3/6/2012 – CL Atlanta – Anti-immigrant student bill passes Senate

Anti-immigrant student bill passes Senate | Atlanta News & Opinion Blog | Fresh Loaf | Creative Loafing Atlanta.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Anti-immigrant student bill passes Senate

Posted by Joeff Davis on Tue, Mar 6, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Sen. Nan Orrock speaking at a rally last week in front of the capitol in support of undocumented students.

  • Joeff Davis
  • Sen. Nan Orrock speaking at a rally last week in front of the capitol in support of undocumented students.

The state Senate yesterday voted to pass Senate Bill 458, which would prevent undocumented students from attending any of Georgia’s 60 public colleges. Laws are on the books that already stop undocumented students from attending any colleges with a competitive application process (includes the top five state schools), as well as making the undocumented students — many of whom have spent most of their lives in Georgia — pay out-of-state tuition. The state estimates that one tenth of one percent of students in the system are undocumented or roughly 300 out of about about 318,000 students.

Chancellor Hank Huckaby of the University System of Georgia came out against the law in his testimony Feb. 22 before the Senate Judiciary Committee, saying “I believe our current policy addresses the concerns some of you have that the System should ensure that all undocumented students pay out-of-state tuition, that no Georgians should be denied a seat in college if they were academically qualified because of an undocumented student, and that educating undocumented students would not cost Georgia taxpayers.”

Huckaby added: “Graduating more students is a key goal of the System as we work to help Georgia prosper. Even for those who are here through no fault of their own, it makes sense to me that we should educate them to the highest level possible. It helps our state economically, culturally, and educationally.”

Despite his testimony, the Senate voted 34-19 in favor of the bill, largely along party lines. No Democrats voted for it.

Yvony Diaz, 19, who moved to Georgia when he was 8 years old, said he was saddened by the vote, but held out hope that the bill could still be defeated. Diaz was brought to the U.S. by his parents when he was two months old and graduated from Chattahoochee High School in 2010.

“When SB 458 was passed on Monday, it made me feel under attack,” he wrote in an e-mail to CL. “It’s making me think that my dream of attending college here in Georgia is fading away. But I can’t think like that. I know we’re in the right side of history and justice is not being served.”

He said he’d move to another state if the bill passes before he’d consider returning to Mexico, adding that he speaks only a little Spanish.

The bill next moves to the House.

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One Comment to “3/6/2012 – CL Atlanta – Anti-immigrant student bill passes Senate”

  1. The Republican Party is in power in the Ga Legislative for now, they have the political power now, what they are understimating is that the Latino political power is just awakening. The more hostility we receive from the establishment the more personal it becomes. I am an American citizen that happens to be of Latino origins and all these measures to mimnimize that dreams and legitimate aspirations of these thousand of students barred from state collages I take them very personal. It seems that because of our ethnic bacground we should be undesirables. What the Republican Party have failed to understand is that without the Hispanic vote they will not winn the presidency. Their hostility and uncooperation with the issue of undocumented immigration have gone very far already. Republican politicians haven’t realized that our vote could be decisive in their political aspirations. We have been left behind from the promisses . of the President Obama concerning his promised to fix the immigration issue, however, in looking and considering all the obstacles Mr Obama have encountered with the Republicans during his administration I can see that immigration became less important in an agenda filled with chanllenges. That does not justified failing in his promissed, Mr Obama won the prsidency with 64 % of the Hispanic vote. Would him once again winn the trust lost already in the Latino hearts ? The Republican Party in Ga totally understimate the political power of the Latino voter. They believe that we are not contenders a lot. As the understanding of our rights resourging grows stronger in the State. Our presence is also more visible, perhaps it will be late already when they realize our imput in their political destiny could be decisive for their survivel. Those who wrote hostile legislatives laws against the Latino young people or others will be for ever remember. We will keep them very close to our memories in elections to come.

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