Several weeks ago, the UNC Chapel Hill Student Congress passed a resolution supporting in-state tuition for undocumented students who have graduated from a high school from North Carolina.

Ben Smith is a Sarah T. Hermann Intern Scholar at Young America’s Foundation this summer. He has a story that offers some troubling background on how that measure got passed.

During the debate on the measure, only one member of Student Congress spoke in opposition to the resolution. Rep. Peter McClelland said the resolution was supporting a “bill to nowhere that would not pass the conservative-dominated NC House.” He went to admonish the other members claiming that resolutions passed by student legislatures “have considerable weight and we should not be diluting its importance by supporting a bill that will be dead on arrival.”

…After the testimony from the undocumented students, the student representatives debated the bill. The debate mostly consisted of members praising the bravery of the speakers for coming forward. Some members even tried to fight off their own emotions when discussing the issue. Despite high praise from most members, one member confided during the debate, due to the presence of the UNC Student Power Union, a mix of the Campus Y and radical leftists groups, that they felt uncomfortable speaking out against the measure. After the motion to end debate concluded, members began to vote. Despite the almost inevitably of the bill’s failure in the NC House, the resolution passed on a 21-5 vote with 2 abstentions.

This resolution is bad for several reasons, but the first being that it is against the law. According to 8 U.S. Code, § 1623, precedence clearly states that:

(a) In general Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an alien who is not 
lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the basis of residence within a State 
(or a political subdivision) for 
any postsecondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of the United States
 is eligible for such a benefit (in no less an amount, duration, and scope) without regard
to whether the citizen or national is such a resident.

(b) Effective date:  

This section shall apply to benefits provided on or after July 1, 1998.”  

In addition, despite many of the others who have gone through the long, expensive process of becoming naturalized, all the student needs to do is apply to a university. Knowing the liberal atmosphere on many campuses, their acceptance is all but guaranteed. This will only encourage more illegal immigration.

The resolution should not have been passed and simply gives weight and the prestige of UNC Chapel Hill behind a failed and doomed bill.