Georgia college students, activists protest tuition policy

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Georgia college students, activists protest tuition policy

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Natalie Leonard, in yellow, a fourth-year Georgia Tech student, is blocked by an officer from handing a folder with information that included a "new appeal for human rights" to Georgia Board of Regents members at its Nov. 15, 2017 meeting. ERIC STIRGUS / ESTIRGUS@AJC.COM

A group of veteran civil rights activists and more than a dozen students appealed Wednesday to the Georgia Board of Regents to change policies they say discriminate against immigrant students without legal status.

The demonstrators want the board to remove a policy that bars those students from paying the less expensive in-state tuition in the University System of Georgia. The state Court of Appeals ruled in October that the state is not required to permit residents who have been granted a special reprieve from deportation to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities. An attorney representing the students has said they’ll appeal the decision to the Georgia Supreme Court.

The group that included civil rights pioneer Lonnie King were told they couldn’t address the board.

“These people have a right to education by the simple virtue of their humanity,” longtime civil rights activist Charles Black told reporters. 

King said they plan to address their concerns to Gov. Nathan Deal and other state leaders.

Veteran civil rights activist Charles Black talks to reporters during the Nov. 15, 2017 Georgia Board of Regents meeting. ERIC STIRGUS / ESTIRGUS@AJC.COM
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