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Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal

Abstract

Access to higher education for undocumented immigrants is a highly debated issue across the country. While some states have been more inclusive of undocumented students, other states have implemented laws which make higher education unattainable for this group. In 2008, South Carolina enacted House Bill 4400 which bars undocumented immigrants from attending public colleges and universities. The University System of Georgia is, so far, the only other public university system to enact a policy which outright bans undocumented students from certain colleges.

This article begins by discussing the Georgia Board of Regents' ban from a constitutional perspective, applying an equal protection analysis and examining the policy in the context of evolving legal attitudes towards the right to education. In Part II, the article draws focus on the ban's incompatibility with international human rights law by examining the United States' obligations under international treaties as well as customary international law. This article concludes by addressing the public policy implications of the ban, focusing on its potentially deleterious effects on Georgia's colleges and universities.

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