Georgia Appleseed June 2009 HERE
The Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act (SB 529) became effective in July 2007. SB 529 requires the Board of Regents to set policy that complies with all federal law.12 SB 529 also denies state, local, or public benefits to those persons who are not lawfully present within the United States.13 Georgia legislation enacted in 2009, House Bill 2, clarifies the compliance requirements of SB 529.
In 2007, the Board of Regents in response to SB 529 concluded that federal law (discussed immediately below) would not allow it to grant in-state tuition or tuition waivers to undocumented students,
even if they had lived in Georgia since early childhood.
9 Id.; see also Southern Regional Education Board. Available at
10 Persons who possess U.S. lawful permanent resident cards are also said to possess “green cards.”
11 Supra note 8 at § 704.041.
12 Ga. Code Ann. § 50-36-1 (1996).
In 2008, Georgia’s legislators enacted a law that in essence codified the Board of Regents policy:
Noncitizen students shall not be classified as in-state for tuition purposes unless the student is legally in this state and there is evidence to warrant consideration of in-state classification as determined by the Board of Regents.
Lawful permanent residents, refugees, asylees, or other eligible noncitizens as defined by federal Title IV regulations may be extended the same consideration as citizens of the United States in determining whether theyqualify for in-state classification. International students who reside in the United States under nonimmigrant status conditioned at least in part upon intent not to abandon a
foreign domicile shall not be eligible for in-stateclassification.
Two federal laws passed in 1996 impose limitations on benefits16 that can be provided to undocumented persons living in the United States.
The Personal Responsibility Work and Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) provides that undocumented persons who are not qualified aliens are “… not eligible for any State or local public benefit . . . .”17 PRWORA includes within the definition of public benefit “… any … postsecondary education…benefit, or any other similar benefit for which payments or assistance are provided to an individual, household, or family eligibility unit by an agency of a State or local government or by appropriated funds of a State or local government.”18