Illegal aliens barred from state's colleges

Friday, February 6, 2004

RICHMOND, Va. -- Illegal aliens would be barred from attending Virginia's state-supported colleges and universities, and those already in school would be expelled under legislation that passed the House on Thursday.

The measure, approved on a 71-29 vote with strong Republican support, now heads to the Senate.

Gov. Mark R. Warner, a Democrat, vetoed legislation last year that would have forced illegal and undocumented immigrants living in Virginia to pay out-of-state tuition at public colleges. Warner spokeswoman Ellen Qualls said the governor opposes this year's bill, but she stopped short of saying he would veto it.

Delegate John S. "Jack" Reid, the bill's Republican sponsor, said on the floor Thursday that it's not fair for a person in the country legally to lose a position at college to someone who's not.

In response to a suggestion by Democratic Delegate Adam Ebbin that the measure would punish children whose parents brought them to the United States when they were young, Reid said, "These parents have not done their job."

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