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Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 11:10am

State Rejects College Ban Lawsuit

The state is calling for the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by undocumented students who are barred from Georgia’s top public colleges.

The students argue that an Obama administration order gives them “legal presence” because it provides a stay from deportation and allows them to work and drive legally.

But in a response filed with the superior court of DeKalb County, state Attorney General Sam Olens says the federal order only delays deportation. It doesn’t change their “lack of legally recognized immigration status,” according to the complaint. Further Olens argues it doesn’t confer any other rights on the group.

The state also says the students have failed to exhaust all of their options, including appealing the universities’ denial of admission or recognition of in-state residency.

The Board of Regents, which is the party the students are suing, bans undocumented students from the five most selective schools in the university system. And it requires them to pay three times the out of state tuition at the state’s other public colleges and universities. Its policy states students must have “legal presence” in Georgia to be eligible to attend the top schools and pay in-state tuition.

Georgia is one of two states that bars undocumented students from some state schools.

The Obama order, issued in 2012, is called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.