a name, face, and story that this policy will affect? If it only affects people "in theory," then who cares? I'm not going to fight for something symbolic. If someone can come forward and share their story, it goes a long way than two sides arguing over each other and shouting at the wind...

I can't find the information

but I recall that there were 27 students in the entire UNC system.

There are lots of stories... More than 27

You'll start seeing some real students profiled on the news. But advocacy organizations have been very reluctant to provide media access to undocumented individuals. In other states, public statements have been used against students and families during deportation hearings.

In the meantime, here's the story of a student I work with from one of our Adelante publications:

“Berta is probably one of the most tragic situations of any undocumented student I
know.” - Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate

With a 3.7 GPA, she was an outstanding student academically—even though she had
arrived in the US when she was only 7 years old. However, Berta was also a leader in
amazing other capacities. The Hidden Voices Project did a theater piece about
undocumented students and she was a main writer and lead actor. She hoped to be a
counselor in a high school because she felt that many students in her school needed a
Latina voice to help them stay in school and make good decisions.

Berta, however, faced the realization that she could not afford a four-year university. She
enrolled in Durham Tech and got married, then dropped out during her second semester
to work in retail.

“Berta’s story is so tragic because she had a dream—to help other Latino students
succeed as their counselor and mentor. She was unable to realize that dream and it
crushed her.”

Berta's name has been changed. I had recently helped her re-enroll for classes this summer. About 20 minutes ago, she called me about today's news. She asked me what to do. I told her to go to class until they tell her not to.

I seem to remember the number of undocumented

people attending our colleges to be around 1200. SO they are not taking any seats from any other deserving person; they pay their own way; they are attempting to improve their lives.

I do not get why Cooper is being such a butthead about this.

Oh and to the trollish person, It is very possible for a minor to attend college.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

I can't release a client's name without, well, a release.

She is 20 years old.
She came here when she was 4.
She wants to care legally for children in her own home while she raises her daughter - as in become licensed. We had found a way to make it happen, until this. There is a course required for child care providers - it's taught only at - guess where?

NC Community Colleges.

So now - the child care will probably happen, but it won't be within the licensing system of NC. Licensing is good because it helps make sure that the water in the home is safe to drink (if it's well water), the person operating the business has not been convicted of a crime that might make them a danger to children, and a whole host of other reasons. I spend all day talking about that stuff, and I could go on and on.

As a licensed provider, she would have been able to participate in private programs that are restricted to licensed providers only. And - if she cares for more than 2 children in her home who are unrelated to her (on a regular basis), she commits a crime.

Quite a conundrum. I knew I should have had her take the class in January.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

GOOD NEWS! Common sense returns to state government

Since illegal aliens are unlawfully present here and cannot lawfully operate and hold jobs, why should NC taxpayers subsidize their post-secondary education? Over 80% of the populace is against subsidizing their education at all but our hands were tied by a miscreant activist Supreme Court decision years ago.

For any of you that may think that denying illegal aliens is some sort of civil rights violation, think again. Civil rights pertain ONLY to citizens. The Merriam-Webster online Dictionary defines civil-rights as: “The nonpolitical rights of a citizen; especially: the rights of personal liberty guaranteed to U.S. citizens by the 13th and 14th amendments to the Constitution and by acts of Congress.”

If one is not a citizen of the country, civil rights do not apply. Period. End of story.

It's refreshing to see common sense and the rule of law return to NC state government for a change.

Edit: unprovable inflammatory sig statement removed

Following the law, abiding by the law and supporting the law is “work” that illegal aliens just won’t do.

Support the statement

But you're going to get it from everyone else here.


Not only is this heartless and unjust, but it makes no sense. It's so very disappointing that the colleges are going along with it.

So Merriam-Webster is wrong

If only citizens have civil rights, then that means resident aliens—the legal kind— don't.

That means that, when the Department of Justice occasionally prosecutes §1983 actions against, say, police officers, they must never do so if the person who was beaten or whose property was unlawfully seized by the goverment, was not a citizen, but merely a resident alien.

Moreover, the 14th amendment reads in part:

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

This flatly contradicts the Merriam-Webster dictionary. No person in our country shall be deprived of life, liberty (one of M-W's "nonpolitical rights"), or property without due process of law. Note the word "person"; if the drafters of the Fourteenth amendment had meant "citizen", they'd have said so, as they did in the previous sentence.

But alas, for conservatives, the only Constitutional Amendment that merits a close and literal reading is the Second.

relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson