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NASW Georgia Chapter urges social workers protest state policies that discriminate against undocumented students

Students protest Georgia Board of Regents policies. Photo courtesy of WABE Georgia NPR station.

Students protest Georgia Board of Regents policies. Photo courtesy of WABE Georgia NPR station.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Georgia Chapter is urging social workers protest state policies that discriminate against college students who migrated to the United States as children and are undocumented.

The Georgia Board of Regents bans undocumented students and students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) from attending the state’s top five colleges — the University of Georgia, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Georgia College, and Medical College of Georgia. And if they attend other colleges in the state these students must pay out-of-state tuition rates.

These practices are discriminatory and not in Georgia’s best interests, the NASW Georgia Chapter said in a position statement. The statement read in part:

Georgia seeks to enhance its economy by investing in its students; this begins in its public K-12 school system where undocumented students currently learn alongside their citizen peers. However, if Georgia truly cares about its own economic interests, it should also open university doors to undocumented and DACAmented young people. People who do not attend college are more likely to earn substandard wages and therefore contribute less to the tax base and economic growth of the state; furthermore, low wage- earners produce little in the way of innovation.

The chapter urged social workers to take a variety of action to protest these policies, including writing the Georgia Regents directly and contacting state legislation.

To learn more read the full NASW Georgia Chapter Position on Georgia Regents’ Policies.

For more information contact the NASW Georgia Chapter at



  1. I find it interesting that NASW-GA waited 5 years after this legislation was enacted to protest it. As a non-resident of Georgia, I had to pay out-of-state tuition for my undergraduate education. Why should “undocumented” persons be different? They don’t have any legal residency status in that state, by virtue of their “undocumented” (eg illegal) status. In NASW’s eyes, it’s not discriminatory to make a Florida resident pay out-of-state tuition, but is discriminatory for someone who is in our country illegally—with my tax dollars supporting publicly-funded education?

    • “Regardless of the politically contentious nature of immigration reform, the data show undocumented immigrants greatly contribute to our nation’s economy, not just in labor but also with tax dollars,” said Meg Wiehe, ITEP’s State Tax Policy Director.

      Read the Report


      • I read the report, and the dichotomy remains….a legal resident who resides outside of the state of Georgia must pay out-of-state tuition, while an illegal/”undocumented” person should be entitled to in-state tuition? Yes, the “undocumented immigrants” contribute to our nation’s economy, but then so do I (at a higher tax rate).

        • Beth,
          I agree with you whole heartedly. But then I think, what about these young children whose parents immigrated here. Why should they be punished for decisions made by their parents? Maybe there should be a separate program to help immigrants with education. But I don’t agree with them getting a better deal than you did.

          • Heather,

            You are correct about the children born here whose parents came to the US illegally. It is hoped that scholarships exist and/or will be created to help them with their college educations. My alma mater in Georgia actually has a number of scholarships available to many students of all backgrounds and talents.

            Thank you for your caring heart!

      • That is not the issue – how much illegal immigrants contribute to society. The issue is fairness. My daughter is charged $13,000 more per year for tuition in out of state fees to attend her university. I am a five generation American citizen. Fairness is wZiving out of state fees for everyone, not selecting one particular group to give special privileges.

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