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undocumented students

Elly Yu / WABE

According to a new report from the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, Georgia could lose millions of dollars if President Donald Trump follows through with promises to crack down on illegal immigration.

On the campaign trail, Trump pledged to end an Obama-era program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The program provides temporary deportation relief for some immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. It also lets recipients get work permits. So, many pay taxes.

State Senator Josh McKoon talks with supporters at the Wild Hog Dinner in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press

A federal program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) temporarily protects some young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation. That lets them attend state schools in many places, including some in Georgia. But state Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, says legally undocumented students in Georgia still have to pay out-of-state tuition rates. The cost can be about three times higher than in-state rates, depending on the school.

 In this May 31, 2011 file photo, illegal immigrant Georgina Perez attends a meeting organizing a rally where illegal immigrant high school students plan to tell their stories and "come out of the shadows" in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press

A group of undocumented students has filed an appeal this week with the Georgia Supreme Court, challenging Georgia’s in-state tuition policy after losing their case in lower courts.  

In 2010, the Board of Regents adopted a policy that requires students to be “lawfully present” in Georgia to receive in-state tuition. A spokesman for the Board of Regents said in an email the policy was adopted to mirror a new state law.

But under President Barack Obama's deferred action program for childhood arrivals, or DACA, the students argue they are now lawfully present.  

Laura Emiko Soltis / Freedom At Emory University

Some Emory students will meet this week with the university’s president to talk about financial aid policies for undocumented students.

Undocumented students can attend Emory, but they can’t apply for any financial help. Tuition costs $44,000 a year.

Senior Andy Kim co-founded the group Freedom at Emory University. He says the school should set an example and help undocumented students, who are currently barred from attending the state’s top five public colleges.

Michell Eloy / WABE

During the Freedom Summer of 1964, hundreds of college students flocked to Mississippi to help register African-American voters.  Fifty years later, that event is still inspiring other social movements, some of which also use the name ‘Freedom’. One such group at Emory University is sticking up for undocumented students.

Georgia Congressman John Lewis helped organize the Freedom Summer. He also delivered Emory’s commencement address last spring, where he urged students to support immigration reform.

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