ACLU of Georgia, Joined by 30 Organizations and Churches, Issues Letter to Board of Regents Calling for Rejection of Proposal Limiting Educational Access for Undocumented Students

Affiliate: ACLU of Georgia
October 12, 2010 12:00 am

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ACLU of Georgia
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Press conference will be 8:30 a.m., Wednesday, at 270 Washington Street, S.W.


Atlanta – The ACLU of Georgia, joined by 30 Georgia-based organizations and churches, issued letter to the Board of Regents today, calling for rejection of a proposal that will limit educational access for undocumented students. The proposal will be before the Board of Regents at their meeting on Wednesday, October 13th, at 9 a.m.

A press conference will be held at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday at 270 Washington Street, S.W. Speakers will include Georgia DREAMERS, Georgia Students for Public Higher Education, and Senator Nan Orrock.

The Committee on Special Residency Verification which was assembled earlier this year by the Board of Regents has recommended that five Georgia colleges and universities-namely, the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Medical College of Georgia, and Georgia College & State University-ban enrollment to undocumented students. In addition, the Committee has recommended that all Georgia colleges attempt to verify the status of every admitted student seeking in-state tuition through relying on federal databases such as the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program.

“We urge the Board of Regents to continue to allow undocumented students to receive postsecondary education at institutions of their choosing, an action that is in complete compliance with federal law,” said Azadeh Shahshahani, National Security/Immigrants’ Rights Project Director at the ACLU of Georgia. “Providing students who graduate from high schools in the State with a college education furthers principles of fundamental fairness,” continued Shahshahani.

The letter also urges the Board of Regents to not require university officials to employ any additional methods to check the status of students beyond what is currently utilized. “Federal databases that could be used for verification per the Committee’s proposal are deeply flawed. Use of these error-filled databases in the university setting could lead to problems for legally authorized students, who could be forced to take on the burden of persuading multiple administrative bureaucracies to fix their records if they want to remain enrolled as in-state students. In addition, the databases lead to discrimination and have a disproportionate impact on those who are perceived to be foreign,” said Shahshahani.

The letter is available online at:

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