CRAVEN COUNTY, NEW BERN - (AP) - North Carolina's university and community college systems would no longer be allowed to enroll illegal immigrants under legislation filed by some House Republicans.
The bill filed Tuesday would overturn policies by the University of North Carolina system and state community college system. Students can attend these schools now only if they graduated from a U.S. high school and pay out-of-state tuition.
The bill would have exceptions for students who already are enrolled at a campus so they can complete a program or for students who are dually enrolled in a high school or secondary school.
The bill's primary sponsors are Reps. George Cleveland of Jacksonville and Chris Whitmire of Rosman.
News Channel12 spoke with Representative Chris Whitmire who says his main focus is to follow the law that's written and try to not reward those who aren't supposed to be here and give rights to the ones who are.
Students at Craven Community College had mixed opinions about the proposed bill.
Student Dallas Taylor said undocumented immigrants should become US citizens before trying to get an education.
"There is no way that coming here illegally you should have the same opportunities that citizens have that are here legally," said Taylor.
Student Zareeka Gardner feels differently, and said it's unfair to deny anyone an education.
"If they can come here and work why can't they come and get an education," said Gardner. "It's not going to hurt us as people or government. If they get a better education it's not like they're going to overpower us or anything," she said.
Victoria Block is a board certified specialist in immigration law.
"My first reaction was like a lot of my other immigration lawyer friend oh here we go again," said Block.
She has been handling immigration cases since 1996.
"If you do go to college when you're in this position you're paying out of state tuition," said Block. "So I think it would be interesting to find out how much money would be lost," she said.