ATLANTA,None - Dozens gathered outside the state Capitol Tuesday protesting proposed legislation that would ban undocumented immigrants from receiving public higher education.
Standing at a podium, the high school students admitted to being undocumented immigrants but argued that should not stop them from access to education at a state college.
Supporters of the bill believe the bill is necessary to preserve state-funded education for citizens and legal residents, but opponents argue the bill punishes students based on the actions of their parents.
"How am I a criminal? Do not deny me these opportunities to deny my happiness," one student said.
The students were joined by several human rights groups and state Sen. Nan Orrock, a well-known advocate for undocumented immigrants. She said Bill 458 is the one of the worst immigrant bills to ever come forward.
"We must stop this law. Does Georgia want to go down in history books turning residents away from higher education?" she said.
Despite Tuesday’s protest, the bill has many supporters. It has already passed committee and now heads to the full senate.