Poll: most Georgians want illegal aliens barred from public colleges

According to a Mason-Dixon poll from last week, 67%…yes, 67% of Georgia’s legal, tax paying citizens want to bar illegal aliens from attending the University of Georgia and other public colleges. Again, that’s 67% want to prohibit people that are not legally entitled to be in Georgia to begin with from attending Georgia’s public university system.

Fan-freaking-tastic! Already, there is discussion about making changes to the law during the next session of the General Assembly to accomplish the will of the people.

The Legislature exempted the Board of Regents from a 2006 ban on illegal immigrants receiving many government services.

“Current law allows undocumented students to apply to college and be accepted,” Millsaps said. “It just doesn’t allow them to pay in-state tuition. That’s the current law, and that’s what we have to operate under.”

Changing the law enjoys broad support from almost every demographic group. Seventy-five percent of men, 61 percent of women, 46 percent of Democrats, 79 percent of Republicans, 77 percent of political independents, 71 percent of whites and 55 percent of blacks favor changing it. The rest were opposed or undecided.

Both Barnes and Deal say they would support such a change in the law.


    • seenbetrdayz, Ph.D. says:

      Well, I suppose it is possible that the 67% were illegal, non-tax-paying citizens, but why would they vote in such a way?

      • USA1 says:

        My issue of contention with Pete is about the unsubstantiated claim he makes about “who” voted, not about “how” they voted.

        • USA1 says:

          Again, my issue with what Pete wrote is with the phrase he so casually used. I am not focusing on the actual results of the survey and whether they indicate a “MANDATE.”

          Pete assumes the 67% of people who responded a certain way in the poll are legal, tax-paying citizens. These false assumptions are part of the problem with the overall debate. It’s a tactic in a strategy to always portray those who oppose or demonize illegal immigrants as righteous, hard-working people.

  1. drjay says:

    i realize i’m probably about to be castigated, and tea partiers will call me a rino or something-but- just thinking out loud here-if undocumented immigrants are already supposed to pay out of state tuition under current law, how is that materially different than some guy from south america or italy or wherever going to university and paying the appropriate rate?

    • Progressive Dem says:

      It’s not. This young woman at Kennesaw State graduated near the top of her class at Lakeside High School, one of the best schools in the state. Why in the world shouldn’t we admit her to college in Georgia? Her parents brought here here when she was 6 years old.

      Some issues lend themselves to polling others don’t.

      • B Balz says:

        “…Why in the world shouldn’t we admit her to college in Georgia?…” Because no other Country in the World educates illegal aliens?

        She and her parents are living in this Country as unregistered aliens. Their own country would jail parents for this, not educate their progeny.

        US immigration laws and border security are an international joke. WE literally look like imbeciles as we wring our collective hands wondering what to do.

      • drjay says:

        i used south american as an example b/c i know the golfer camilo villegas is columbian but he went to the stupid university of fla. and played golf–i realize that is a slightly different animal–but golf aside, if he had left columbia and matriculated at the stupid u of f he would be a guy from another country going to school in the states, sort of like an undocumented immigrant would be…

        • Camillo…man that guy has game. I don’t know what his “status” was. Student visa, applied for citizenship, etc etc. I’m sure he was pretty “documented” and that would be the difference.

    • John Konop says:


      First, in state or out of state colleges are subsidized by tax payers. Second we have indirect cost of supporting illegal immigrants ie healthcare……Finally no other country in the world would allow illegal immigrants to attend public schools.

      With that said we are all complicit with this problem. Consumers and businesses all wanted a deal with cheap labor. The problem is they also want everyone else to pay the social service cost ie schools, healthcare……

      What I think we should do is any illegal immigrant that joins the military should be granted citizenship after a honorable discharge. Second we should make illegal immigrants pay FICA tax for 5 years with no credit before they can become eligible for applying for citizenship. And if they have a job they should able to stay with their family if they pay taxes and have proper insurance including healthcare. Also we should have them pay a $2000 registration fee with a $1000 annual fee and have all pay put on a card to make sure everything is paid. They also should be granted the same legal working rights as American workers. Finally with should change the birthright laws to having 1 parent being an American citizen.

      • B Balz says:


        The laws and regulations address legal residency need to be enforced. If new laws/regulations are needed to prevent illegal aliens attending ANY school, we should be on that.

        How can anyone talk about the Kennesaw case without going ballistic? That once 6-year-old child was illegal and once that fact was determined, she and her parents needed to be shown a path to become a registered, taxpaying, guest worker. Or a path to the door.

        This is a problem that will creep up on America, and once we realize what we have lost, it will be TOO LATE.

        It makes me really angry to know that 73% of my way-too-high property tax is spent on an education system that is deficient in so many ways. On top of which I pay to run Lakeside, which educated a nice little girl, who did nothing wrong, save for the sins and omissions of her illegal parents.

        Higher education is a not something to give away. We have done this for years and we need to stop. This is even dumber than racism.

        • Progressive Dem says:

          She was not a free-rider in DeKalb County. School systems rely upon local property taxes. All residents of a county either pay property taxes or pay rent to a landlord who pays property taxes. (Rental propereties can’t qualify for homestead exemption either, so those owners pay more property taxes than homeowners.) Taxes are being collected for all students if they reside in the county they attend school. We can also assume that she and her family paid state and local sales taxes. We have no idea if they paid income taxes, payroll taxes, corporate taxes, user fees etc.

          For higher education, we require tutition and fees, but it doesn’t cover the full cost for any student – regardless of citizenship or ability to pay. We subsidize all students because we find it advantageous to our state and community to have an educated work force and community.

          As the bumper sticker says:
          If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

    • macho says:

      It’s slightly different. Someone coming over on a student Visa has gone through the proper channels. You’re essentially punishing the students who apply, and go through the Visa maze. Why wait in line, and pay the fees, for a student Visa, when the school will just let you attend as an illegal alien.

  2. Pappy says:

    Does anyone seriously think we will save money by not allowing a couple hundred or so “illegals” to PAY OUT-OF-STATE TUITION to go to UGA/Kennesaw State/etc? Ever hear of an economy of scale? Not like we can shutter dorms and sell the property once we kick them out.

    And John, though I agree more or less with your last two paragraphs, would not the “taxpayer subsidies” for state colleges still exist even if we barred non-citizens from attending?

    • B Balz says:

      Ever here of capacity restrained? Your comments imply that the number of seats in college are unrestricted. Enrollment is limited unless class size becomes irrelevant.

      Anyway, tuition does not reflect the true cost of education. Education is subsidized by endowments, lottery, taxes, grants, etc.

      • Doug Grammer says:

        Every illegal in class is taking up a seat that could have been held by a legal citizen. Kids get turned down for college. Don’t let the reason for that be that we were sucking up to kids of criminals.

        • Progressive Dem says:

          The standards for admission are not like those in Japan. Only the most miserable students can’t go to college in the US. There’s a college for everyone.

          And thanks to legislation passed by the Democrats and Obama, $2 billion went to community colleges to train workers who lost their jobs to corporations taking jobs overseas. The maximum Pell grants were increased by almost 10%. Banks will no longer be collecting billions in middleman fees. If students with loans join the military or teach, portions of their loans can be forgiven. College is accessible.

          • Doug Grammer says:

            Some colleges only allow so many people per year. Sure, they can go to another school, but why should they have to do so if an illegal is taking a valid citizen’s seat?

            • Three Jack says:

              how does an illegal immigrant get into a u.s. college?

              answer — government is incapable of providing even the basic services like protecting the borders and filtering out illegal aliens from being admitted to government run institutions of higher education. and now you folks want more government to add more regulations?

              seems simple to me…if you are not a legal citizen, you don’t get to use public facilities or receive public assistance. one law, one outcome. anything else is bs.

          • B Balz says:

            First, there is no doubt President Obama deserves credit for changing how student loans are administered and helping make college more accessible.

            Second, we need to address the illegal alien issue – Calling these folks criminals, while correct, is not helpful. Am I a criminal if I travel at 60 mph in a 55 mph zone? I am doing something illegal, afterall.

            PD, to your point above about paying property taxes, nice deferral, but you sidestep the issue – illegal, unregistered, and by your own admission unknown contributors to the Fed/State tax system, cannot be tolerated. Again, their own Country would jail somebody for doing this.

            An intractable, hateful and wrongminded position by GOP stalwarts, NO Amnesty, is helping to perpetuate the problem.

            I say, identify, register (Do not grant citizenship, offer a 5-7 year ‘guestworker’ path to citizenship), tax (back taxes, no penalty or interest) those currently living in the US who are not properly credentialed. Prevent further incursions by reducing the economic benefit of working here. Make employers liable for having an illegal worker on payroll, even if that person is a subcontractor’s employee.

            Attack the economic root of the issue. A wall is OK, but unless we effectively remove the economic incentive, people who want to work will sneak in.

            I can pretty much guarantee we will handle this issue just like we handled healthcare, with rancor and inefficiency. Few will be happy with the final output.

            Prices will go up as low wages and unsafe and poor working conditions for illegals are removed. Is America ready to pay $4.95 p/lb for dark meat?

          • CobbGOPer says:

            And while getting an education is a good thing always in my opinion, what does it matter if, when you graduate, there aren’t any jobs to be had anyway? Everyone nowadays is “going back to school.” Problem is, when they get done, there still aren’t any jobs to be had…

    • John Konop says:


      We would still have in direct cost like healthcare for non-insured illegal immigrants on a macro. As far as birthright law in a good compromise everyone should walk-away not liking everything.

  3. Progressive Dem says:

    People without heath insurance are driving up the cost for the insured. The number of people without insurance is so large that illegal immigrants are not driving the costs. They make a good scapegoat, but they are a fraction of the uninsured.

    • macho says:

      Have you ever been to the emergency room at Grady or Scottish Rite? I know that I’m profiling, but I’m going to go out on a line and assume the majority of the Spanish speaking patients don’t have insurance.

      • Progressive Dem says:

        CDC Survey
        25% of Georgians 18-64 years old don’t have insurance. Another 14% of adults didn’t have insurance for for part of the year. The Hispanic population in Georgia is around 8%

        Only one state in the survey (Texas) had higher rates uninsured adults than Georgia. Lack of health insurance coverage was greatest in the South and West regions of the United States.

        Among adults who lacked a high school diploma, 32.9% were uninsured at the time of interview, 36.4% had been uninsured for at least part of the past year. These rates are two to more than three times as high as those for persons with more than a high school education.

        Among currently unemployed adults aged 18-64 years, 59.7% had been uninsured for at least part of the past year, and 32.3% had been uninsured for more than a year.

        Children are generally insured 48% private, 42% public and 10% not insured in GA.


  4. My wife is a legal, tax paying non-citizen and thinks they should be barred. She’s also a graduate of Kennesaw State. When you have been through the immigration process, you tend to get irked by those who try to evade the system.

      • polisavvy says:

        Amen. That’s the true issue with me — them thinking that walking to the front of the line is okay. It’s not okay. If you want to be a citizen of this country, we will welcome you with open arms provided you do it properly. Why should someone wait 7 or 8 years for citizenship by going through the proper channels and then a bunch who are hellbent on entering illegally are allowed to stay? It’s not fair to those who are patiently waiting.

        • B Balz says:

          Immigration reform is long overdue. That’s why people take cuts, because the system is absurd.

          If you have $1MM, and can employ 10 people, you get a green card. That’s a fact.

          • polisavvy says:

            Yes, it’s definitely waaay past time. The system does need an overhaul; but, on the flip side, there should not be blanket amnesty just given to people who break the law by entering illegally. I truly feel for those who are patiently waiting (for years) to become citizens — you know, those who are jumping through hoops to become citizens legally. That’s what’s not fair, in my opinion. I hate double standards, always have and always will.

  5. Lone Star Georgian says:

    I challenge anyone on this site to show me some proof. Show me that illegal immigrants, and not uninsured citizens, are to blame for a majority of skyrocketing healthcare costs.

    And the whining about property taxes is garbage. Everyone pays property taxes, and if you don’t think the landlords who rent to illegal immigrants are rolling the taxes into the rent, you’re unhinged.

    Given our byzantine immigration laws, it shouldn’t be surprising that many people are here illegally. If they had a choice, they would all be legal. But it’s too expensive, and there aren’t enough visas. Fix the system and punish employers, not people who are seeking a better life.

    Now comes the part that really gets me fuming. How can we suggest that students who work intensely throughout their public school careers and earn the grades to attend college don’t deserve to go? They earned it. They came here as kids. They had no control over what their parents did. And some of you are so self-absorbed over stupid taxes that you have no vision for what this country actually stands for. What ever happened to hard work leading to a prosperous future? Instead, you want to send these kids back to what is, for them, a foreign country.

    I have little sympathy for the argument that illegal immigrants are taking away seats from some poor, otherwise deserving American citizens. If native-born citizens get beat by illegal immigrants for admission, they don’t deserve to go to college. They should have worked harder in school…LIKE THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WHO HAVE BETTER GRADES, TEST SCORES, and SERVICE RECORDS. Why should we reward lackluster citizens over standout immigrants? Successful companies don’t do that, so why in the heck would colleges do that?

    • B Balz says:

      Good points – I disagree on college for illegal aliens, though. If the byzantine system of immigration is reformed, it would make the issue of illegal aliens attending our colleges moot.

      Reform must address the birthright, or less elegantly, ‘anchor-baby’ issue.

      • polisavvy says:

        Yup! That’s where it should begin. Personally, I think the whole ‘anchor baby’ issue should be addressed and soon. It’s pertinent to the problem.

    • ChuckEaton says:

      “Given our byzantine immigration laws”

      When you compare the US to most desirable countries, we have a fairly progressive immigration policy. Canada might have a more relaxed policy, although you do have to demonstrate a desirable skillset, but they don’t border an impoverished country. I think all of the major European and Asian countries are more restrictive than the US.

  6. kolt473 says:

    http://www.atlantaprogressivenews.com/news/0373.html -of course KING ROY wants the law, he needs every vote he can get, it was KING ROY who sued to have voter ID overturned, screw it. you need ID for everything buying smokes, liquor, check cashing, even some cases over the counter medicine. And alleged cons like ROY has turned backs on the legal GA voters for the illegals, Damn king roys attack ads on the internet, you can’t even surf, without seeing just how low he’ll go DEAL may win, but without me, ROY BARNES to allege corrupt for GA.

  7. ZazaPachulia says:

    This is why the DREAM act is before Congress.
    It’s a legit piece of the puzzle in solving the illegal immigration problem. I’m not one to laud this Congress, but the DREAM Act has merit.

    • polisavvy says:

      It does have merit PROVIDED it is properly enforced. I’d really like to see it require them receive a four-year degree, instead of just an associate’s degree unless whatever education they are seeking only requires two years, or if they are attending technical schools where the programs only last for two years.

      I do have a valid issue that I think is vitally important and that is that members of the service who happen to be illegals, who are willing to put their lives on the line for this country, should receive automatic citizenship. I know I will probably be crucified for this one; but, these men and women are willing to die for a country that they obviously feel is worth dying for. To treat them any differently that citizens of this country seems like a total lack of gratitude.

      • B Balz says:

        Your point is meritorious, but the military ought not bear the weight of vetting illegals as soldiers. A quisling could use the military as a trojan-horse to hurt the US.

        • polisavvy says:

          True. I hadn’t thought about the “quisling” issue; however, the quisling issue could still happen and not even involve an illegal immigrant. You have to admit that if someone is willing to sacrifice four years of their lives, if after completing their time in the military they have been good soldiers, then they did not cause a “trojan horse” issue for the military. They should be granted citizenship. If any, at any point in their service, cause problems of any type, they should be removed from the service and deported.

          Just remember, the terrorists on 9/11 had Visas and look what they did.

            • polisavvy says:

              I see your point. I really do. I just feel that people who sign up for the military know that death can be a part of that service and IF they are willing to die for a country who doesn’t “claim” them, then they should receive something other than a pay check and a “thanks.”

              • B Balz says:

                During peacetime? The US military allows ILLEGAL ALIENS to join?

                Don’t think it is gonna happen, just sounds wrong.

                If one joins the French Foreign Legion, one doesn’t become a French citizen…

                • polisavvy says:

                  Touche, B Balz. Laughed out loud about the French Foreign Legion! 🙂 Do have a question for you, though: Do you or don’t you have to produce a certified copy of your birth certificate to enlist in the service? Just curious. And, if not, why not?

                • CobbGOPer says:

                  Um, well, no, one doesn’t become a French citizen IMMEDIATELY upon joining the Legion, but once you complete your first 5 year hitch, then the French government DOES extend citizenship to you if you request it. As well as a new name and identity if you so desire…

                  As well, the US military has a fast track program for legal immigrants who have enlisted, which speeds up their citizenship application and cuts years off the process.

                  • polisavvy says:

                    Thanks for that info, Cobb. I was wondering what, if anything, our military did for the illegals who enlist. Thanks again.

        • polisavvy says:

          As an aside, do you not have to provide a certified copy of a birth certificate in order to enlist in the military? If not, why?

  8. sybase46 says:

    As a staunch Independent I feel if the illegals pay full tuition they should be allowed to go to public colleges. However, I also believe in the rule of law and after the illegals submit there applications the FED should start the deportation process! Is this an oxymoron, Yes but this would perhaps accomplish two goals. a) Help ICE to determine who is illegally in the US. b) encourage illegals to do as millions of others have and go through the legal process of obtaining legal status.

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