CCM to allow undocumented students …

Yep, the County College of Morris in Republican Morris County is now open to all students no matter their immigration status.  The CCM Board of Trustees agreed to the change at this week’s meeting.

Undocumented students had been officially barred from the college since after the 9/11 attacks. Action at Wednesday’s meeting reverses that policy.

The leading proponent of the change was board member Michael VanAllen. A relatively new trustee, VanAllen hailed the move as a humane step forward. He’s right.

The status of undocumented students _ or illegal aliens if you prefer _ is one aspect of the national debate on immigration. In many cases, these students were brought to this country by their parents at a very young age.  They may be illegal residents, but they have grown up in the United States. Denying them an education is a malicious act. Nationally, the DREAM Act would have attacked this problem, but it failed in Congress two months ago.

Credit goes to the CCM Board of Trustees for endorsing the premise that immigration status should not be a bar to education. The students will pay in-county tuition rates assuming they live in Morris County. VanAllen said CCM is the first community college in the state to have a formal policy allowing undocumented students. He said other colleges admit undocumented students, but they do not officially allow it; they just “look the other way.”

Now, we await the political fallout, and there will be some. Only five members of the nine-member board of trustees backed the change.  So, there was opposition on the board of trustees itself. I expect more to surface.

No matter, CCM is doing the right thing.

About fsnowflack
Fred Snowflack was editorial page editor and a political columnist for the Daily Record of Morristown for almost 12 years. He has won numerous awards for editorial and column writing from the New Jersey Press Association and has written a blog on county and state politics for the last three years. He lives in Ledgewood in Morris County.

3 Responses to CCM to allow undocumented students …

  1. Parent of a College Student says:

    I disagree with this decision. Why should my tax dollars support the lower tuition that will apply to these students? Are they are not eligible to attend CCM, or do they just not qualify for the lower in-county tuition? I have to pay out-of-state rates for a child who will go to a state school in Vermont. They are so strict there about establishing eligibility for the lower rate that the U. of Vermont in Burlington actually has people on staff who spend their time tracking people who are not true Vermont residents.

    An acquaintance of mine bought her children a condo in Burlington to establish residency while they attended the school. They would get phone calls at the condo in the middle of the night asking to speak to them – from the school.

    New Jersey is just as liberal as Vermont – but this is ridiculous!

  2. fsnowflack says:

    You are misunderstanding something here. These students in question pay the same rate as any other student living in Morris County. They are not paying a lower rate; they are paying the set rate for in-countyy tuition, assuming that they live here.

  3. richard babcock says:

    Enrollment and revenues are down at CCM. This in itself is odd considering that we hear that enrollment at other two year schools are supposedly spiking upwards due to displaced workers seeking new skill development and traditional college students opting to save money by transferring to a four year school in year 3. So, CCM enact a policy that may help enrollment but doesn’t seek to maximize revenues. They could have done so, but in academia the ideological trumped the practical. Just opening up to illegal wasn’t enough, they had to treat them like citizens, which, by their status, are not. Our county taxes pay approximately 20% of the ccm budget, so some respect for the will of the taxpayers needs to be respected. Did the CCM board do any polling? Did they communicate with county government? The answers NO to both questions. This is another example of ignoring what would be the proper process in order to push forward what may or may not be an acceptable ideological policy, but we won’t know because they never even asked.

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