RICHMOND—A Virginia Senate panel yesterday defeated a measure that would have banned illegal aliens from attending state colleges and universities.
The Senate Education and Health Committee rejected the bill 12-3. The House had passed the measure 67-28 earlier this month.
Supporters said illegals should not be granted the “privilege” of higher education and not be allowed to take spots at top colleges away from students who are here legally. Opponents compared the proposal to when blacks were forbidden from attending Virginia schools.
“We were denied the possibility of going to our state universities, and I don’t want to see you all make the same mistake again,” said committee member Sen. Benjamin J. Lambert III, Richmond Democrat who is black. “My dad and mom had jobs and paid taxes, and I could not go to the University of Virginia, I could not go to Virginia Tech, I could not go to William and Mary and I have never forgotten it.”
Mr. Lambert said attending college is a right.
“I’d much rather see them in school than on the streets robbing people,” he said.