Activists for undocumented students seek “action-oriented” SGA legislation

Activists for undocumented students are asking Georgia State’s Student Government Association (SGA) senate to buckle down to fight policies which bar undocumented students from the state’s top colleges.

At SGA’s Oct. 13 senate meeting Laura Emiko Soltis, executive director of Freedom University (FU), and Angel Almora, an undocumented FU student, urged senators to adopt a beefed-up version of last year’s legislation, which supported the rights of undocumented immigrants.

Current policies effected by the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents (BOR) disallow “a person who is not lawfully in the United States” from enrolling at the state’s top universities or paying in-state tuition at any System school. Activists for undocumented immigrants and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students hope to change that.

Soltis, Almora, Georgia State’s Progressive Student Alliance, and other organizations want SGA to use its muscle to earn the help of University President Mark Becker, who’s thus far remained tight-lipped on the matter.

“We encourage the SGA to hold President Becker accountable to Georgia State’s implementation of these policies and to ask him to use his considerable influence to publicly denounce the Board of Regents’ policies,” Soltis told The Signal.

SGA Executive Vice President Shamari Southwell said he thinks, once the bill is introduced, the student government will be on-board with ratifying more active legislation

“Being that student governments in the other top five public Georgia universities have coordinated and even led protests in support of DACA students, I don’t think anyone outside the Board of Regents will take issue with it,” he told The Signal.