At a campaign event last week, Democratic candidate for Georgia Governor, Stacey Abrams, stated that she would consider allowing the undocumented into Georgia’s top colleges.
Abrams stated at the rally that regardless of documentation, undocumented children should be able to attend all of Georgia’s colleges if they graduated from Georgia’s high schools.
In a previous campaign event in early October in Brookhaven, Abrams was asked if Dreamers should receive the HOPE Scholarship and in-state tuition under her administration. Abrams said she would leave it up to the Board of Regents, which oversees Georgia’s colleges and universities, and that she would appoint board members that respect every student in the university system.
Undocumented students are prevented from attending the three top colleges in Georgia – UGA, Georgia Tech, and Georgia College and State University. For those colleges without the ban, DACA beneficiaries, or Dreamers, must pay out-of-state tuition – which is why the debate over the HOPE scholarship is a key difference in the race for Georgia Governor.
In the video below, Abrams is heard discussing her support of allowing undocumented students the ability to attend Georgia’s colleges.
The Kemp campaign was asked about Abrams’ response in the video and he sent the following statement:
“Stacey Abrams wants to give free college, free healthcare, welfare, and the HOPE Scholarship to those who are here illegally. That’s wrong and will bankrupt our state. As governor, I will safeguard your hard earned tax dollars, protect HOPE, and reward legal – not illegal – behavior. I will put hardworking Georgians first.”
The HOPE Scholarship program is currently a merit-based program. In 2011, the Georgia legislature had to revise the program’s merit-based requirements, such as GPA increases and test-score requirements, for the program to remain viable for future participants.
Abrams looks to increase more access to the popular program.
On her campaign site, Abrams plans to increase access to the HOPE program by creating a needs-based qualification requirement, known as HOPE 2.0. In addition, Abrams wants to restore earning tuition-free technical certificates for those with a minimal GPA of a 2.0.