Five Georgia Colleges Check Students’ Immigration Status

The five most selective University of Georgia public colleges are requiring students to provide documentation of their citizenship status prior to enrolling in fall classes, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The University of Georgia Board of Regents established this rule last year, after a controversy erupted around a Kennesaw State University student who was charged in-state tuition despite being an illegal immigrant. Under the new rule, illegal immigrants are completely barred from the system’s five most selective schools. They may attend the state’s other public colleges, but will not qualify for in-state tuition.

Out of more than 10,000 incoming students, only one has so far been prohibited from enrolling in classes due to immigration status, at Georgia State University. School officials told the Journal-Constitution they are not sure if the new rule decreased applications from illegal immigrants.

Some legislators are proposing bills to block enrollment of undocumented residents at all Georgia’s state schools.

Earlier this year, Georgia joined other states, including Arizona, Alabama and Indiana, in passing stringent immigration enforcement reforms. Graduate students in Indiana are concerned that under the Hoosier state’s new law, an F-1 visa will not qualify them for vital financial assistance, The Associated Press recently reported.