Bailey defends vote on undocumented immigrant students

On Sept. 17, the North Carolina Board of Community Colleges voted 20-1 to allow undocumented immigrants to attend the state's community colleges. Two of those "yes" votes came from local board members: K. Ray Bailey, a Buncombe County commissioner and former president of A-B Tech, and G. Gordon Greenwood, CEO of Asheville Bank.

Both have drawn fire for the decision, and Asheville City Council member Carl Mumpower is among their detractors. In an e-mail sent out Sept. 21, Mumpower called the move "government-sponsored cultural terrorism" and accused the board members of lying and betraying both the state and federal constitutions.

"It would be my position that the state Community College Board of Directors are also liars," wrote Mumpower, who has frequently called for the deportation of illegal immigrants. "Each of the twenty took an oath of office stating a commitment to uphold the U.S. and N.C. Constitutions. There is no truth in pretending their actions remotely support that oath. At a time when NC's unemployment rate is exceeding ten percent, those in charge have decided that illegal workers need access to more training."

Bailey defended the decision as a result of careful study.

"Undocumented aliens can already attend high schools, they can already attend public universities, so there was a gap there. We needed a policy that worked across the board," Bailey told Xpress. "Most of these students are the children of undocumented immigrants, and once they go through high school, get their diploma, [they] have no place to go. The students have to pay out-of-state tuition — which is enormous — and they can't take an open spot in a program while there are citizens on the list. This really applies to just a handful of people."

Bailey added that "who this affects are students who can pay the tuition, are working towards citizenship and are getting the skills they need to get a job."

Mumpower included a list of the board members in a separate e-mail and advised readers to contact them to express their displeasure. Bailey said he had received "one e-mail that was very negative. I've also heard from about a dozen people in person who supported my decision."

At press time, Greenwood had not replied to requests for comment.

Critics of the vote have asserted that tax dollars will end up supporting the education of undocumented immigrants who are here in violation of the law and don't pay taxes. Some undocumented immigrants do pay taxes through their employers or ID numbers provided by state and federal governments.

The decision to let undocumented immigrants attend was "unanimous, except for Lt. Governor Walt Dalton," Bailey noted. "The rest of us weren't thinking about politics — we just knew that this was the right thing to do."


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16 thoughts on “Bailey defends vote on undocumented immigrant students

  1. gary

    Why dont you people in government stand for our constitutionS State and America you are promoting and awarding law breakers Illegal alians cant legaly get a job in America not in North Carolina where the state education board says we dont care about the constitution we will let illegals go to our colleges when they cant work here legally you dont Listen to the people who are against this what lobby is in your pockets Your no Better than the Abomination Man Child In Washington Destroying this Great Country What is wrong with you people TAKE A LOOK IN THE MIRROR God Bless This GREAT COUNTRY

  2. Brittanicus

    It’s unfortunate that we have to maintain this relentless bombardment of our lawmakers in Washington. I almost cannot believe we have actually sustained several victories against the rich, powerful and the open border denizens? We have gained major headway in implementing E-Verify, the illegal immigrant worker extractor? But we cannot stop calling the Senators and representatives at 202-224-3121 and emphasizing the–THE AMERICAN WORKERS COMES FIRST. Demand they not table, but to install E-Verification on a permanent basis. If we release the strangle hold on those who influence our economic future, they will find a way to contain the program?

    Sen. David Vitter offered an amendment that prevents any further delays in the implementation of the Social Security Administration’s No-Match-letter program. Sen. Jeff Sessions offered an amendment that requires all federal contractors to use E-Verify and a permanent re-authorization of the application. All American workers must keep an eye on Sen. Harry Reid, Speaker Pelosi, and HS chief Napolitano as they–WILL–make the effort to squash or weaken immigration laws and today might conspire to cut funding for E-Verify as of September 30?
    In a move to block Sen. Sessions’ E-Verify amendment, the Senate leadership tried to table the amendment, but the motion failed and was later passed.

    This is an outstanding win for 10 million jobless Americans whom are suffering? We are finally harnessing the Special Interest lobby as they are now raving mad. Congratulations go out to these politicians, who are fighting a perpetual battle against the massive corporate welfare program, called illegal immigration, which taxpayers have always supported. Illegal aliens and families are catered for through emergency rooms laws, while the legal population is hounded for unpaid bills. It is truly a massive impediment if foreign nationals can also access any health care reform that passes? Our phone calls should not stop until E-Verify is fully funded, in-perpetuity? 287 G must continue, which will give our police the training to question people of their immigration status. ICE raids must be reinstated on all suspicious businesses. More Border Patrol agents? E-Verify could have many use, including drivers licenses, health care, insurance in the mainstream state benefits verification? Last, but not least the Immigration Reform and Control Act must be enforced, not undermined so they can heave at us another path to citizenship. We cannot support another BLANKET AMNESTY. The last one was Mickey Mouse and driven by unparalleled fraud. Three websites have the raw ingredients of the undisclosed cost and other information at NUMBERSUSA, JUDICIAL WATCH & for OVERPOPULATION statistics CAPSWEB.

    As for the 2010 Census? Small states will miss out big time on federal dollars, while mass illegal immigrant states will gain more seats in Congress and too much power and influence? Of course ICE could check the immigration status of those who are counted, even though it’s supposedly against US law?

  3. Sophia

    “Some undocumented immigrants do pay taxes through their employers or ID numbers provided by state and federal governments.”

    And to get their jobs, each illegal alien has to commit one or more crimes. These crimes include ID theft, document fraud, Social Security fraud, employment “I-9 Form” fraud, and conspiracy to violate immigration laws. So who cares if some illegal aliens pay taxes on money that they’ve earned illegally?

  4. Bobby

    Don’t the lawabiding, taxpaying, citizens of North Carolina know what to do now? Do you really need a hint on who is leading you. Get rid of them.

  5. citizenadvocate

    Absent a radical change in law — like amnesty, illegal aliens cannot “work towards citizenship.” There is simply no such provision in US immigration and nationality law.

    In fact, federal welfare reform law prohibits state agencies from offering enrollment to illegal aliens for less than the actual cost of instruction, if anyone in North Comatose could be bothered to sue them.

    Bigwig wannabe Bailey is clearly, as the late sage of Americana H.L. Mencken would have put it, “full of Buncombe.”

  6. Bobby

    Hey, if North Carolinians allow some hack politician to defend the indefensible,(according to existing U.S. immigration law) that’s their problem. They shouldn’t be surprised, however, when their State winds up dead broke, like California for instance, that spends billions on foreign nationals in the country illegally. How can it be justified to use taxpayers money on people in the nation illegally? AGain, according to existing immigration law, it can’t be justified, because it’s a violation of existing immigration law. THIS ISN’T ROCKET SCIENCE. It’s all up to Americans, whether they want their laws to mean something or not. Isn’t it?

  7. zeezil

    It costs $8,150 each year in NC to educate a public school student. That’s taxpayer money, folks. So for K-12, it costs us $105,950 to educate each illegal alien child. Overall, it costs us $975 million each year to educate the children of illegal aliens. WHO HERE ON THIS FORUM IS IN SUPPORT OF THAT? And, now after being forced by a miscreant Supreme Court decision to provide primary and secondary education to illegals, we have the elitist donkeys on the NC community college board deciding against the will of the vast majority of the people to gleefully admit ILLEGAL ALIENS to community college!!!! If you aren’t furious with this, then you’re an illegal alien, a mentally deranged liberal or you just aren’t paying attention.

  8. zeezil

    The Cost of Illegal Immigration to North Carolinians

    Familarize yourself with the latest study just released on the impact of illegal immigration to North Carolinians here:

    You won’t see its findings and contents discussed by the dinosaur media because they’d rather you not be aware. In short, it costs our state $1.3 billion annually for just incarceration – emergency medical care – education services to illegal immigrants. That figure does not include English instruction, law enforcement/courts, translators, assistance for public housing, food stamps, welfare payments, etc. Other factors not considered in the reports are job losses by citizens to illegal aliens and the depression of wages in the construction, landscaping, assembly, food processing and service sectors that most illegal aliens are employed in.

    Also, the cost to North Carolinians of their share of the impact that illegal immigration places on 15 federal department was not included.

    Overall, the cost of illegal immigration nationally is in excess of $100 billion annually.

    Another item gleaned from the study I cited is the remittances of $1.2 billion annually from illegal immigrants in North Carolina to Mexico. Nationwide, $26 billion in remittances is transferred from the U.S. to Mexico. This is money that is permanently transferred from our economy to a foreign country due to the lack of border control and non-enforcement of hiring laws.

  9. Jeff Fobes

    Here’s the Raleigh News & Observer’s editorial from Sept 21 (which oddly is no longer available online; this came from the Google cache):
    Opening doors
    Posted: 09/21/2009 6:06 PM

    The state’s community colleges are changing for the better, to give more students a chance.

    You might think such a move would be easy and popular, but it wasn’t easy and this particular change may not be widely supported, at least right away. Opposition to admitting illegal immigrants to community colleges has become a flashpoint issue in North Carolina, and Republican officials, joined by Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue and Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, immediately criticized the 18-member State Board of Community Colleges for its near-unanimous decision. (Dalton, who has a seat on the board, was the lone “no” vote.)

    Here’s hoping, however, that the logic of the board’s action and its carefully crafted nature will cool the most overheated of the opposition. North Carolinians are fair-minded people, and the decision the community college board has taken is fair to all. If anything, it is tougher on the young people involved than are the policies of most states.

    Board members voted Friday to admit illegal immigrants who have graduated from high school in this country only if they pay out-of-state tuition rates. Furthermore, the new students will be enrolled in classes only after all legal residents get seats. So they won’t be getting a “free ride” — not by a long shot — and they won’t be depriving other students of a place.

    All they’ll be getting is a chance to better themselves.

    This policy change clarifies years of confusion over what the community college system’s policies should be for students who graduate from high school here and then want to go on to learn the job skills that community colleges offer. The change will end a ban on illegal immigrants’ admissions that was imposed last year, when anti-illegal immigrant sentiment overflowed nationwide and, in particular, in North Carolina, which had experienced an exceptional surge in such immigrants during the boom years of the past two decades.

    Taking the opposition’s arguments into account, the move is structured so it will not harm any legal North Carolina residents. By imposing high, out-of-state tuition rates, about $7,700 per year, the board assures that relatively few illegal immigrants will be able to take advantage of the courses being offered. The system determined, contrary to critics’ charges, that out-of-state tuition more than compensates it for the cost of instruction — does anyone seriously propose charging students more than that?

    Among the states, only South Carolina bars illegal immigrants entirely from its two-year colleges. Are we really to take our cue from South Carolina rather than the other 48 states? The question answers itself.

    What’s really at issue here is clearing out an illogical roadblock between high school — yes, youths who are in this country illegally are entitled to attend the public schools — and higher education (the UNC system, for example, admits such students). When it comes to the two-year colleges in-between, nearly every state has opted to offer a chance for betterment to young people who typically had no say in their parents’ decision to bring them here. In making this modest but good-hearted change, North Carolina is joining the rest of the nation, as well it should.

  10. zeezil

    It is beyond the pale that citizen taxpayers are already forced by a miscreant Supreme Court decision to educate illegal alien children through high school and you want to extend educational benefits to illegals in college! Don’t even begin the argument that they will pay their own way because that is absurd. Don’t forget, illegal aliens are called illegal because they are illegally present in the country. Providing educational benefits to illegals only begets more illegal immigration just as providing free medical services, employment, and anchor baby citizenship that opens our entire welfare benefit system to the family.

  11. zeezil

    As a citizen of North Carolina, I am appalled by the State Board allowing illegal aliens to attend our community colleges. It is violation of law that illegal aliens are allowed into colleges at all. I would argue that it is in violation of the ‘aiding and abetting’ statute in the 1986 IRCA (Immigration Reform and Control Act). Even if illegal aliens were to pay out of state tuition, it would not cover the entire cost of their education because of capital costs, often not figured fully into the total cost calculations per student. Therefore, taxpayer subsidization of illegal aliens would occur. Also, why would the Board allow an illegal alien to take a seat in college from a deserving American citizen or legal immigrant? Seats in all of our post-secondary facilities are a limited and highly coveted resource, so why would you put an illegal alien into one? Why should we be in the business of educating and training a group of people who are illegally here and cannot legally be employed? Could they unequivocally state and prove that not one single tax dollar would be used and not one single citizen or LEGAL immigrant would be affected by illegal aliens attending our community colleges? This decision flies in the face of the rule of law. Instead, we should demand that that illegals are not entering the system by requiring the use of verification tools. I recommend mandating the use of the S.A.V.E (Systematic Alien Verification Entitlements) System to certify all applicants are legally present in the U.S.

  12. zeezil

    The people of NC are opposed to allowing illegals to attend community college, as illustrated by the Civitas Institute Decision Maker Poll Results of NC voters:
    – 68% of N.C. voters oppose allowing illegal immigrants to enroll in community colleges (February 2008).

    Another poll released in September 2009 by the American Council for Immigration Reform (ANCIR) indicates that 78% of Americans are against amnesty for illegal aliens with the same percentage stating that they believe illegals have had a substantial negative impact on the quality and cost of our health care system. Obviously, you can infer that Americans do not want illegals in our educational system beyond which we are already federally coerced to do so.

  13. zeezil

    The statements you hear from advocates for illegal aliens in favor of them having access to our colleges generally flow around their claim that better educated illegals will be more productive and will assimilate better into our society. This is not only fuzzy thinking, it is faulty logic. It’s very precept is that the illegal gets additional benefits to what they have already enjoyed by illegally remaining and operating here and gives a segment of them what they want – unfettered access to our higher education system (in addition to our primary and secondary education system that they have already utilized). This, of course, will be costly to the American taxpayer whether the illegal pays out of state tuition or not. It also deprives a deserving citizen or legal immigrant of the seat that the illegal would occupy. Another marketing campaign is that a child should not be penalized because of the ‘sins’ of their parents. Allowing access to higher education, however, allows the child to benefit from the fact their parents broke the law and continue to remain here illegally.

  14. zeezil

    I take exception to NCCCS reporting that ‘only’ a hundred or so illegal aliens are currently enrolled. This is a false and hollow number because it relies on self-reporting and not many illegal immigrants are going to truthfully report their immigration status. I do not believe the admissions office takes any action to investigate or determine status. The number is much larger than what they are officially reporting, and likely numbers in the thousands.

    Admitting illegal immigrants to our community colleges is a slap in the face and a hit in the pocketbook to citizens, legal immigrants and their children. It is apparent that the NC CCS board is willfully unwilling to stand up for the rule of law and the LEGAL residents of North Carolina. They obviously have no concept of the definition of “illegal” when coupled with the term immigrant in rendering their egregiously infuriating decision.

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