North Carolina community colleges are now completely open to undocumented aliens. The state community college system recently passed a directive requiring all community colleges to admit undocumented immigrants. Until about two weeks ago Cape Fear Community College did not admit students without proper documentation. With this new directive it has no choice. The memo was perfectly clear. Local community colleges must begin admitting undocumented individuals. The law allows us to enroll in state and out of state students. It does not allow us to enroll illegal aliens. Up until he read the e-mail, Cape Fear president Dr. Eric McKeithan didn't allow students to enroll unless they had the proper paperwork. He says the school-which allows 7500 students to take courses for college credit--has already reached it's limits. "If you want to take a late afternoon class in machine shop, I've probably got room for you. For all practical purposes, we are filled to capacity. We go up to 7,500 and then we just have to tell people then simply there's no more space." McKeithan says he thinks the decision about whether undocumented aliens should be admitted should be up to lawmakers, not the community college board. Some local legislators agree. North Carolina Congresswoman Sue Myrick called the directive "a stupid policy." State senator Phil Berger said he's "disappointed by the bureaucratic decisions of our community college system." Cape Fear students seemed to have mixed reactions. One student said, "If an illegal immigrant comes here and they're taking the same classes, to get the college education that we're getting I don't think it's fair, because in return they can't go out and get the same jobs that we can." Another student said, "As long as they're not doing bad things, they're doing good things for their self and their family, they should be able to go to school. They should be able to live out their lives in the United States and get an education so they can get better jobs." Brunswick Community College has traditionally been open to undocumented aliens. Out of the school's 1,350 students, 10 of them are undocumented. One of those undocumented students said she's just happy she is able to be the first person in her family to get a college education.
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