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Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - 3:36pm

Illegal Student Bill Passes Committee

A bill that would make it law in Georgia to keep undocumented students out of the state's public universities passed a House committee. Chancellor Erroll Davis told the committee that such a law would hurt the university system's reputation and is not needed.

The Board of Regents says illegal students are not a problem at Georgia's universities. Davis testified before the House Higher Education Committee that an audit found only 29 students were illegal. He says the university system has since put policies in place and undocumented students pay out-of-state tuition.

"We believe very strongly that we have taken steps that Georgia taxpayers are protected and that Georgia students are not displaced by undocumented students," Davis says.

Davis warned that passing a law restricting access to universities would hurt the national reputation of Georgia's higher education systems. He says 49 states, including Arizona, allow undocumented students to attend public universities as long as they pay tuition. The bill now moves to the full House of a vote.