The Montana Board of Regents says a voter-approved initiative requiring proof of citizenship to receive state services does not apply to the university system.

Associate higher education commissioner Kevin McRae said Wednesday the state constitution gives the board exclusive authority to manage and control the university system, including setting policies and regulations.

McRae says the initiative and a similar bill proposed by the 2011 Legislature are superseded by the board's constitutional authority.

He says universities already have a system of checks in place.

Voters overwhelmingly approved the initiative in November. It requires proof of citizenship or legal residency for individuals seeking a license, state employment or benefits.

The Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance is leading a lawsuit challenging the new law's constitutionality. A court hearing is scheduled for Thursday in Helena.

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Foriegn students must be identified and document where the are from. It is a matter of National defense. Illegal imigration is illegal. Those people who cheat the system don't have any legal standing and should be sent back to where they came from. If they want to become American citizens then get in line like the legal imigrants have too. To heck with the cheaters. If they don't respect the laws of America how can they possibly be considered to be worthy citizens. They are liars, cheaters and are defrauding the tax payers. Of course our politicians like them so they will get their vote. The Universites should not have the authority over this matter. The constitution has to be changed in order to protect America.

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