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
Community Organizations Across North Carolina Support Access TO HIGHER EDUCATION FOR IMMIGRANT STUDENTS AT COMMUNITY COLLEGES
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: http://www.adelantenc.org/
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
82. NC NAACP
83. National Association of Social Workers – NC Chapter
84. Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School Board