As with anything related to immigration, there was an outcry in North Carolina. I find it strange that anyone can be against the education of young people, whether they are here legally or not.
In a recent article dealing with this very thing, Martin Lancaster, president of the community college system, defended the decision:
"In every era of American history, the latest wave of immigrants has faced the same opposition that Hispanics now face whether they arrived on our shores with or without documents," Lancaster wrote. "We are a nation of immigrants and if one reviews the names of those who have called or e-mailed the system office in opposition to our open-door policy, one must conclude that fifty or one hundred years ago, their grandparents or great grandparents faced the same opposition that they are now voicing."
In the same article, one undocumented student, Elena is quoted:
"There are some of us who are struggling very much to get an education," she said. "Some people don't get an education by choice, but that's not our situation."
The article also touches on the day to day stress of the lives of illegal immigrants:
In addition to the usual school stress, Elena worries about immigration agents - that they might deport her or her mother. That's a common worry for undocumented students, said Kristina Johnson, coordinator of the Latino Mental Health Awareness Campaign at the Mental Health Association in Greensboro.
"All of our families live with this stress," Johnson said. "The constant anxiety causes levels of cortisol to remain unnaturally high, which can affect your physical health."
Elena lives with her mom, and since she cannot get a NC drivers license, her mom drives her around.
"Because of that I do not feel independent," she said.
The full article can be read here.