ASU President Questions Illegal Immigrant Aid

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Offering in-state tuition to illegal immigrants has sparked criticism and interest from Arkansas college administrators.

E-mails obtained by The Associated Press show Arkansas State University system President Les Wyatt warned the state that schools allowing illegal immigrants in with reduced tuition would have higher enrollment numbers.

Wyatt later described the practice to the AP as "hanging somebody's laundry around the necks of the guys who tried to do it right."

Under direction from Governor Beebe's office, Jim Purcell of the state Dept. of Higher Education warned schools last week that if they offered in-state tuition to illegal immigrants, they would have to do the same with out-of-state students.  Otherwise, Purcell says they'd violate federal law.

Purcell says a check of a statewide database of student information found that about 2,000 people enrolled at Arkansas colleges and universities attend classes under dummy Social Security numbers.  He says some of those students could be illegal immigrants.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)