Stephens Media has a story today in which the UA and UCA say they do not allow unauthorized immigrants to attend college, though they concede that background checks aren't done to determine if students have truthfully answered questions on applications about residence. A couple of things:
1) Surely I don't read right where the story quotes a UA spokesman as indicating only U.S. citizens are admitted. Collleges have long welcomed students from foreign countries, with proper student visas, have they not? (Answer from UA: Yes.)
2) But here's the larger issue. This would appear to be a switch from statements made by both UCA and at least one UA campus (UALR) a year ago. In August 2006, UCA President Lu Hardin said children of immigrants would be allowed to enroll as in-state students if they were graduates of Arkansas high schools. “The only stipulation that will be put on these students is that they actively pursue the legalization of his/her immigration status,” Hardin said at the time. “UCA has checks and balances in place to assure that the process is being followed as a student progresses through the university.”
Hmmm. No longer operative, I guess.
UPDATE: I talked to Lu Hardin Monday. He said there's been no change and that there must have been a miscommunication in his interview with the reporter. "We are educators, not law enforcement," he said. The policy to give in-state tuition to Arkansas high school graduates stands. The exception would be in the case of a student already subject to deportation or otherwise identified by federal officials as an illegal immigrant.