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Undocumented Students Are Banned From South Carolina Colleges and Universities

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, a Republican, signed a bill yesterday that will ban undocumented students from attending, or receiving financial aid to attend, public colleges or universities in the state. This means that South Carolina has joined Arkansas and North Carolina in enacting a law or implementing policies that make it much harder for undocumented students to get a postsecondary education at public institutions.

Joel Sawyer, the communications director for the governor, told me over the phone this morning that Mr. Sanford signed the immigration bill primarily because it will require private employers in the state to use a federal verification system to make sure that everyone they hire is living legally in the country. The bill also imposes fines on employers who hire undocumented workers, he said. When asked how the governor feels about barring undocumented students from colleges and universities, Mr. Sawyer said, "That's something we don't have a problem with but that wasn't our driving force in pushing for the bill." You can find the text of the bill, H 4400, with a search here.

Latinos held a protest against the bill at the state house in Columbia, S.C., arguing that it will hurt the state's economy, according to an article posted yesterday at TheState.com. A June 4 Associated Press article about the bill is posted at Americans for Immigration, a Raleigh, N.C.-based organization that aims to stop illegal immigration.

Find an earlier post on this topic here.

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