Student protesters arrested, immigration group pays $25k bail
- The students were protesting a ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court that prevented illegal immigrant students from suing the state university system's board of regents.
- According to Georgia law, students residing in the U.S. illegally may not enroll at state universities.
Over a dozen students protesting the University of Georgia’s (UGA) immigration policies were arrested Monday night during a string of sit-ins across the UGA system.
In 2011, the Board of Regents for the university system of Georgia passed two new policies preventing illegal immigrants from receiving in-state tuition and entering state schools.
Policy 4.1.6 bans a “person who is not lawfully present in the United States” from being admitted to any school in the state system. Policy 4.3.4 requires all successful applicants to verify their “lawful presence” in the United States before attending any of Georgia’s top public institutions.
The same year, after the new policies were passed, a group of four female professors founded “Freedom University” in order to provide illegal immigrants “with college courses equivalent to those taught at the state’s most selective universities.”
On Monday, Freedom University (FU) rallied over 90 students from 12 different universities to stage sit-ins on the campuses of UGA, Georgia State University (GSU), and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Students occupied the president’s office at GSU, and several classrooms at Georgia Tech and UGA. Students at all three locations remained in the building after hours and were warned by police to leave the premises. Students at GSU refused to leave and remained in the building until the following morning. Police arrested eight students on Tuesday morning before the building reopened.
“Update: 8 students were arrested at GSU at 6 am today after an active 15 hour civil disobedience,” FU tweeted on Tuesday.
Six other students were arrested at UGA on Monday night but were released soon after.
Arrested students were released after an Atlanta-based immigration group paid $25,000 in bail.
The protests were organized in response to a Monday ruling from the Georgia Supreme Court that declared students without legal status could not sue the University of Georgia System Board of Regents.
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