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Friday, November 5, 2010 - 8:40am

New Bill Would Bar Illegal Immigrants from Public Colleges

Some state lawmakers don’t want illegal immigrants in public colleges and universities.

Right now the institutions can accept illegal immigrants as students so long as they pay out of state tuition and all citizens and legal immigrants have been served first.

Republican Representative Tom Rice has written a bill to change that.

"We want everyone to maximize their opportunities in this country, but we want first of all people who are here legally to do that and the people who are not here legally really ought to go back and do it legally in their own country."

Rice says the new law would spell out how state universities and colleges check citizenship.

All applicants would have to sign an affidavit indicating their citizenship. Non-citizens would then be checked against a national database.

A recent audit found only 29 students at public institutions could not prove their legal status.