December 1st, 2011
01:09 PM ET

Freedom University: studying in secret

By Thelma Gutierrez and Traci Tamura, CNN

Editor’s Update: In the hours since we first reported this story, there have been significant developments. The University Council at the University of Georgia voted to pass a resolution which opposes the Board of Regents policy passed last fall. The policy forbids undocumented students from attending five of its top public universities. It’s a symbolic win for supporters of academically qualified undocumented students who are banned from attending UGA, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University and Georgia Health Sciences University and Georgia College and State University, schools that the Board of Regents say had admitted undocumented students in the last two years. Regents spokesman John Millsaps told CNN while the regents have no plan to revisit the issue, they are not preventing undocumented students from getting an education. Millsaps says there are 30 other public institutions in the University System of Georgia that they can attend. He said the regents passed the policy amid growing public concern that undocumented students were taking limited seats away from qualified citizens and legal immigrants. He emphasized the regents have no plans to change the policy.

Every Sunday, in an unmarked building, in an undisclosed location in the college town of Athens, Georgia, a group of students quietly gather in secret. They are aspiring professors, diplomats and engineers who have been banned from Georgia's top five public universities.

But here, in this donated space, it is safe to study.

Undocumented students attending class at Freedom University

Undocumented students attending class at Freedom University

This place is called Freedom University. It has one classroom and four professors, scholars who've taught at the likes of Amherst, Harvard, Emory and Yale, who are teaching here, on their days off, without pay.

Their students are undocumented. They have nowhere else to go and no one else to teach them.

The American Dream

Keish grew up in South Korea. She remembers the harsh education regimen in her home town of Seoul. Classes Monday through Saturday. After-class academic programs every day. Keish and her fellow students in Seoul were basically at school from 8 in the morning until 8 at night every day except Sunday.

It sounds like a much more ambitious education system than in the United States. So how is it that Keish's parents, who lived an upper-middle-class life in Seoul, her father earning enough money as a salesman to enable her mother to stay at home – how is it that such a couple would move to America with one thing in mind: their children's education?

"My parents wanted me to have the freedom to learn what I wanted to learn and to pursue my interests. To do whatever I want in any field. In South Korea, students are expected to go through their academics, graduate from college, and enter office life where it's safe," says Keish. "My parents wanted me to have more opportunity, they wanted me to have the American Dream," she says.

And so, when she was 10, with no English except the words "mom, dad, and maybe tiger," Keish and her family moved to America. A low-income apartment complex is where they settled down in an immigrant community outside Atlanta.

Freedom University student Keish and her parents in South Korea.

Freedom University student Keish and her parents in South Korea.

Her mother became a seamstress. Her father works at a flea market. They got tax I.D. numbers, which the government routinely gives to immigrants, and paid their taxes. CNN was shown the documentation for that.

They pushed their daughter to excel at school. Keish says it only took her about two years to become fluent in English. As for her undocumented status, she says her schools never found out. She lived with the secret.

Keish excelled in many aspects of school. She was not a straight-A student. B-plus was her average, she says. Her favorite subject was literature. She became captain of her high school debate team.

And she kept her secret. She was nominated to participate in the Governor's Honors Program, but without a Social Security number, fear prevented her from pursuing it.

She was chosen to participate in a model United Nations trip to New York. Again, fear of being caught kept her from flying. "Many, many missed opportunities," she says. "I was scared.

The ban

Keish graduated from high school two years ago. The timing was bad. The U.S. economy was already in a terrible state. Then the State of Georgia Board of Regents would soon alter its admissions policy to prevent the admission of any undocumented student as long as there is a single academically qualified American applicant or legal immigrant who has been turned away.

The policy, in effect, prevents the admission of any undocumented students from being admitted to the top five public colleges in the state. A spokesman for the Board of Regents told CNN the policy change was not about money. Undocumented students actually pay three times more than what Georgia residents pay. The regents said it's an equity issue. Some argue that in these tough times, every available spot should be reserved for people who are in the United States legally.

The news was a blow to Keish. Her eyes welled up with tears as she remembered the moment she realized her American Dream was fading away.

"I fell into a deep depression. I hated myself," she says, "because I looked back on grades and scores and thought every night and every day that I could have tried harder. Maybe I should have gotten a 4.0 and then I could have gotten into a prestigious Ivy League school. I was ashamed I didn't try harder. I shut myself away from the world for a long time."

But she did not quit.

The birth of a school

The moment the Regents passed the ban, a small army of students, scholars and community activists jumped into action. Lorgia Garcia-Pena, Professor of Spanish and Latino Ethnic Studies at the University of Georgia, was among the first.

She says they started with only an idea, "but no money, no building or supplies, we had nothing but our human resources and we had ganas." (Ganas means desire in Spanish). As word spread, "overnight the books poured in and people in the community said you can have your classes here," says Professor Pamela Voekel, a colleague of Garcia-Pena's.

Professor Pamela Voekel hands out text books to Freedom University students

Professor Pamela Voekel hands out text books to Freedom University students

Then they came up with the name, Freedom University, in honor of the Freedom Schools in the Deep South that were developed during the civil rights movement to educate people who were excluded from the education system because of segregation.

"We borrowed the reference with respect and as homage to the people who had the same courage as our students," says Bethany Moreton, a history professor.

Linda Lloyd, director of the Economic Justice Coalition in Athens, supports the new school. Her perspective is shaped by her memories growing up in the segregated South where she was one of six black students in an otherwise all-white elementary school. The black students often didn't have textbooks. She says she remembers the sting of discrimination – and feeling that quality education was only for a certain few.

While others say this restriction on illegal immigrants is a matter of equity and fairness for U.S. citizens, Lloyd sees it as "a civil rights issue because it reminds me of the same issues that African-Americans were struggling with in the '50s and '60s." Lloyd noted there was once a time when black people were not considered U.S. citizens.

As word spread about Freedom University, the founders began receiving calls from university students and others in the community who offered to drive the undocumented students from Atlanta to Athens, an hour and a half away. Others organized an online book drive. Then, offers started coming in from scholars around the world volunteering to lecture at Freedom University.

The school is only a month old. It has 33 students. Eight had to be turned away because of space.

Running a school for undocumented presents certain challenges. The students worry about law enforcement, about being found out, arrested and deported. They worry about harassment by anti-immigrant activists should they discover the location of the school. The professors say they do all they can to protect the students and alleviate their fears.

Professor Betina Kaplan says she has learned about perseverance and the hunger to learn. "Our students will not get school credit for the courses, and because they're undocumented and because of their immigration status, they will not be able to work legally afterward, but they continue to come."

"It's wonderful," says Keish, "they are there because they want to learn."

Keish, an undocumented student, participates in a History class at Freedom University

Keish, an undocumented student, participates in a History class at Freedom University

This Sunday, Keish and her fellow students will gather again, as they do every Sunday, as they wait for what they hope will be a change of policy from the Georgia Board of Regents. Today, a group of professors and members of the student government from the University of Georgia will ask the University's Council to go on record opposing the Regents' policy. The Council will decide whether to push for a change that once again allows undocumented students, who have the grades and the scores, to apply to the state's leading colleges.

Keish is not waiting. She is applying to colleges out of state. On her applications, she says, she is identifying herself as undocumented. She will not keep her secret any longer.

"This is my home," she says of America. "This is the land that nurtures my dreams, that shapes who I am right now."

CNN's Michael Schulder contributed to this report.

soundoff (1,473 Responses)
  1. L

    I see nothing wrong with people wanting to better themselves. These students are not getting any college credit for what they are learning. Instead, they are staying in the hoop with the subjects and staying disciplined with learning. Are there other free options? Yes. Do they equal the chance to work with a professor in a classroom setting – who is volunteering his/her time anyway? No. Good for these students for continuing to learn even if they don't get anything out of it but pride in themselves. They are doing more to better themselves than may other people legally here are. I hope they apply and get into other US colleges. I agree with previous poster. It's unlikely that they will leave American after they have grown up here. Good luck to them!

    December 1, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • Aloisae

      Another option they have is to attend any of the other colleges and universities in Georgia (ie. the majority of the state schools plus many private schools) or elsewhere in the US at which they would receive college credit and a diploma from an accredited college. It is possible, of course, that they can't do this either because of their grades or lack of money but if that is the case then the prohibition on their attending a small minority of the colleges/universities in Georgia didn't make any difference to them because the scholastic and financial requirements would have been more for those anyway than some of the choices still open to them. Personally, this sounds more like they are trying to make a political statement than actually benefit the students involved unless what it really is is a program for students that need remedial help before they are prepared to continue their education.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • Will I Am

      I hope they continue to study so I can raid the place and send them back for breaking our laws. INS

      December 1, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Will I Am

      I hope they continue to study so I can raid the place and send them back for breaking our laws.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
  2. Gerald Mark Causey

    Years ago my wife and I decided to accept into our home an exchange student from South Korea. At that time she was only going to stay with us and in America for 6 months. Seven years later she left us to go back to her family in South Korea with a diploma from UCLA, graduating with honors. She attended public schools until we realized that the public schools in California taught to the lowest common denominator scholastically and we transferred her to a private school. As the article stated, Korean school keep the student from 6 or 7 AM until as late as midnight, not 8 PM as the article states. They were not allowed to leave school until all of their homework was completed. Her parents paid for her tuition along with her clothes and other personal things and we paid for her meals, took her to and forth from school, bought her Christmas and birthday gifts along with all the other things a young adult needs when they are growing up.

    I am not sure why she was not charged for her public school education, but regardless it was for free. Maybe those students need to leave the deep south and move to a state where the schools and government welcome students regardless of their origin. I guess that what happened in Georgia is what happens when the government it controlled by the Republican.... and we are the leaders of the free world? BS!!!

    December 1, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  3. CY BODE

    Bright , well informed , quality students being prevented from attending Universities in Georgia .
    Well I suspect that those from outside Georgia would improve the conversation and by not allowing
    them to participate would enable the Sons of the Confederacy to continue to project their philosophy
    which returns us to the Selma Alabama mentality along with pointed white hoods.
    Some things never change.

    December 1, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • andrewthree

      Have you ever been to UGA or to Athens, Georgia?

      From the first paragraph of the article I was wondering why students were being "banned" from universities in Georgia, and what was making prestigious professors come to teach them. When I realized it was because they were not citizens I said to myself "ahh..." Unfortunate, but do not be too quick to condemn the citizens of Georgia. We help people when we can help and do not when we cannot. We happen to not want to hand out places at UGA to illegal immigrants when, for every bright, eager, admirable illegal immigrant trying to get a top education there is also a bright, eager, admirable citizen trying to get a top education.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  4. Rexa

    I feel bad for these kids but what they are learning will not give them college credit towards any accredited school. If they would be paying the same amount as an out-of-state student then why don't they just go to a different state's public school then and pay the same amount for college? They seem to have formed a nice clique, i'm sure they could all par up as roomies or something and get a small job to pay for an apt elsewhere in a different state which will accept them.

    December 1, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • Will I Am

      Yes the state Korea, Mexico, Russia ect.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
  5. Trip

    It always amazes me how many people think because they pay taxes it somehow over rules the "fact" they or whoever brought them here broke the law. Hell all you have to do to pay taxes is buy a candy bar.

    December 1, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • clo

      I think they brought up that point to express that they weren't being a burden on society, but paid taxes like everyone else.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  6. Jen T

    I have to laugh every time I read responses to these things. A handful of heartfelt, thoughtful replies drowning in republican agenda or trollish whiners.

    Good for them meeting in private to learn despite the bigoted laws preventing it. As America was seized by immigrants it's scoff-worthy for people unfamiliar with the current leaps it takes to become "legal" to even chime in with their vantage when they were lucky enough to be born into it thanks to their ancestors who took it.

    Certainly even legal residents who've experienced hardships that have prevented them from higher education deserve an opportunity like this but as they've not championed for it mayhaps we should just smile that someone thought of it at all and let these 33 people study freely as they are & hope that they benefit from it.

    It's the equivalent of a large study group but people stamp their feet and cry out in protest because they've naught else to do and it's what they'll do for tomorrow's feature as well.

    Grow up, America's negative Nancy-crew; time to evolve and get over your myopically slanted selfish and oft lazy-driven views. So fearful are you that you'll have to do more than play google pacman at your cube should any really driven & intelligent "illegals" make it in.

    There's room for many more of their sort, I say 🙂

    December 1, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • Alan

      Wow! What a winy, self righteous, LIBERAL windbag you are.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
      • rc

        So, accepting out of state students who pay 3 times in state tuition is bad business? What a "bite of your nose to spite your face" windbag conservative you are.

        December 1, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • CMD

      Amen, sister.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • mother of four

      Well said Jen T.

      That's funny Alan. The only whining I saw here was yours.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Daveit

      By far the most intelligent comment on this artical. Thanks Jen for adding a little class to the debate.
      Let them learn, how is this hurting any of you?? If you had the motivation and drive these 33 people clearly do, you could compete with them on a fair playing field instead of trying to backdoor them out of what they are trying harder than you to achieve.

      December 3, 2011 at 3:09 am |
  7. Benito

    Sounds like a good place for Homeland Security Investigations (ICE) to raid....go agents go....

    December 1, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • VA Citizen

      I agree. INS needs to find them and deport any/all that are here illegally. It's an attempt to better oneself built on a base of lies–they are here illegally. Period.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
      • Bozobub

        SO are all of us. Ask a Native American sometime, Yahoo.

        December 1, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
  8. Jack

    A non story, these illegals are free to go to a thousand other universities in the US. Just try doing that in Mexico, they will lock you up.

    December 1, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • Lisa

      Really? Any FACTS to go with that snotty remark? Mexico can't even lock up cold-blooded killers and drug dealers – do you think that they're sending cops to universities to find "illegal immigrants"? Get real.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
  9. Nuevo Cicwero

    Send them to California, they like ilegals there!!

    December 1, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  10. Education Failure

    I saw American fell below national standardized tests schools. I went jaw dropping and felt terrified. Doctors couldn't preform correct surgery, dentist don't know how to operate teeth correct, insurance don't know how to handle malfeasances insurance fraud, etc. It's terrible and scary. Sloth. Hired Lazy rich.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  11. Kat

    All of this uncharitable hate from members of a Christian nation.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • Al Ford

      I'm no Christian. My America doesn't require religious belief to be great.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • Will I Am

      I do not hate anyone who comes here legaly.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
  12. person

    kinda a weird story
    not very iinteresting
    but still interesting

    December 1, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  13. rick101

    I don't see any reason why they didn't simply go to school somewhere else. There are many places that are more accommodating to students without regard for immigration status. I think there is nothing wrong with the policies laid out by the State of Georgia. They are rules that were designed to protect citizens, legal immigrants, and foreign student visa holders.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Bob Brown

      These students could actually attend college elsewhere in the University System of Georgia. There are 35 colleges and universities in the USG. The policy described applies to five of them.

      Or, their parents could have immigrated legally. (What a concept!)

      December 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
      • Lisa

        Have you ever spent any time with someone trying to immigrate legally? I used to think like that too until I learned about what people go through. I met a man who has applied for political asylum for more than a decade after leaving Cuba. Another doctor has been here 10 years and still isn't even close even though she's worked, has 2 kids, and been married. It's a decades long process. During the last administration, they hired a contractor company to help work through the backlog of applications and found out that they shredded thousands of them in California – leaving a lot of people with nothing.

        December 1, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • Aloisae

      Especially given that unless they change their immigration status it will be illegal for them to be hired as "professors, diplomats and engineers" in the United States and therefor the education at a state school would be wasted as far as the interests of the state is concerned. Given that there is no assurance that every qualified legal resident will be admitted to these top 5 state schools and many will have to go to other colleges in the state or elsewhere if they want to further their education, it does seem a bit strange that people think these students should be allowed to take spots to further an education that they legally won't be able to fully utilize in this country anyway.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
  14. boohoo

    Be sure to teach them how to read a map so they can find their way back home.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • RedPony

      They can read a map. They're better educated than many Americans – a percentage of whom can't even find the US on a globe.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
      • boohoo

        ""They're better educated than many Americans ""
        All the more reason to throw them the hell out. That way we can free up the resources they've been stealing and return them to American students.

        December 1, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
      • L

        Completely agree that they are more educated than the average American. The will to learn is strong.

        December 1, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • K

      Boohoo.. stop crying because they did not teach you how to read a map. Maybe is because you did not get into University either? :_( Boohoo!

      December 1, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  15. Anom

    May I suggest you consider a private university. The one I teach at is around $40,000 a year and we have small class sizes. We use a flat rate and if you work hard, you can graduate in 3 years. We have been reasonable successful at creating successful students. Several CEOs of large corperations are on our alumni lists. We pride our selves on be a university that teaches. Where you say? McMurry University in Abilene, Texas.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Tony

      Sounds great! So in three years, you've built up $120K in debt and still have to work at a place asking "Would you like fries with that?" because Wall Street has sent all the jobs overseas. (/end sarcasm)
      Here in Houston, we have people with Masters degrees in engineering with 15+ years experience at NASA now working at Starbucks. Or the parking lot attendant with a MBA from Harvard who, since the firm he used to work for moved to Dubai, is now "overqualified" for practically every job out there.
      These are the people the new grads with no real experience have to compete with.

      So explain to me again how a piece of paper from you school is worth anywhere near $120K?

      December 1, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  16. BR

    Great reporting CNN.
    Happy to see that there are still real jourmalists out there.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  17. BRS

    Great reporting CNN.
    Happy to see that there are still real jourmalists out there.
    And you bigots you sound like you need to go back to school.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  18. Lstein

    I agree that the slots should go the Americans and legal immigrants first. We pour so much money into foreign aid when many American children won't get dinner and have no roof over their heads. What is so wrong with takingcare of our own first?!

    December 1, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • RedPony

      Wrong. America gives a tiny amount in foreign aid and it's all for political gain. It's tiny in relation to everything else we spend, and although the dollar amount is higher then other countries, the percentage of GDP ranks America 21st or 22nd among countries that give significant amounts of aid to other countries. It's not foreign aid that causes problems – it's the sky-rocketing cost of education in this country. Fewer than 10 percent of low income students grauate from college because of costs, meaning they, like their parents, will stay where they started.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  19. JohnReedjr

    This article along with the comments are just small nails in the lid of the coffin on our great democratic experiment.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  20. mike

    "Academic outcasts study in secret"
    welcome to my life.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  21. RL

    I think every university should be like Georgia. Illegals are not welcome.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • Lstein

      Agree!

      December 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • RecklessTortuga

      the awkward moment when you do go to the school in Georgia, you graduate and an illegal still takes your job...smh lol

      December 1, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  22. OrionStyles

    So what's the message they are sending?

    -America will gladly accept the entire population of the planet to move in illegally? Come on over today?
    -The American educations system is so terrible that we cannot fill universities with smart Americans?
    Or how about.
    -No smart white people from the lower class USA are allowed get free education from ivy league professors?

    December 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  23. Jim J

    "Academic outcasts study in secret"?

    More like "A bunch of illegal immigrants get free education"

    December 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • RL

      Maybe INS can round them up and ship them out!!

      December 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  24. Mr Door

    If they are so smart why would they interview with CNN? I mean can't Deportation or another law enforcement arrest these people for trespassing in our country without permit?

    December 1, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  25. KAN

    You know what the worst part of this story is? The top story headline: "Academic outcasts study in secret". The word "outcast" evokes empathy, because no one wants to be an outcast. "WHAT?? It's not fair to cast anyone out, particularly of an educational system!!" This was my first thought and is what led me to read the article. As I read, it quickly because apparent that the "outcast" was someone here illegally who was denied admission into a college. Instead of the current headline, it should say "Illegals study in secret". At least that would more accurately portray what the blog is REALLY about. Instead, it seeks to pull your heartstrings and bias you towards CNN's obvious agenda.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  26. Al Ford

    And besides, they're not allowed to take professional work in our country.
    Most corporations demand work authorization.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  27. BR

    Great Reporting CNN.
    Happy to see that there are still real journalists out there.
    And you bigots out there you really sound like you need to go back to school.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  28. Mike

    We are a country of laws. Nobody can pick and choose what laws they feel they need to obey and which ones they can ignore.
    We are required to obey ALL laws. Period. If we don't then we have to suffer the consequences.
    As a 10 year old you don't punish the child but you need to hold someone accountable. In this case you hold the parents accountable. You have to. If you don't then this country will end in Anarchy because there are some people who are simply not going to put up with this any longer. Does OWS ring any bells?

    December 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • JustMe

      Wait – OWS is about IMMIGRATION??? Oh my, did I have it all wrong! They need to be just a tad more clear on their message then, because that wasn't what I thought at ALL.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
  29. Ryanzzzz

    As a 6th generation American, it's funny/sad how many of you who are arguing that your own ancestors came here "legally" did so at a time when there were no immigration restrictions (unless you were Asian), and that we accepted your lot, one whole stinkin boatload at a time. Of course things are different now, there is no shortage of labor since that has moved overseas, but try to see things with compassion.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • RonnieReagan

      Just because one of the 32 lines that makes up your family tree came here 6 generations ago, that does NOT make you a 6th generation American. Do the math, you are 1/32 of a 6th generation American.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
      • RYanzzzz

        Wrong, idiot. I'm American going six generations back. Plain and simple the way I see it.

        December 1, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
      • Clinton

        I think she's just saying that it's ironic that her ancestors let your ancestors in freely, but you refuse to do the same. I'm from a prerevolution line, and I've wondered the same in the past.

        December 1, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • ieat

      i'm one of those Asians who came here as a first generation immigrant. It's not easy for us, but we played by the books. It's pretty unfair that some come here illegally and expect to be accepted as those who spent years and years to come here legally. If all it takes is to cross the border, then everyone will do it. The country will be in chaos. Respect for the law is not the same as being not compassionate. Besides, South Korea isn't exactly third world country. Her family could have come here as legal immigrants.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • max

      Thanks for an intelligent and articulate post, somewhat rare here.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  30. ieat

    someone tells me why they can't apply as international student?

    December 1, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • Structural27

      Because they probably came illegally as children. Once you enter the US illegally, there is no way to change your status. Several people ask why they do something to become legal. Well, they really can't. They would have to exit the country and wait 10 years to apply...and will probably get deny. What a loss...people that want to learn and can't while I see on the streets US citizens asking me for a buck everyday...it's unfair.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
      • RonnieReagan

        It is a loss, but to suggest these 33 students make of for the multiple MILLIONS of illegal ALIENS who are not in school, and have no loyalty to the USA, would be a mistake. Do the math.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • ieat

      Then I'm confused by her story. Her parents brought her here illegally so she can have a different education than those in Seoul. Well she got her education that is different from those in Seoul, but then she cannot go to a university. Isn't that just so much worse than if she had stayed in Korea, be educated there and then legally apply for international student visa in the US? She is better off applying to a school in Canada or something than just waiting for the law to change in her favor. It's a very risky move.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  31. Jo

    This article is propaganda, twisted to appeal to the preformed emotion, not logic, of the usual CNN fan base. This is a great example of the perils facing our country...good writers practicing irresponsible journalism.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • RonnieReagan

      Exactly – how this made the cover page as the LEAD story during prime time is beyond reasonable and rational belief.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  32. Ed

    "banned"......really? And what would you have them do CNN, just say "forget the fact that you're illegal, you're more than welcome to attend a school thats funded by taxes youve never paid.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • rc

      What part of they pay 3 times the in state tuition rate do you not understand?

      December 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Dan

      Perhaps if you'd read the article you'd see their parents paid taxes. Besides, giving them a social security number would certainly make it easier to pay taxes themselves.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • AndrewDFW

      You missed the point about out of state tuition. Out of state students pay way more than residents and actually help to ease the burden on taxpayers.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  33. hipocracy

    "Eight had to be turned away because of space." – I wonder how Freedom University selected students to attend vs turned away? Maybe you should do another story on that, CNN.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  34. BO

    What? They had to turn 8 away? Isn't that what the public schools are doing? Turning away illegals so that legal students can attend.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  35. TAT

    I am a legal immigrant and against illegal immigration. However, not everyone seems to understand that the means to come here legally are very limited and not available to everyone. You can't blame people for wanting to improve the quality of life legally or otherwise. You would have to be in their shoes first. However, it is US responsibility to protect the country and borders.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • KristieGile

      @readers:disqus my co-worker's aunt made $233061 so far just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more and get started by following "Online Income Solutions" on this site http://y.ahoo.it/OjyKK

      December 1, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  36. gorilla

    Can any one day Immigration Deportation..! That'll solve the problem.! Illegal+ No citizenship=Deportation

    December 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Winston5

      gorilla = as$

      December 1, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  37. Dave

    Stupid article. "Her eyes welled up with tears as she remembered the moment she realized her American Dream was fading away." Imagine the tears that a legal resident would shed when they found out that their spot at a state university was taken by someone who wasn't even legally here. I'm all for providing educational opportunities regardless of origin or ethnic background to those who have the greatest potential and who are willing to work to make the best of it, but that does not extend to someone who is here illegally.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  38. Bob

    All they have to do is apply for student visas. The fact they won't even do that just shows they aren't willing to follow the law.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • TAT

      Again, blame first, understand later. FYI – not everyone can just apply for student visa. You have to have a sponsor who will sign full financial responsibility for you, medical insurance, etc. It is not that easy to get.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
      • cornholio

        nor should it be

        December 1, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Structural27

      Student visas are given only to people who came legally to the United States. Otherwise, they would've already...

      December 1, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Aaron

      II agree with ya Bob! Kids of illegals get benefits and if they don't just apply for student visas, then what laws will they follow? The fact is that any NATION has to control who can be a citizen. If they don't, it inevitably undermines their authority. So even though I'm a not a huge pro-government man, I realize that the U.S. Government and the entire collection of rules and regulations is what keeps out country in order and in existence. Subversion and undermining of authority starts with small infractions and progresses to larger ones. I don't understand why there is so much coddling of illegal immigrants and their children? There are rules in place and policies so you can come here legally. Why don't we just take care of our own people first and help them before we go and try to help everyone else? I'm starting to believe I will see the fall of the U.S. Gov in my lifetime. I don't like the subversion that is taking place.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
  39. Narcosis70

    Yeah, deport all the illegals unless of course, they happen to be geniuses or can throw a baseball at 95mph. How about properly sealing the U.S. border so future generations won't find themselves in such a fix? Or maybe simply open up the borders to anyone so the U.S. can become just another third-world country? These illegals simply devalue U.S. citizenship, whether gained through birth or naturalization.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Ben

      I hope your ancestor didn't came here either from BoatLoad from Europe of Slave ship from Africa

      December 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  40. Rick

    So this what you have to contribute to this discussion? You moron, why did you bother?

    December 1, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  41. Mother of Vet

    It is unbelievable what these folks expect. My combat vet son isn't going to any of these top five universities either. Who is taking up the cause for him not being accepted?
    Any of these professors want to provide him free classes? I've got a good idea, let these students join the military and fight for this country. I hear that is an avenue to citizenship.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • Poor

      I would support that 100% You want citizenship.... Serve the country for 5 years.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • Structural27

      Unfortumately, military service is not a path to citizenship. You have to be legal to enroll. However, it's a great idea...military service in exchange for a green card.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
      • military

        Actually, there are military programs leading to citizenship and they've been around for years. Check your facts.

        December 1, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
      • Nelson

        Military, yes, there are military programs that lead to citizenship. However, you require a green card to be able to join the military in the first place. I too am in the military and have been dealing with immigration for the past 10 years due to my spouse. I understand full well the relationship between immigration and the military and citizenship. Yes the military is a path to citizenship, however only if you have a green card first.

        December 7, 2011 at 8:30 am |
  42. gorilla

    Can any one say Immigration Deportation..

    December 1, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • AndrewDFW

      Appropriate handle based on the contents of the comment.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  43. Me

    Illegal = Illegal

    December 1, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • Jess

      Illegal does not mean unethical. Legal does not mean ethical.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
      • Jo

        Exactly. The abortion debate comes to mind.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  44. Gerald

    Ya. I remember this one. This is where the poor deserving secret immigrant people all learn really cool skills like flying planes and commercial jets. We were all so proud of their accomplishments. All the way up to the moment they crashed them into things like 100 story buildings and Pentagons. These teachers and that are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts will be proud some day.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • Face

      This is your typical American.... nonsensical and weak of mind.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Winston5

      Gerald I'm gonna guess you haven't seen much of the world, yes?

      December 1, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
      • Kevin

        I think Gerald's point is similar to nearly every other response on this page: If you want to enjoy the benefits of the USA, then commit yourself to the USA. Become a citizen, pay taxes and join in. No one is saying you can't become a citizen. They're only saying don't come here and freeload. I can't figure out why anyone would want to come here and get the benefits without also pitching in to pay for it. True, there are those who want to come here for a while to get educated, then return to their homeland [hopefully] in order to make that place a better place. That's fine, but those people should have to pay just like the rest of us - pay TAXES, pay TUITION, learn the LANGUAGE, and get in to the colleges based on merit of performance rather than ethnicity. And yes, I've traveled outside the U.S.

        December 1, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • Newo

      ....except that the hijackers you're alluding to all entered this country legally. NEXT.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • longtooth

      Guess you didn't read the article.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Narrow_Path

      They all came legally

      December 1, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  45. Paulos

    The reason we see stories about students who/(se families) left the countries of their birth to attend school in the US is, as the article states, because of the American Dream. Do we have Americans flocking to Asia, South America, Africa or elsewhere for "dreams" in those locales? Well, not YET! But if we don't protect and preserve our ability to provide the pursuit of that dream – for those who are willing to support and maintain the existence of the system which created that dream – then it will exist for none, legal or otherwise. THEN see if ANY place is left to which the hopeful of the world flock....

    December 1, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  46. Face

    Get out of the South! They still have laws to prevent coloreds from mixing with whites..... Get out of the South, it is a bastion of olde white ignorance and conservatism! As far as people who worry about American spots in Universities... the top colleges are all filled up with foreigners legally getting their education. Americans are too lazy to study to become doctors and engineers..... my sister teaches at a prestigious medical school.... almost all of her students have been Chinese for the last 10 years.... wake up.... Americans are lazy and ignorant.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • PDHudson

      A lot of foreign countries pay double tuition in US medical/dental schools in order to get the education here and then go home and become doctors there. Pitt has a great dental school but there aere a huge number students from Middle Eastern countries that push US students out of the classrooms. Kuwait pays 2x normal tuition fees and and has kept many qualified US students out of the school.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  47. nerdface321

    Always thought that self-directed learning is the learning most likely to stick. I bet the tuition is great too!

    December 1, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  48. Harold

    Why is there no mention of these people trying to become LEGAL? Sure its not easy but that is the proper way thing to do.

    These are the type of people America needs...hard working, motivated, see the value in education, willing to work hard and give up to get ahead...So we should find a way to grant this type of person a legal way to be a part of what has always made America great.

    BUT...they need to be here legally.

    and yes i am a conservative...but not a republican. There is a difference.
    I am with Newt on this issue.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • Liese

      I agree with you; there are so many of these stories about the heartbreak of those being deported, but I have yet to read a story where the ones involved have done all that is necessary to become legal – – especially since they have been here all these years; those are years that could have been spent pursuing those options

      December 1, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • adam

      Well one wall in the way of become a legal citizen is that if you are in fact here illegally that makes it hard to become a legal citizen through the current process... hence the term " illegal immigrant". Also you are expected to have foreign address and other information before you can start the process in some cases. I am not for a blanket system or just giving all who are here legal citizen ship, but for those who have been paying taxes and been law-abiding citizens so far maybe there could be a way for those individuals to get a way to start becoming fully legal citizens. So basically on a case by cases bases could this be solved but there really can't be any solution to any of this until a method is created to truly police our borders better.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • Leaf on the Wind

      The problem is that if they do come forward, admit they are here illegally, and apply for citizenship or student visas, the first thing we do is deport them. Do you have any idea how difficult it would be to get back here legally after that?

      December 1, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Structural27

      Because there is No Way to become legal if you entered the country illegally. Which is probably the case with all those kids. There is no path, no road, no nothing...of course, you can exit the country, be banned for 10 years, and then apply for a visa that will most lkely be denied.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  49. Trig

    I do not agree with the comparison of this "university" to overcoming the tribulations of segregation. That implies that wanting out American citizens to BE American Citizens is somehow unfair, yet I don't see any other country opening it's doors, saying "Send your kids here, we'll educate them for free!" You think getting citizenship is hard? Try getting a Masters degree and then getting a job to pay it back! All I hear are excuses and more hippy BS, complaining because we don't want to feed and cloth the entire world.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • J.Sand

      It is not about money, they pay three times as much as an american citizen,are you forgetting it.?

      December 1, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  50. Anchorite

    I think the comments on here do as much to prove the pro-immigration point and demolish the xenophobes' stand as much as anything. Here are a bunch of super hardworking, self-motivated, law-abiding, intelligent young illegal immigrants, and all the xenophobes can talk about on here is how it's a waste of resources, about how lazy they are, about how the law is the law so they shouldn't be allowed to learn (except learning English, which they should all do at gunpoint apparently). I'd say these students are more American than their critics who want to destroy the opportunity for anyone who snuck into the country after their ancestors did.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Dudley

      If you don't like the way things are in America, do something to change it or move to Canada. None of us will stop you from leaving!

      December 1, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
      • Sean from AK

        Dudley, Canada is extremely anti-immigrant.... In fact, most countries are.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
      • OrionStyles

        Are you kidding me Sean?

        Canada takes in more immigrants per capita then any country in the world.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
      • B while

        Sean from AK: "Canada is exteremely anti-immigrant." WHAT??? On what basis do you make a comment such as this? We absorb 260k legal immigrants per year, not accounting for refugees, queue jumpers who have an endless appeal process before the possibility of deportation(it can take up to 15 years), plus those who are smuggled in by Chinese Triads for slave labour, plus those who just stay over on visitors visas. If the people had any say in the process, Canada would become a place where hard-working and healthy immigrants are welcomed, but illegals would be kicked out swiftly.

        December 1, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • Trey

      Do you even read what you write: "...law-abiding...illegal immigrants"? Ridiculous.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
      • Poor

        thought the same thing...

        December 1, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • vylo

      You just said law abiding and illegal immigrant in the same sentence. They aren't law abiding if they are here illegally.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
      • adam

        kind of hard for a young child to not go along with the parents. Yeah the parents broke the law but the child really didn't have much of a choice.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Face

      Today's Americans are tools who sit at home on their computers and think that work is World of Warcraft. Most live at home with their mothers until they are 40... they are pathetic and have no working values. They are selfish, and wear the American flag when they with to push their arrogant and racist views.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
      • vylo

        It's racist to expect to people to respect our laws? All countries have immigration laws to protect their economic and social structures. There are paths to legal citizenship. If they are insufficient we should change them, not just open the floodgates to whoever wants to come in. For every decent hard working illegal that comes over, you get another who is a wanton criminal. Look at how many murders there are near the border.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Leaf on the Wind

      Trey and Vylo, if their parents brought them here when they were small children, I don't think they willfully broke any laws themselves. And if they try to come forward now, we'd just deport them and they might never get back, regardless of what sort of upstanding citizens they would make. Sometimes I'm ashamed of my fellow Americans. Mean and stupid are a very bad combination.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
      • vylo

        Here comes the problem. If the parents come here illegally, and the children are granted legal status, that encourages further illegal immigration. If parents know they can get their kids citizenship by just bringing them over, many will do just that. It sucks for the kids, as they had no say in the matter, but are we just going to encourage illegal immigration?

        Many countries don't even grant citizenship to those born in their countries from illegal parents for these same reasons.

        December 1, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
  51. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    GO HOME and go to school there!!.......and take you CRIIMINAL, PARASITIC parents with you!!! American public schools are paid for by taxpayers and are for LAW-ABIDING citizens and people who are here legally.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • bob

      may all your hate be turned back onto you.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • Chris

      Did you read the article? Her parents paid taxes.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • Jon

      Truth-Bomb Thrower
      GO HOME and go to school there!!.......and take you CRIIMINAL, PARASITIC parents with you!!! American public schools are paid for by taxpayers and are for LAW-ABIDING citizens and people who are here legally.
      –> You go home, go to your mother and cry out loud, dumb donkey.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Jean

      Now hang on. Public education is funded almost entirely by property taxes (which is why low-income neighborhoods have worse schools, in general). If you live somewhere (regardless of your immigration status), your parents either pay rent (to the owners who use that money to pay property tax) or your parents own a home and thus pay property tax. Really, the only people who could "leach" off of public education would be the homeless, and children who are homeless really do deserve free education (it's not their fault).

      December 1, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • Oy

      Did you miss the part where it said they paid taxes?

      December 1, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • Dis Gusted

      Hey meathead...These folks pay taxes. What level of schooling did you achieve? My bet is high school, maybe a year of college and then took your sorry self out to drive a truck? We all benefit when one of us moves up the ladder, but that's a concept beyond your ken.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  52. ProperVillain

    Maybe if they were here LEGALLY they wouldn't need to worry. Sorry, no sympathy. Illegal is illegal, attaching a sob story to it doesn't change the facts. Their parents are the ones to blame, not the "mean' immigration policies of the US. Pathetic that this is even "news".

    December 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • Trip

      Exactly, Illegal is Illegal. There is no gray area. The law was violated or it was not.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • gus

      You are taking the meaning of illegal a little too far by calling it a crime. These immigrants can be legal anytime Congress wants too. Can Congress give legal status a killer; No
      By the way, according to Native Americans, every other American Citizen is illegal. Including you if you are not a Native.
      How about you pack and go home. I am pretty sure you can find out where your ancestors came from. OK if you have some native blood, we will allow you to sat and give you legal status:)

      December 1, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  53. Hillman

    The "school" they attend has no academic standing. They are wasting their times spinning wheels. There is no evidence that these "students" can actually BE what they want to be.

    The Great American Lie – "you can be anything you want to be". Never was true and is not now. I WANT to be an NBA center. I am 6'2" weight 295 – what are my chances?

    These are ILLEGAL aliens. They need to go back, get in line and come back when their number is called.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  54. Bob

    I will never understand why cultures that despise America (and Americans) so much will do anything to be here. The irony here being that we allow every junior terrorist a student visa but these people are still learning in secret like Anne Frank, hiding out in the attic.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Chris

      Korea is not one of the countries you speak of.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  55. Richard McLaughlin

    All well an good. Now where would the born in the USA child with the same aspirations and lack of financial resources go for these same type of considerations? What the hell every happened to "Charity begins at home"? Obviously theres no romantic aura,mystique in helping a citizen of the United States. After all how would that fit in at one of those intellectual confabs letting you're peers know you were helping an American? Tisk, tisk Shame on you. Right?

    December 1, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  56. MLS

    I wonder how many deserving American citizens could benefit from this free university.
    How about deserving immigrants who came LEGALLY.
    No matter how you cut it it seems that there is a benefit to breaking our established laws.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Bryan

      What did a 2 year old brought into this country illegally do to not deserve an education?

      December 1, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
      • Trip

        The question should be "what did they do to deserve it"?

        December 1, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
      • Gala

        I can't believe someone replied to you asking what a 2 year old did to deserve and education. EVERYONE deserves an education.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
      • mga

        Life is not fair Bryan. Stop thinking with your emotions. If the kid's parents want a good life for them then they shouldn't build it on deceit and wrongdoing. If you want to do something to help people go out and do it, but stop demanding that our government take care of every sob story out there on the taxpayer dime.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
      • Michael

        If you actually check out the snippet of the law, it does not deny entry if there is an opening. Can you defend giving an illegal alien a college education over a citizen or a legal immigrant?

        December 1, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
      • Art

        they ARE tax payers you illiterate

        December 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  57. Eddie

    Now? What do you mean by that? Affirmative Action has been the law for 45 years. The purpose of the law is NOT to make sure the most capable go to college. You do know that the average IQ in America is dropping, don't you? Please don't make out like you didn't know.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Mike

      Precisely. The purpose of affirmative action was originally to redress a wrongdoing, but today it merely ensures that mediocre white people can take the place of Asian and Indian students who got higher marks.

      Or didn't you know that affirmative action helps white people more than it hurts them?

      December 1, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  58. Trip

    Somehow I doubt the qualified American and legal immigrant students who were turned away from these universities were invited to participate in this free program. Legal or not.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  59. chris smith

    thats the type of courage and perseverance that built this country. True Americans

    December 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Leo

      Yes....!

      December 1, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  60. jdoe

    America makes college education expensive for no reason whatsoever. Most courses, at least those at lower levels, are about knowledge that already exists for thousands of years. For example, a class on calculus is taught the same today as it was 50, maybe 100, years ago. There's no reason why it should cost people thousands of dollars for such courses, especially when the professor barely does any teaching and leaves it to some teaching assistant.

    Only on higher level courses, where expensive equipment and deep knowledge is involved, that the cost may be justified. But most courses involving basic knowledge can likely be learned from free online material and simply be tested for.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • HistoryGeek

      That's why I always suggested to young people that I know that they go to a Jr. College or community college for those classes like English 101 etc... you can find out beforehand what will transfer and want won't, and you'll be paying MUCH less for the basic courses. Then you can apply and transfer to another more expensive college or university.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Leaf on the Wind

      Corporate America makes college education a requirement. You can't get a job mopping floors without a BA in something or other. And college often doesn't really prepare you for anything in a practical way. Thousands of our young people spend millions of dollars every year in order to learn how to speed-guzzle beer. The American Dream has been perverted into a corporate lackey mentality.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
  61. Olderbutwiser

    If I read this tale of woe correctly, Keish may have been barred from the top 5 Georga public colleges, but she is still eligible to go to the other public colleges along with tens of thousands ofother Georgia students, both legal and not. This sob story hs no clothes.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • Aww

      Shut up ya old bag.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
      • Barbara Perry MD

        Your comment to olderbutwiser was rude and ignorant. I studied hard and worked very hard to put myself through college and medical school by myself. I have spent the last 40 years as an emergency room physician. I have more life experience in my little finger than you do in your whole universe.. (You have displayed your ignorance by your comment.) Didn't you mother ever teach you any manners?

        December 1, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Failed theTest

      You only THINK you have more life experience, Barbara, without knowing that other person's age but with your close-minded mentality in criticizing those who also have a comment or opinion, you miserably fail the test of Common Sense I'm sorry to inform you!

      December 1, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  62. Katherine

    Frankly I think this is a waste of time and resources. The students aren't being taught fundamentals like reading and writing. Their "studies" aren't going to lead to anything except personal satisfaction. And if that is all they are after, they can easily do it at home. There are any number of self-study materials out there for any subject you can imagine. Besides, why on earth can't they just apply to out-of-state colleges that don't have Georgia's laws? This all seems to be mostly for publicity.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • BioHzrd420

      They aren't taught fundamentals because they are way past that. I think graduating highschool should qualify that you can read a paragraph and do some basic math.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
      • woohoo

        ironically i know people that have graduated and can't even speak right

        December 1, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • Newo

      I'm pretty sure at the end of the article Keish says she is applying to other schools outside of Georgia...

      December 1, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  63. alex208

    CNN once again pushing the illegal alien agenda. I feel for these kids – but the reality is the ALL children are affected by their parent's choices...just in different ways, this is a fact of life. Ultimately, Americans need to blame their politicians for REFUSING to enforce the nations immigration laws and the courts for perverting the meaning of the civil war amendments that were put in place to make sure that the slaves couldn't be denied citizenship, not to offer birthright citizenship to offspring of foreign nationals as is currently being thrust upon the American people.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  64. KAN

    I completely agree with "Poor". It's great that the parents of Keish wanted her to be able to pursue her dreams, but they are the ones who screwed up by not taking the steps to be here legally. Now Keish has to suffer. That's the way it goes. I'm so sick of people here illegally demanding (and all too often getting) the same rights and privileges of those who are here legally. I welcome people from all walks of life from all over the world to come to the US through legal means. Keish and her parents, along with all of the other illegals, need to take the steps necessary to be here legally or be deported.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • Roy

      Oh right, what stupid parents why didn't they just enter the US legally I mean it's just as easy right?

      December 1, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
      • KAN

        No, it's not that easy! Why should it be?

        December 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  65. Alicia

    Typical low class comment from a proillegal, way to live up to the stereotype.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  66. Alan

    Answer this: Which legal residents should lose their spot in the university to make room for these people who are here illegally?

    December 1, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Bisbee

      The ones here on a student visa who are studying "engineering" and taking flying lessons on weekends, that's who.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
      • UKConservative

        We should ban the professor's from teaching them and take away their PHDs. God, my family came here legally from Europe and it seems to me that it is not fair that these people who committed a crime should receive benefits.
        And from the picture it looks like they aren't European or African, they are Latino, Asian and Indian: Go back fix your own country and then come here. Deport em, f*** em. All that work I did to become a citizen, the money spent, twice mind you, and these people just come here and don't go through the right channels. Oh and the professors are doing some "good" deed. Fire them and make them work at Walmart. Trust me, when I came here in the early 90s, I followed the channels to the letter: came over got my green card, studied and in the early 2000s got my citizenship. Was rejected for food stamps, lived on the streets, did my fricken time as a lower classman. God d***, hippie bs, the writer of this article is a liberal idiot who has no idea what what it is to struggle and how I felt when I worked at my first grocery store as a kid until I got my Masters. And yes I took out loans and no I am not a dual citizen, I renounced my other citizenship because I grew up here and yeah I like African American girls and no I don't want an European girl or to go back and yes the government denied me coverage when I was sick, yes I was denied food stamps, and all government help and I still made it 4.0 all the way, scholarships and loans no grants. And these people get a free ride? Get your a** on the streets and hustle or go home: I learned that why can't you. And if there was universal health care here, I still wouldn't go to the doctor because real men survive through anything or die trying. Here's an idea, if you want to help students, cut the student loan interest back to the way it was in the 90s or 80s. It makes me sick that men would accept a handout. Those men in the picture make me sick: If they were really gifted they wouldn't need a handout.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
      • Ryanzzzz

        UKconservative,
        are you drunk?

        December 1, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
      • RYanzzzz

        UKconservative,,
        Also, you're a shinning example of how our legal channels for immigration sometimes fail us.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Ilya Landa

      Dumb ones, to begin with.
      Also, this is not England. People don't have "their" places in college because of their birth status.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • MikeyZ

      How about those who are whiling about their college experience drunk or stoned every day barely passing their classes, knowing that their rich daddies will set them up for life when they join the family business?

      The aggressive pursuant of the American Dream, here legally or not, is the one I would be delighted to select over the person who claims "jus soli" yet squanders it on distraction.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  67. Jim

    The students "aspire" to professional jobs, but has the "school" disclosed to them that they may be learning – but not advancing? Is the school really helping them, or just giving them a place to hide while putting the difficult decisions off for a few more years?

    December 1, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  68. cinder

    Why not work at becoming legal first and then continue education openly?

    December 1, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • P Willis

      They have no way for them to "become legal'. Does not exist.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • MC

      DC has been unable to approve a path to citizenship, despite the support of the past four presidents ...

      December 1, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • David

      Explain to me that legal path? How does one go about that?

      December 1, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • Candice

      How would she become legal? She was brought here when she was 10. She can't even go home if she wants to - unless you think you can order passports online for any country you want.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  69. poor college grad

    I have tens of thousands of dollars in student loans from college, yet some people are studying for free. Awesome. I am also disadvantaged by not having rich parents, but I am a legal citizen. I am happy for them, but angry at the systems in place.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • Xerxes_2011

      Get illegal, refuse financial-aid, go to Freedom University and learn for free! There are many unaccounted for, super-smart folks that do not get recognized because they're illegal.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Jake Ryan

      I'm not sure how you think your situation is in any way comparable to these kids'. You earned credits from an actual university with which you could then go into the workforce and find a job. The kids are learning only because they want to. They gain nothing from it, and can do nothing with it.

      And, actually, even you could go learn in a secret room somewhere with a small group of people for no gain for free.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  70. P Willis

    @TJ – THERE IS NO PROCESS for seeking citizenship, even if you came here at age 10 and your parents were not legal.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Loren

      Yes, there is - go back to the country of origin and apply for legal immigration.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
      • bob

        are you aware of the loop holes or should i say pot holes in the system when it comes to a non citizen obtaining child support? From an american father? many births come from many different experiences and not all on purpose. what do those do that have no rights and will not have any for their childs future if they are to leave? did you know they can not even get an attorney to help or anyone to enforce anything? don't be so narrow minded. may you encounter an experience that rips your heart apart that opens your eyes to the reality.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
      • rker321

        Bob, I believe that you have the incorrect information. Child Support Services, are there for anyone to use, in every State.
        I worked as a Child Support Officer for 20 years, we never turned anyone back, whether they were legal or illegal. Child support always enforced the law to anyone that required our help.
        In California where I worked, I am proud to say that when I worked there, we were collecting 23 million a month in child support that we received and sent to the custodial parent.
        All States have similar laws. and they are enforced.

        December 1, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • Teresa

      Go back to the country from whence they came and apply. They can stop with the oh pity me. Tens of thousands of immigrants have entered the US legally and obtained their citizenship.. They are criminals simply because they are here illegally. If they cannot respect and abide by the laws maybe the US is not the way to go. We have enough of our own criminals without importing.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  71. Joshua

    Now that these students are adults, you can no longer blame their illegal status on their parents' poor choices. Are any of the Freedom University students pursuing citizenship so they can attend a real college and get a real job?

    December 1, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • P Willis

      There is no way for them to "pursue citizenship." None.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
      • sharky

        Yes there is. It is called leaving the country and doing it the proper and LEGAL way like everyone else that did wait and wait and wait in line and did it all legally. NICE you just slap them all in the face.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • tbrnotb

      Maybe you should investigate what it takes to "pusue citizenship." Ain't so easy pal when you came here as a child.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
      • Teresa

        Hard or easy, come here as a child or adult you still need to become legal. People wait for years when they apply for entry into the US. What makes it all right for those who came here illegally to be given consideration before those who actually applied for entry? Legal entry requires years in waiting and a fair sum of money. Why should the laws be ignored because you have no legal status in the US because you bypassed our laws?

        December 1, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
      • bob

        yes ....you are punished and not looked at lets say as you would otherwise. not so easy to ever get back in. even if you are not at fault.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
      • T

        I have friends who have come here both ways – legally and illegally as kids that had to go through the process to become legal as young adults. Many US born citizens are unfamiliar with the length, expense, and likelihood of becoming a naturalized US citizen whether you do it legally from the beginning or not. It is a daunting process. Though any process can be improved, I doubt there is any way to make immigration feel fair and reasonable. I feel very luck that I was born here and was able to find a way to get a college education through hard work, scholarship, and student loans. I am so thankful for my education, and I've tried to pay it forward by helping others working hard to get one too.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Always

      They risk to lose way more than they would gain due to the bureaucratic red tape. At least hey won't collect welfare...does that make you happy???

      December 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Regrettably

      > Are any of the Freedom University students pursuing citizenship so they can attend a real college and get a real job?

      Regrettably, there isn't a way for them to apply for citizenship. There is in fact no such thing as a path to citizenship for anyone, anywhere. That's what politicians conveniently forget to mention whenever they say "illegals should JUST apply for citizenship". Currently, the USA don't offer foreigners any way to apply for citizenship directly, whether they live abroad or currently in the US illegally. (Unless they have over 1 million dollar to invest in a US-based business, are a star/renowned scientist, and other exceptions of this nature.)

      The only exception for a typical 19 years old foreigner is the green card lottery, where you have a very small chance to win a green card. And most of the people in this story are not eligible (the lottery is closed to Mexicans, for instance).

      Otherwise, the only path to citizenship is to obtain a temporary work visa, such as H1-B, of which there aren't many. And you can only get a H1-B if you are already highly skilled. Not to go to university.

      It is quite difficult to get a student visa for undergrad. It's a bit easier for grad school. In either case, you're not eligible for student assistance, AND you aren't not allowed to work enough to pay for your studies - it's gonna be hard if you're poor. You're only allowed to work for like 10h a week on campus only - won't be enough to pay for tuition and cost of living. The visa specifies that your are not allowed to have a real job.

      It's not like the 11 million illegals would "get in line" if they could. But there is no line. It just doesn't exist.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
      • Regrettably

        > It's not like the 11 million illegals would "get in line" if they could. But there is no line. It just doesn't exist.

        I meant:
        It's not like the 11 million illegals would NOT "get in line" if they could. But there is no line. It just doesn't exist.

        There used to be a line, until the 1960s. Ellis Island and all that. But Congress closed that avenue long ago. And if you are Mexican, for instance, young, not yet educated and not rich, you cannot apply for citizenship. You just can't. Immigration law just doesn't allow it.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
      • Corina

        Thank you - too many of us do not realize how difficult it is to become an American citizen. Our Immigration Laws need to be overhauled.

        December 1, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • Robin

      Yeah but if she came here as a child, maybe she doesn't have family to go back to in order to start over and enter legally. What if she is not approved to enter the US after she leaves? She will never see her family again and be stuck in a country with no family and have to start from scratch. Would you be willing to do that? You, dear Joshua, need to look at things with an open mind and with eyes that go beyond your narrow little box of ignorance.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • Jess

      Yes, they are. I saw them speak a couple of weeks ago. They are all currently or have in the past pursued citizenship. It is our immigration policy and unjust lawyers that are their struggle

      December 1, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  72. sunsohot

    I admire the organizers of Freedom University, the students who pursue higher education and the professors who donate their time. But by putting student photos and professors' names on-line, it's only a matter of time before the school's private location is outed.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Alan

      Another possibility is that someone who looks like one of these students will be targeted.

      Something similar happened in Texas a few years ago. Colorado widely advertised a photo of a criminal (I think a child molester) and some poor fellow in Texas had the misfortune of looking a lot like the criminal. Some vigilantes beat him to death.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  73. Alicia

    They are illega alien thieves who have spent their lives stealing k-12, and medical care. I hear the colleges in mexico would suit them

    December 1, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • tbrnotb

      Such hate...so sad that you are one of my countrymen.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
      • Voice 122134635

        I thought you were here illegally so you wouldn't BE my countryman. And yes, there is a process to become naturalized if you were brought here as an illegal child. I would know since i got naturalized in this way. It is not easy, and they might still say no, but thats better than being illegal and complaining about it while still breaking the law. Remember just because they may not be violent does not mean that they aren't committing a criminal act by staying here.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • BH

      typical redneck response.
      Your country is built by immigrants, try to remember that.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
      • sharky

        Our country also has LAWS like any other country.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
      • TJJ

        But not ILLEGAL immigrants.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
      • Teresa

        Why do you find it necessary to insult people by calling them rednecks? Yes this country was started with immigrants where they made laws and were built upon through the decades. We have laws just as all country's do. Laws that this country lives by. What makes it all right for some to break these laws and other people have to abide by our laws? Secure the borders, stop illegal entry and start working on a solution for those families who have lived here for years, raised their family and worked. If borders are not secured to stop illegal entry how can our government begin to find solutions for these illegals who already are here?

        December 1, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
      • ListenTo YourselfTalk

        Oh so "But not ILLEGAL immigrants.", huh TJJ? I suppose you also think the vegetables and fruits that you eat are also illegal since some of these fine folks picked them for you to eat, huh? How about trying to Stop eating them? How about you and those who think like you not accepting to live in the houses these folks built for you or the edifices they also build which you are a patron of and the services they provide? I suppose you think those places are illegal also by virtue of the fact they may have been built by illegals! Then don't eat anything and don't live anywhere because you don't know if an illegal was involved in it! That's the answer! How dumb and hypocritical of you and your poor way of thinking! How Truly dumb!

        December 1, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • AJ

      "Thieves?" No, they actually paid their taxes, and if not for ill-advised law, they would have paid three times the tuition of other students.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • John Q. Public

      @Alicia: Big ups Alicia for keeping it 100%. Political correctness be damned. This country won't properly educate it's own Black American citizens yet it's willing to educate and train ILLEGAL aliens? So much for being a nation of laws. Homeland Security do your freaking job and shut this down.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Wonderland1

      Did you read the part where says they have tax id numbers and pay taxes?

      December 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • Maya

      Only by pure luck are you in this country legally. Those who came here illegally didn't realize the fight their children would have to endure to live the American dream. They came here because of the promise of freedom and happiness. At least these kids have the brains and the desire to improve there lives and in turn improve OUR country through the knowledge they seek. Meanwhile so many "REAL" Americans are sitting around eating their combos, drinking beer, watching sports, collecting food stamps and dropping out of high school. How are we any more deserving then they are when so many of us squander the opportunity to improve our lives through education and service to our communities.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
      • Teresa

        You are correct that this country has so many unless American citizens and they are illegals who can or already do contribute to this great country. The ace happens to be being borned here. We have laws and those laws need to be abided by all. We can't just choose which laws to apply. Let us change these laws, close the borders and find solutions to help those who are already here and not criminals a way to be legal and become citizens.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • bob

      may your hate go back on you ten fold

      December 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  74. Jack Be Humble

    Secret schools? Sounds like something in Nazi germany... I may have to revisit my opinion on Newt Gingrich at this rate. I had better take some pepto bismol. 😦

    December 1, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  75. Proud to be legal immigrant

    Linda Lloyd – you are an idiot for not understanding the difference between 'then' and 'now'. There is a system in place and one should follow it if they want to become a citizen. Nobody wants to become a citizen of a third world country. Most want to become a citizen of USA because it is a great country. It is a priviledge and not a right and one should not demand it. Keish should be happy that they have not deported her behind back to where her parents came from.

    I sincerely hope that this university which is a month old, never completes another month. They should shut it down and send all of them to where they belong.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • tbrnotb

      So you got yours...and the hell with everyone else? Welcome to America, you're gonna do really well here!

      December 1, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • KAN

      As a natural-born American citizen, I commend you for being a legal immigrant. See, people? It CAN be done!

      December 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  76. DC

    In California, illegal aliens now qualify for free tuition under the DREAM Act, which was recently signed by Governor Jerry Brown.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • MC

      The DREAM act qualifies illegal immigrants who have completed high school in the U.S., for the SAME tuition America students pay (and I don't think illegals can get financial aid), not "free" tuition. The only germ of truth in your statement is that California schools don't technically charge "tuition," they charge "fees." IMHO, California is badly in need of an educated workforce and citizenry for its future.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
      • John Q. Public

        @MC: WRONG! Under the so-called "Dream Act" ILLEGAL aliens now qualify for financial aid. Hopefully enough signatures can be gathered to start the process to overturn this travesty.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
      • Maya

        @ John Q. The real travesty is that financial aide gives people to many chances, it shouldn't matter where you come from to get money for school, but how hard you are willing to work in school to earn that money. Being a college student myself I know many people receiving aide year after year with a D average. Meanwhile someone with a 4.0 GPA gets cut off because they want to finish more than one degree and have "too many credits".

        December 1, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • yuuuup!

      Seriously!! Meanwhile, there's US citizens in CA that can't afford to go to school and some how "make too much money" to qualify for Financial Aid. Completely ridiculous – but they should seriously consider taking advantage! Why not. My complaining about it isn't going to change anything.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  77. Good Lawyer

    Awesome story and valiant effort by the people at Freedom University. However, students with credentials like these kids should be at Spelman or Morehouse (i.e., two of the most prestigious schools in Georgia and happen to be private HBCUs). Given their unique situation, I’m willing to bet Spelman or Morehouse would let them in and might even offer them some scholarship money.

    For those who don’t know about the two schools I just named, they are two world class universities which happened to be located in Atlanta, GA. Spelman and Morehouse attract Ivy-League-caliber-minority-students every year. As proof, in 2007, a study found that Morehouse sends more of its graduates to the Ivy's for grad school (e.g., medical school, law school, etc) than any other university in the state Georgia.

    I wish you the best kids; don’t look over the HBCUs.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • Seattle C

      I agree!

      December 1, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • Chico Dusty

      Wow! Excellent point. The same HBCU's that should understand the plight of these students. How soon we forget. Somebody needs to step up to the plate. I am personally amazed that the four teachers came from UGA.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • I heart NPR

      If the are able to get into either Spelman or Morehouse...they'd be in a better position than going to UGA. At least then they won't experience the kind of racism that UGA will offer them.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  78. Jenn

    Is Freedom University accredited or able to give diplomas that will be of value in the workforce or for graduate studies? The esoteric pursuit of education is invaluable, but a diploma-bound diploma has true economic value.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • Chico Dusty

      Well said, that is a question I had as well. Where are the degrees coming from? The esoteric pursuit of education is what we should all strive for. Our current system is "pay to play". I am currently pursuing a specialist degree in education. I do it because I need a diploma to validate my learning. I feel that I have wasted a tremendous amount of money in college for something (a piece of paper framed over the mantle) I could have learned strictly through observation and participation, or through the occasional pedagogical chat.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
      • Jenn

        @ Chico Dusty ~ I have my bachelors, 2 special ed (mild/moderate) credentials and a master of art / special education. I learn more from my staff meetings / trainings, my co-workers and my students every day than I did in many of my teacher prep courses. Jump through the hoops though, the end result is that we get to positively impact students every day!

        December 4, 2011 at 12:15 am |
    • Dave

      You could not be more wrong. The knowledge I have came purely from wanting to learn. I do not have a college degree, what I do have is drive. I now own my own businesses and make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. A degree is meaningless without the drive to do something with it. With that drive you don't need a degree.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
      • Jenn

        Excellent point Dave! I am an educator so I tend to think in terms of traditional education tracks, but industry leaders the world over have various educational backgrounds and are (obviously) incredibly successful! Good luck with your business in this crazy economy!

        December 4, 2011 at 12:12 am |
  79. Chico Dusty

    Real teachers...real students...excellent work! : )

    December 1, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  80. Anna Gisen

    Wow! Nothing like pushing an agenda! I feel bad for these kids, I feel bad for the offspring of people in jail but come on, we all have to play by the rules. How much leeway would a US citizen be given outside the USA for being illegal and wanting the same benefits as citizens? My sister-in-law married my brother 25 years ago. He was serving in the Peace Corps. She lived in South America. She did her immigration the right way, the hard way, she studied once in the USA to learn about her new country, worked, waited the time required, took her citizenship test, etc. That's what these people should do. It's not impossible, it does take effort and no hand outs though.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  81. TJ

    So if Keish has been here since 10, and they had tax ID numbers, why did they not begin the process of seeking citizenship 10 years ago? I guess I don't have a lot of sympathy for people that squander the opportunity and then complain about how unfair things are. Still have family trying to come here legally so I understand the problem!

    December 1, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • Steven

      No you don't understand the problem. The path to citizenship is long and hard. Certainly not doable to those that don't know much english. You think they didn't try? You're ridiculous.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
      • Alicia

        Too bad if it isn' t quick and easy. No one forced them to not learn English. This is just aother pro illegal agenda pushing from cnn

        December 1, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
      • Bulloch

        So just because it's timely and difficult they shouldn't even bother to try? It sounds like you're saying it's okay for them to continue working outside the system and get away with it, just because it's easier.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
      • tbrnotb

        ALICIA..,.you should be ashamed of yourself.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
      • tbrnotb

        OK Allicia and Bulloch....and the rest of you morons. You came here as a chiild. Grew up and became an Ameican. Now at 18 you're supposed to go to your home (a foreign country to you now) and re-apply to return. Have you thought of the cost or the logistics?

        You people are heartless. How did your ancestors gt here? You're SURE it was legally?

        December 1, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • P Willis

      @TJ – THERE IS NO PROCESS for seeking citizenship, even if you came here at age 10 and your parents were not legal. There is no "hard path" or any path.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
      • Mike

        No path? Are you serious or just stupid?
        There is a legal path for ANY foreigner to both enter this country and to become a citizen.
        You can most certainly get a Visa to enter this country and apply for citizenship at any time you want.
        It may take time and you may have to work at it but that is what makes being an American such a great thing.
        If we let everyone and anyone in then this country would be no better off than most third world countries.
        We have laws. We have rules. They must be obeyed.
        I'm all for letting more people come to the U.S. But we need to have them do it the legal way.
        If they know they wanted to come to the U.S. they should have spent some time learning the language so they couldn't use that as an excuse. That is THEIR problem. Not mine. They should have sought legal advice about obtaining citizenship. Again, their problem, not mine.
        Most of the people who think like me, I say most not all, actually want these people here. They are an asset to this country. But we want them to respect us also. When they don't follow the law they disrespect our country, it's citizens, and it values.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
      • tbrnotb

        Mike you're not just a moron, but a hearrtless moron. OK...tell us how to do it and the costs to an 19 year old kid. Sheesh.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • whozits

      Keisha and her parents undoubtedly overstayed a tourist visa and would have been required to return to Korea to apply for a workers' visa or immigration visa, neither of which they qualified for (no special skills, no sponsors.) Ten years ago, there was no amnesty program and we were deporting immigrants by the busload (mostly to South America and Africa.) Pwemanent resident alien status ('green card') is hard to get. Even joining the Army isn't a sure thing.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • rker321

      I don't think that you understand the process. first you obtain legal immigration status, then after 5 years you apply for citizenship. Citizenship is not a requirement for any legal immigrant. as it should be. When you become an American Citizen, with that comes lots of responsibilities. like you have to forfeit your country of birth. Many legal immigrants simply don't want to do that. It really doesn't matter, because once a legal immigrant, you have all the rights of everyone else, except voting rights. You still have to pay all your taxes. So it is a choice. not an obligation.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  82. Jim

    We need electrical engineers, not conflict-theoretic beanologists.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  83. truthout

    This is a bit misleading, there are multiple free online universities like the uofpeople.edu and Khan Academy, the future of education if not in the classroom, it is online for free, accredited and self paced.

    It is a great thing to see these professors teaaching for free – it would be great if the rest of the education class would take the hint. Tuiitions are too high, schools are to exclusory and the end goal of teaching seems to be the last thing on a professors todo list.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  84. sharky

    CNN championing illegals YET again. I guess laws mean nothing to CNN.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  85. Michael

    This is everything that is wrong with America, What is wrong with the media today or others that see where they can think this is right. Time to take back America and shut this stupidity down.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • caw

      So say the indians... When will you be getting on a boat to head back to Europe.

      This child had no choice but to come to the US. Her parents brought her. Once here, she built a life and did well. Want to punish someone, punish her parents but how can you say this person did anything wrong?

      December 1, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
      • Alicia

        They did it at the expense of Americans. It is not ok.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
      • jojo

        the indians walked here themselves dummy – we are ALL immigrants from somewhere else, everyone on the planet

        racism like yours is disgusting

        December 1, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • tbrnotb

      No Michael...you and Alicia are everyting thats wrong with America.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • John Q. Public

      AMEN!

      December 1, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • John Q. Public

      @Michael: AMEN!

      December 1, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  86. ron

    Not really. Don't let education frighten you. In fact you should try it sometime.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  87. hard working american

    I am sick of the sob stories about illegal immigrants and their rights. I for one agree with admission policies that favor people who follow the laws of the United States. I want my tax dollars to go to educate American children.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • Michael

      Youand me both

      December 1, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • KAN

      YES.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • tbrnotb

      Or you wnt yourr tax dollars to blow up othe countries. You people give this country a bad name.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • John Q. Public

      @hard working american: AGREED!

      December 1, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  88. Proud to be legal immigrant

    Yet another story glorifying people who blatantly broke the law and invaded a country and calling it home!!!!

    Why don't these professor start a school for legal immigrants, citizen, tax paying, law abiding people. Why don't they offer free services for them??? Even if these illegals study, what will they after that, suck up more resources and job which should go to a citizen or people who stood in line and got their citizenship????

    December 1, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • Michael

      Amen

      December 1, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • Poor

      Amazing thing is all those places they are from have english speaking schools they could attend, but heaven forbid they go back home and get an education there.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • Anna Gisen

      *Applauds*

      December 1, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • fact check

      THIS FAMILY PAID TAXES. Christ, can't you people read? Maybe you need a free school.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
      • Poor

        Im sure two illegals with those high paying jobs have more then covered the cost of their being here. The kid alone cost most states between 7-10k a year to educate. Again I am sure they paid their fair share of taxes. Do the math on what most illegals pay in taxes versus the services they consume.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • StopTheHate

      "Yet another story glorifying people who blatantly broke the law and invaded a country and calling it home!!!!"
      Unless you are a native American, you got here the exact same way! Don't be a hypocrite!

      December 1, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
      • Youre Right

        Woo Hoo!!! StopTheHate, you have hit the nail Right On the Head, my friend!! Kudos To You!!! That's telling these hypocrites with less than pea-sized brains who like to only show their prejudice and ignorance because they can't show much else in the way of intelligence.

        December 1, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
  89. UGA Alumnus

    I'm proud of my alma mater, a centrist bastion in the midst of radical arch-conservatism. (There are no liberal bastions left there.)

    December 1, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  90. Paul

    Quiet. Don't tell the Republican presidential candidates. They will make sure to shut down this evil operation.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Michael

      This is an evil operation and is what is destroying our country. Why cant you libs wake up and see that . FOLLOW THE LAW like the rest of us did. My Grandparents did it when they immegrated here. My wife did it when she did as well. It took them all YEARS to get here. WAKE UP YOU CRAZY LIBS

      December 1, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
      • tbrnotb

        Why can't you cons focus on whats important instead of these emotional fringe issue that Fox News gets you all rilled up about? Shame on you and your H8!

        December 1, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  91. John

    It may be the law, but the law is stupid. Either we are a meritocracy or we aren't.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Michael

      I cant belive you are that ignorant. WOW....

      December 1, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  92. Marc

    Good intentions, unsustainable path.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Poor

      Good intentions, but really wrong path.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
      • Dre

        I strongly disagree. One of the great things about this nation is that, historically, those with dreams and the determination to make them come true succeed. Personally, I think this is a great idea, and the courage shown by both students and instructors greatly surpasses "good intentions."

        December 1, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • Michael

      I dont agree, bad intentions, illigal intentions this is BAD

      December 1, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
      • tbrnotb

        Enough already. You don't deserve to be an American.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  93. Clarissa

    What article did you read?? Seriously what degree do you have under your name?

    December 1, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  94. Joe

    Amazing. These are the people that will someday save our country.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • sharky

      So breaking the laws will save the country? We might as well get rid of jails now and let everyone go free.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
      • Freckles

        When the laws are the problem, then yes. We must break them. People like you who value order and obedience above doing what's right are the worst kind of complicit brownshirts.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
      • Dre

        I see a flaw in logic somewhere in here...

        December 1, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  95. Poor

    They teach them for free, but a citizen thousands. This is not a civil rights issue. This is an immigration issue, and blame your parents, and not this country for your problems today. There is a difference between legal, and illegal. Between being born on our soil, and born on another countries. Laws are laws, and equality it not for those that are not here legally, or a citizen.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Clarissa

      yeah cause equality was given to those who were citizens also (eyeroll) seriously, how equal do you think America is? Someone can't control where they were born, these people want to get an education compared to citizens who dont give a flying rats ass about an education. Why should they be turned away for hard work?

      December 1, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
      • Poor

        So why should someone who should not be here in the first place be placed above a citizen? It is hard enough to get into a good college, yet alone to have to fight with the whole globe wanting to get a "fair" chance at our school system. People dont control where they are born, but does that mean you should be able to just go whereever the heck you want to? Its my "right" since I was born in Haiti to go to America and live no matter what their laws are, because I didnt get to choose being born here.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • Steven

      What?! Blame the parents for wanting more oppurtunities for their kids. Sounds reasonable right? Do you really think they wanted to stay illegal? The path to citizenship is a long road and certainly not doable in the 2 year travel visa deadline.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
      • Poor

        First generation American here. My mother did it, and she did it legally. Sorry some think its ok to just skip the line, and come on in. There are schools in South Korea that teach in english so let them go there and get educated.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Tom H.

      I'd rather have these than the kids of the 1% any day in my class. In the long run, they'll be the ones who help this country go forward.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
      • sharky

        Tom H.–

        Forward with what? Most likely going back to their home countries to work.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
      • Dre

        Thank you sir...just...thank you...

        December 1, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
      • Poor

        Im sure these kids are great kids, and hard working. Bad part is their parents really didnt think the whole thing over to well. Sorry kids, but your parents have really done you wrong on this.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • MC

      Well, they're willing to pay if they're allowed into the public universities. Hard to say. The kids have been here, grew up here, speak fluent English – seems they can only benefit the U.S., especially those who want to go to college. We've concluded that the 33% college graduation rate isn't going up anytime soon.

      It seems to me the parents are a bit misguided about the American Dream – I mean South Korea is a developed nation, and living in a housing project in the U.S. isn't exactly peachy – perhaps the parents bought into U.S. propaganda a bit too much? I wonder if they also knew how welcoming Canada, Australia and New Zealand are to immigrants who can speak English and have a degree or profession? In Canada, anyone who completes college there can get a work visa.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • fact check

      Wrong. These students are NOT educated for free in state schools; they pay full, higher out-of-state rather than in-state tuition.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  96. casper

    these kids are super. they are keeping the american dream alive. I wish them all well!

    December 1, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • sharky

      So giving the middle finger to laws is the keeping the American Dream alive?

      December 1, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • Michael

      Casper is a typical lib that just doesnt get it. Sad, Sheep say what.....

      December 1, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
      • tbrnotb

        Collectively many of us here give the middle finger to Michael and Sharky.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  97. WoI Admin

    More opportunity brings with it more risk.

    Be careful chasing the American Dream that you don't bury yourself in debt – especially because of unwise investments.

    December 1, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  98. tomanycommentsystemsonCNN

    it's never good to encourage law breakers

    December 1, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • Gom Jabbar

      It is when the laws are unjust. See: Slavery, Civil Rights Movement, Women's Suffrage, etc.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
      • Poor

        You cant compare this to that. Totally outrageous.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • Dave

      Lawbreakers, right. These are kids with no say whatsoever in where they live.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
  99. j0nx

    Feel bad for them but the law is the law. Without the law you end up JUST like the USA has ended up where it is now – in the cr@pper. Illegal aliens have contributed greatly to the problems that America is facing now. The simple fact is that we are broke as a nation and can no longer afford to look the other way to criminal behavior.

    December 1, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • MC

      Immigration is an issue, but to pretend that "illegal immigrants have contributed greatly" to the problems we face as a country is beyond belief. The budget deficit, collapse of our house-of-cards mortgage/financial system, and the two wars we have been embroiled in have nothing to do with illegal immigrants, who can't even vote. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
      • Stephen

        not true...

        low cost illegal immigrant labor definitely contributed to the situation... the housing bubble, who do you think built and painted the majority of it? not americans... they want a living wage to build us our McMansions to store our fleets of SUVS. business doesn't care what you do with the money or what you can afford on it... only that you are willing to do it for less.

        it enabled greed, that's plenty of impact.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
      • ILUVUSA2

        For the most part, illegals do not pay taxes. They receive medical services ( at taxpayer expense). They receive housing assistance, food assistance, and education (all at taxpayer expense).

        To say that illegals do not contribute to the problem lacks candor.

        December 1, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
      • txwoodworker

        Where I live illegals do most of the residential construction work They are paid in cash, which goes directly to Western Union and then out of the country. You are naive if you think they contribute much beyond doing poor quality work at very low prices.

        December 1, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • fact check

      False. As you would know if you had read the story, this family paid taxes and contributed to society. They were not "illegal." There is no data to back up your claim that immigrants legal or otherwise are doing anything to our country we aren't doing to ourselves. The most criminal people are the ones in government, bought and sold to the highest American corporate bidder- they are the ones tearing the fabric of our country apart and turning established American immigrants (as we all are, unless you're indigenous) against new generations of immigrants.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • RedPony

      So you're saying that Wall Street is run by illegal immigrants?

      December 1, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  100. P Willis

    Great story. What a nice gesture by the teachers. More power to these students. They want to learn, work, and want to be productive members of the society. Instead, conservatives want to shove them into dark corners and keep them there. Allow these people to study, work, pay taxes, please.

    December 1, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • sharky

      P Willis–

      Could you be anymore of a liar.

      So in your world breaking the laws or having no laws is the way to live and is acceptable. Right got it.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • KAN

      As long as they're here legally, they're welcome to study, work, and pay taxes.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • J.Sand

      I agree ,

      December 1, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
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