February 2004

A federal judge ruled colleges are within their rights to deny admission to illegal immigrants. The lawsuit was allowed to go forward, however, on the basis of the plaintiffs’ claim that the colleges are not using federal standards to determine which applicants are illegal aliens. An advisory opinion from Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore recommending against enrolling illegal aliens prompted the lawsuit. Mr. Kilgore argued in his opinion that the benefits of taxpayer-subsidized higher education should be reserved for those who are in the U.S. legally.

Colleges and universities named in the lawsuit include Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, William and Mary, James Madison University, and George Mason University.