How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

As Georgia considers ban on undocumented students, a wide gap in states' college policies

Photo by un.sospiro/Flickr (Creative Commons)

While obtaining a college education has become somewhat easier for undocumented students in California lately, it's becoming progressively more difficult in the South.

Georgia's state senate approved a bill this week that, if it becomes law, will make the state the third  after South Carolina and Alabama to ban undocumented students from attending public colleges and universities. Already, Georgia university officials had voted to bar these students from the state's top five universities, leading some professors in Athens, Georgia to create an underground teaching facility last year dubbed Freedom University.

There's a wide gap between what's been happening in South and what's been happening in the West. In California, for example, two new state laws allow undocumented students access to the state financial aid, as they have already in Texas and New Mexico (and to a lesser degree Illinois, which allows them access to private funding). And to fill in gaps, several Silicon Valley tycoons have joined forces to help fund a San Francisco nonprofit that provides scholarships, legal and career advice for undocumented students who arrived as minors.