Nearing the end of the 2011-2012 legislative session, Georgia’s lawmakers consider a bill which would deny to undocumented persons access to post-secondary education, codifying an existing Board of Regents policy. Available on the Georgia General Assembly’s website is the full text of the bill.
“This bill panders to a particular and currently politically popular constituency of voters,” said Crystal Gross, Operations Director for the Libertarian Party of Georgia. “Restraining the possibilities for the children of individuals who made a choice to break a law. This bill is an overreach by the legislature to dictate education policy to the state Board of Regents and threatens the very foundation of the American way of life — education, innovation, and prosperity.”
Concerns remain regarding a boom in bureaucracy and a likely increase in the size of government to enforce such a policy, which Libertarians believe will lead to higher taxes to enforce such a law. Amid concerns over undocumented students taking away seats from legal immigrants and U.S. citizens, the Board of Regents enacted a policy to require that undocumented students pay out-of-state tuition, regardless of their “home state.”
“The Founders did not create a nation where its people were to suffer for the crimes of their fathers,” noted Libertarian Party of Georgia Chairman Daniel N. Adams. “This bill seeks to make a law for the sake of making a law. The Board of Regents already restricts admittance without the law in place through their own policy. Why would the state choose to codify an existing Board policy and remove their decision-making from this matter?”
Earlier this year, University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby noted that fewer than one-tenth of one percent of the 318,000 students within the University system are undocumented.