Gov. Mike Easley is calling on the state's community colleges to continue admitting illegal immigrants.
Easley issued a statement today in the wake of advice from the state Attorney General's Office, which recommended against allowing illegal immigrants to attend community colleges.
The advisory letter from the Roy Cooper's office appeared to relate to public universities, as well, thought it did not specifically address them.
Federal law on the issue is not settled, Easley noted in the statement. He said he was asking Cooper to seek clarification from federal officials on whether illegal immigrants are eligible to attend community colleges.
"The legislature specifically provided the Community College board the authority to establish admission criteria," Easley said. "In the absence of federal action to the contrary, the Community College board should continue its current policy, which is consistent with other states."
He pointed out that the attorney general's advisory letter acknowledged that the federal government has not specifically prohibited admission of illegal immigrants to community colleges.