Students protest immigration bill
Posted: Jan 24, 2012 7:29 PM EST Updated: Jan 24, 2012 7:34 PM EST
ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) - Undocumented students said they will continue to protest any bills that could crack down on illegal immigrants.
One bill in particular, HB 59, proposed by Rep. Tom Rice, a Republican from Norcross, would ban all illegal immigrants from attending higher education schools in the state.
“We have been affected with HB 87, and this is just a complete insult,” said undocumented student Georgina Perez. “We already have to pay out of state tuition, we are already banned from the top five universities, there is no need for HB 59.”
Undocumented students like Gustavo Madrigal said it is not their fault they were brought to this country illegally and should not be penalized.
“I was brought here when I was 2 years old, now I am 20,” Madrigal said. “Education should be about merit, it shouldn’t be about undocumented status or socioeconomic status. We are there in schools working hard and when I am turned down to UGA and Georgia State solely because of my undocumented status that is wrong.”
The bill is currently in the House and has not gone any further.
On Tuesday, the students protested a meeting with the Higher Education Department, even though the bill was not on the agenda.
Madrigal said he wants legislators to know they are watching what bills are passed and will continue to show up to protest.
“We are going to fight, we are not going to let this go,” Madrigal said.
Rep. Pedro Marin, a Democrat from Duluth, said they will propose legislation this week to repeal HB 87, the immigration bill that passed into law last May.
“This law is causing an economic downturn for Georgia, and we need to make sure we make this great stay grow and be viable,” Marin said.