Coddling an Illegal alien at a Georgia College

As Appeared in the June 2010 Middle American News
By Phil Kent

“It’s OK to cheat at Kennesaw State University.”

That was the first sentence of a fiery editorial in the Marietta, Ga., Daily Journal over the case of an illegal alien student named Jessica Colotl. The college senior was arrested for a traffic violation while driving on campus without a U.S. driver’s license. She then lied to the campus and county police about her address and phone number. What happened next should outrage every taxpayer and American who believes in the rule of law.

Colotl was taken to the county jail where she was handed over to the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). A deportation process began. However, the Marietta newspaper reported “after a full court lobbying effort” by Kennesaw State University President Dan Papp and “the school’s taxpayer-funded legal team, she was abruptly released …and granted a one-year deferment by ICE during which to pursue her studies.”

The college president bragged, “This is great news for Ms. Colotl, her family and friends and for the KSU community. “We are especially thrilled she will be allowed to continue her studies here at KSU. We would like to thank everyone involved.” And blah, blah, blah.

This is an outrageous abuse of college presidential power, and an insult to the taxpayers and parents of children who strive to get into college yet their slots are taken by illegals. Adding to the insult is that Papp granted this illegal an in-state tuition rate! This flies in the face of not only Georgia Board of Regents policy but also state and federal law.
Other states, sad to say, allow undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition if they have attended high school in the state for at least three years. What is the genesis of this trend? In 1982 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled states must provide a free high school education to very child, even those illegally on American soil. Paradoxically, in that same decision, the high court also said that “like all persons who have entered the United States unlawfully, these children are subject to deportation.” So if the feds don’t remove them– the taxpayers have to educate them!

In 1996 Congress specifically made it illegal for states to grant any postsecondary education benefits to undocumented foreigners. So a state allowing such benefits leaves itself wide open to legal challenge. After all, in the states allowing the practice, students from other states are treated as second-class citizens to non-citizens who are deportable. There’s a strong “equal protection” argument to be made.

In Georgia, as the KSU case demonstrates, illegal aliens are getting tuition breaks by stealth; that is, soft-headed college presidents like Papp simply implement the practice on their own. (By the way, colleges should be assisting the Homeland Security and Justice Departments in identifying foreign students who have overstayed their visas and who could pose a possible threat.)

Georgia’s Board of Regents just approved a steep tuition hike, yet it allows college presidents under its oversight to grant undocumented foreigners tuition breaks because lazy or “multiculturalist” admissions officials focus only on residency and shun working with federal authorities on students’ immigration status. It may take legal action to force states that have allowed tuition breaks for illegals to stop such a foolish and unfair practice.

In the case of Georgia, clear policy must be implemented — set by the General Assembly, if University System regents won’t do it — on what kind of student identification colleges must accept and who may be given in-state tuition rates.

# # #