A benefit to all

August 31, 2009 

Your brief news item "Policy would admit illegal immigrants" (Aug. 21) noted that the community college system has changed its policy on admitting undocumented students four times since 2000. Let's hope that the State Board of Community Colleges will finally realize that it's in the best interest of the state to educate all students -- regardless of citizenship status -- who merit attending institutions of higher education.

Many undocumented high school students have attended elementary and secondary schools here for most of their lives, are highly motivated and are likely to remain in the state. By enabling these young people to fulfill their educational potential and pursue higher education, they will be better able to contribute to North Carolina's productivity and economic growth.

(And without the incentive of higher education, students will continue to drop out in increasing numbers.)

Like other North Carolinians -- and like generations of immigrants before them -- the majority of undocumented residents search for better lives through hard work and education.

Cesar Chavez wrote, "Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own."

We all benefit by expanding access to higher education for undocumented students.

Nancy Blood

Durham

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