Chester Brown, a high school senior in Hinesville, Georgia decided in July that he would play his college football at Georgia. Brown was so excited to play for the Bulldogs that he had the date of his commitment tattooed on his arm. But last week, Brown, the son of Samoan immigrants, abruptly announced that he was withdrawing his commitment, a decision that was likely due to an anti-immigrant policy adopted by the Georgia state college and university system in 2010, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:
However, a variety of people with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed to the AJC on Tuesday that Brown’s change of heart was because his admissions application to UGA was rejected because of a controversial Board of Regents policy that was adopted in October 2010.
That policy…states that an undocumented student can’t take the seat of an otherwise academically qualified Georgia resident who has been turned away because of capacity constraints.
The policy that may ultimately keep Brown from playing football at Georgia states, “A person who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible for admission to any University System institution which, for the two most recent academic years, did not admit all academically qualified applicants (except for cases in which applicants were rejected for non-academic reasons).” It was instituted in 2010 after the state Board of Regents, which oversees state colleges and universities, found that less than a hundredth of a percent of students — 521 of roughly 311,000 — were undocumented. Within the 511 was a “smaller subset” of students that were considered “illegal,” according to the AJC.
Brown’s mother “insists that he was born in the United States,” but the family lacks documentation to prove it. There is, however, still a chance Brown could realize his dream of becoming a Bulldog. His high school principal has been in contact with both admissions officials and immigration attorneys in attempts to help Brown gain admission.