Georgia Senate Votes to Ban Undocumented Immigrants from Public Colleges

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ATLANTA -- Georgia state senators passed an anti-immigrant bill SB 548 on Monday, by a vote of 34 to 19, that would close the doors of all of the state's public universities to undocumented students. The bill now heads to the Georgia House of Representatives. The future of the legislation remains uncertain: Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and House Speaker David Ralston have both said this is not the time to pass more anti-immigrant laws in the state. Undocumented students in Georgia already do not receive taxpayer-supported in-state tuition; they pay out-of-state tuition, which is about three times more expensive. If the bill becomes law, Georgia would join Alabama and South Carolina in banning undocumented students from public colleges.

Last year, Georgia was one of five states that passed a tough immigration state law modeled after Arizona's SB 1070. Georgia's HB 87, signed into law by Gov. Deal, is now being reviewed by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. That court announced last week that it will delay its decision until after a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on Arizona's SB 1070.