“My opponent, Roy Barnes, has a proven track record of promoting services for illegal aliens, such as welfare programs, tuition assistance and even driver’s licenses,” Deal said. “Only now is Mr. Barnes changing his tune after reading the tea leaves.
Deal, a former congressman, pointed to a recent Mason-Dixon poll showing 67 percent of Georgians support barring illegal aliens from attending state colleges and universities even if they pay out-of-state tuition.
A committee of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents recommended Tuesday that illegal aliens be barred from attending the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and any other public college that doesn’t have the space to admit all qualified applicants.
Deal said Georgia “has a finite number of seats” in its public colleges and universities and those occupied by illegal aliens are ones that should be occupied by citizens.
“As governor of this state, I would work with the General Assembly to make certain that illegal aliens don’t take coveted spots at our state universities,” he said.
Deal said he opposes the “DREAM Act,” a federal bill that would allow illegal aliens who graduated from U.S. high schools and who meet certain other requirements to obtain temporary residency and to attend state colleges and universities paying in-state tuition.
Deal called it an “amnesty” bill for certain illegal aliens.
The Barnes campaign accused Deal of distorting the former governor’s record.
“Roy did not support driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants then and he doesn’t now. Also, Roy does not support allowing illegal immigrants to attend Georgia’s public colleges and universities,” said Barnes campaign spokesman Emil Runge.
“On the contrary, on Friday, Congressman Deal’s campaign admitted that his undisclosed $2.85 million dollar loan was used to hire new employees at his salvage business. Yet, earlier this summer his business partner said that they did not use E-Verify to check whether their employees were illegal,” said Runge.
E-Verify is a federal program that allows employers to check employees’ data online to make sure they are eligible to work in the United States.