Another Atlanta college vows to support students who are in U.S. illegally

Atlanta protestors demonstrated this month against Georgia Board of Regents policies that bar immigrants without legal status from attending five of the state’s top schools and paying in-state tuition rates at its others.  Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

Atlanta protestors demonstrated this month against Georgia Board of Regents policies that bar immigrants without legal status from attending five of the state’s top schools and paying in-state tuition rates at its others. Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

Emory University is getting some backup from another metro Atlanta private school after a Republican lawmaker threatened to cut off state funding to any higher education institution that declares it will defy President-elect Donald Trump if he tries to deport immigrants who are illegally in the U.S.

Agnes Scott College President Elizabeth Kiss said in a statement that the Decatur school would continue to support undocumented students, known as “Dreamers,” who were granted a temporary reprieve from the threat of deportation by an executive order from President Barack Obama.

“Agnes Scott’s DACA students do not receive a penny of state or federal aid,” Kiss wrote, referring to the Obama program, adding: “They are bright, hard-working young women who have played by the rules, graduated from high school and passed a criminal background check. They want to become citizens of their country and pursue the American Dream.”

The school is at least the second private college in Georgia to commit to supporting students who are in the country illegally regardless of Trump’s immigration policy. Emory President Claire Sterk last week said the school would  follow state and federal laws but also continue to support its “Dreamers.” She also said administrators were reviewing whether to declare Emory a “sanctuary campus and ways to protect all members of the Emory community.”

That prompted a backlash from state Rep. Earl Ehrhart, who told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday he plans to introduce legislation to block colleges from receiving state funds if they aren’t complying with state and federal law. Ehrhart, chair of the House’s higher education financing panel, said “if you’re picking and choosing which laws you’re going to follow, state dollars aren’t going to follow.”

Such a decision could cost private schools tens of millions of dollars in grants, tuition assistance programs and other funding.

Students and faculty from more than 100 universities have called on their administrators to declare themselves sanctuaries or otherwise protect undocumented students after Trump’s election. The president-elect has vowed to deport the estimated 11 million people in the country illegally, though it’s unclear how he’ll handle students and other young people who came to the U.S. illegally as children.

They are borrowing the term from the handful of major cities – and dozens of smaller ones – that have declared themselves “sanctuary cities.” Though the meaning varies widely, it typically signals that the city won’t work with federal immigration authorities to hand over people in the country illegally.

Already, Emory’s stance has infuriated some alumni. Larry Hailey, who graduated from Emory with two degrees in the 1950s, called Sterk’s comments “appalling” in a letter sent Wednesday to the university’s board.

“If Emory follows through with the planned intent not to follow the applicable laws, I will not only be ashamed of my former university, but also could not consider making any more contributions to Emory,” wrote Hailey, a commercial real estate executive. “As will be the case with many of my friends and acquaintances who in the past have thought well of Emory.”

Kiss, the Agnes Scott president, said she’s hopeful “cooler heads will prevail” and that students in the country illegally won’t be targeted for deportation. The DACA students at the Decatur school are high achievers, she said, who aren’t taking any spots away from American-born students.

“They are able to go to college because they receive private scholarship support which we raise from donors and foundations, and scrape together the rest of their college costs through the hard work of their families in housekeeping, construction, agriculture, hospitality, manufacturing and the U.S. military,” she said.

Related AJC coverage:

Emory could lose state funding if it declares a ‘sanctuary campus’ to shield immigrants

Emory University considers declaring ‘sanctuary campus’ after Trump’s win

Atlanta mayor vows support for young immigrants following Trump’s win

‘UGA could have had my brain’: Immigration rules bar students, spark lawsuits

Former chancellor condemns Georgia’s immigrant admissions policies

 

Reader Comments 0

207 comments
Noel Robbins
Noel Robbins

No respect for the law has got to be stopped!

Lew DeMarcus
Lew DeMarcus

They'll change they're tune when they quit getting funded. And start getting arrested.

Wendell Harrelson
Wendell Harrelson

Laws should be upheld. These schools are foolish and breaking the law.

Wendell Harrelson
Wendell Harrelson

Cut off all government funds and scholarships to those schools. They are breaking the law.

Sarah McIntire
Sarah McIntire

Wow. The state is going to save some money on state grants to these liberal schools. Federal government should follow suit.

Michael Matty
Michael Matty

Who picks up the tab for their education? Just asking a question, dont freak out....

Jimmy Traywick
Jimmy Traywick

Another Atlanta college will loose federal money, and the illegals will still be illegal.

Walt Fink
Walt Fink

All undocumented immigrants are symptomatic of a national problem, whether they are students or not.

Judy Mc Nair
Judy Mc Nair

One more facility to yank funding from\U0001f389\U0001f389

Carolyn Greaves
Carolyn Greaves

SHUT THAT COLLEGE DOWN TOO. DEFUND THEM. THIS IS AMERICA AND IF THEY CAN NOT FOLLOW THE LAWS SHUT THEM DOWN.

Kevin Brady Dungy
Kevin Brady Dungy

Support them with your own money,,,,,when America starts deporting you should be jailed for harbouring a fugitive

Fernande M Rivers
Fernande M Rivers

Emory is very generous with those "illegals"..But...they charge American Kids for them...they won't do anything for the American Kids...certainly not to this extent...

David Easterwood
David Easterwood

Cut their funds off, just like an employer should be fined for hiring illegals!!!!

Javier Gingrich Farmer
Javier Gingrich Farmer

Boy i wish i was working for ice ..this is valuable info... every time my quota was down...i would just raid one of these sanctuaries!

Jean Allen
Jean Allen

Defund the Colleges.and when you take office Deport every one of them,and arrest those running the Colleges with a huge fine each.Then hire new people to run the colleges.

Donald Vickery
Donald Vickery

If I break the law I go to jail they break the law they get rewarded somebody don't know what laws are for

Judy Crawford Knowles
Judy Crawford Knowles

In the first place if their here ILLEGALLY , then they shouldn't even be allowed to go to college . Second , who is paying their way . Third , if they want to come to our country then do it LEGALLY . So send them back where they came from .

Slouma Ghrayri
Slouma Ghrayri

u just say it if they was illegally they can not have id they can not go to studient, but they here legally , and no one can send them home , if there someone should say ghat than should be a real native american not someone come from europe illegally

Melba Barrick
Melba Barrick

That tells me you people who are supporting. Illegals in our colleges and universities. Have a weak. Love for your country and cant be trusted. By US CITIZENS ....U ARE NOT ACTING RESPECTFUL. NOR. HONORABLE. To. Our COUNTRY OR OUR. FELLOW MAN.

Mary Brand
Mary Brand

No student or get loans for them

CharlesThomas Duke
CharlesThomas Duke

Cut off schools funding and shut down all university's that protect illegal immagrants who are here illegally

Rusty Burnham
Rusty Burnham

The Dean will be breaking fed law...trump will prosecute him. That's how laws work, ys see..

Vicki Reynolds
Vicki Reynolds

You really believe that, don't you? \U0001f602\U0001f602\U0001f602\U0001f602

D Evonne Moss
D Evonne Moss

I hope Every single person that is here illegally get thrown out. This is not their country.

Rusty Burnham
Rusty Burnham

I'm 100% positive That trump will persecute public officials that break immigration laws, and others..it's against FED law to harbor,help, etc anyone illegall.

Renee Bragg
Renee Bragg

They should be shut down there breaking the law

Brian Haulk
Brian Haulk

The Key word here is ILLEGAL if they want to go to school here then fine but do it legally and Earn the right to be there as well as pay their own way it's not the Taxpayers Burden to educate them!!

Chee Hill
Chee Hill

It's impossible to do that without immigration reform....which republicans keep killing in Congress.

Shirley Dunlap
Shirley Dunlap

Really Jason? The U.S. brings thousands of immigrants into this country legally EVERY year, at a rate our economy can absorb....when a nation is overwhelmed by illegal immigration it doesn't take long to start falling apart...LOOK AT EUROPE!! A prime example of what happens when bleeding heart liberals have their way. If we are overwhelmed by illegal immigrants and our nation comes undone...tell me who have we helped?

Chris Le Fave
Chris Le Fave

IT IS ILLEGAL TO ASSIST THESE PEOPLE. They are here ILLEGALLY. The only thing they are due is a tip OUT. THE LAW trumps feelings. KICK THEM ALL OUT NOW!!!

Kathy Boyle Dry
Kathy Boyle Dry

Two extremely liberal colleges! State and federal funds should be taken away if they continue to protect people who break the law!