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In-state tuition for illegal immigrants is preserved with California Supreme Court ruling [Updated]

Chin The California Supreme Court decided unanimously Monday that illegal immigrants may continue to be eligible for in-state tuition rates at the state's colleges and universities rather than pay the higher rates charged to those who live out of state.

In a ruling written by Justice Ming W. Chin, one of the panel's more conservative members, the state high court said a California law that guarantees the lower tuition for students who attend California high schools for at least three years and graduate does not conflict with a federal prohibition on giving illegal immigrants educational benefits based on residency.

California is one of several states that permit illegal immigrants to take advantage of lower college tuition for students who attend high school and graduate in state. About 25,000 illegal immigrants are estimated to receive in-state tuition rates in California.

A group fighting illegal immigration challenged the California law on behalf of U.S. citizens who pay the higher tuition as out-of-state students. The group won in lower court, and the state appealed.

The lawsuit contended the California law usurped a federal prohibition on giving educational benefits based on residency to illegal immigrants but not all U.S. citizens.

College students who are in the country illegally are barred from government financial-aid programs. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected eventually to decide whether the lower tuition rates also violate federal law.

[Updated at 10:29: The court observed that the state law also benefits U.S. citizens who reside in other states but attend and graduate from high school in California.

"It cannot be the case that states may never give a benefit to unlawful aliens without giving the same benefit to all American citizens," Chin wrote.]


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--Maura Dolan in San Francisco

Photo: California Supreme Court Judge Ming W. Chin in 1996. (Bob Galbraith / Associated Press)


Comments () | Archives (803)

First of all, what was the student doing in a California high school. At my business we have to verify whether an applicant is in the country legally before we hire them. The schools don't? And then if they went to high school illegally they get a break on tuition to college. Which part of this makes sense? How much more of my money are you going to give to the criminals from south of the border. At least they use a gun when they rob me.

I lived, studied and worked in California for 4 years as a LEGAL immigrant from Spain. The tuition at the community college I attended was ridiculously expensive but I understood that as a foreigner I had never paid any taxes in that state yet so I was happy to follow the law. To hear this news makes my blood boil...

People won't understand the logic of this ruling, because all they see is red and by red, I mean illegal aliens, the green creatures who have landed on L.A. and used their alien mind reading powers to take away your job, run for your life!
see what happens when logic goes out the window, kinda ridiculous

What is even more unfair is that the children of SERVING men and women in the armed forces who are transferred here from another state do NOT qualify for the in-state rate because they don't have the 3-year high school qualification.

Many in Mexico send their kids across the border EVERY day to attend school here - they use a relative 's utility bills or other fraudulent means to get their kids admitted. So they live in Mexico, pay less tax, live way cheaper, get a high-school diploma paid for by CA taxpayers, then qualify for in-state (or FREE - see below) rates courtesy again of the CA taxpayer (The few of us that still have jobs., that is).

Secondly - if they can prove financial hardship (I think it's a family income of less than $90k). They can get FREE tuition at a UC campus.

They probably also get preferential admittance because of their minority status.

BTW - It was a CONSERVATIVE judge that allowed this fiasco,... You're not better than anyone else, even though you think you are...

Sorry, not a Democrat, they're messing up too... That should mess up your arguments... Both sides are losers at this point,... That's why Independents are the largest growing party...

What's wrong with this idiot Judge! We need to get rid of these people. They are ruining this state! Push out Ming W. Chin Now!

Hey, you keep electing the same damn idiots over and over that give you this kind of representation. You should take your state back. Make sure the dems don't steal the elections (which they do) and put someone in that's of a differnt ilk than piglosi and moonbeam brown and "call me senator" boxhead. You people deserve what you get and quit asking me to give you my hard earned tax money so you can do stupid sh1t.

Mr President Read these posts/ most all want illeagels out.
We need work for real wages, let the unemplyed take the jobs from illeagles deported, pay these new lealge workers real wages. better than a handout

How is this not an infraction of the commerce clause since it affect education in all states by their actions?

Yet another example that common sense is gone and liberalism does not and has not EVER worked where ever it's tried in this state (California). The government tells us when we can and cannot use our fireplaces here in the valley. I'm done! My chunky butt is looking for another state with common sense and where "normal" Americans live. California can fall into the ocean for all I care. The Republic would actually be better off if it did.

To all you fine folks that want us out, perhaps secession would be the right answer. Since we get back about 80 cents on every dollar we send to the US government, we can keep that money here and stop subsidizing economic powerhouses like Alabama.

Does this story really anger you?
Come join me :

Only place on earth , where Illiegal Aliens are treated better than Law Abiding Citizens , Kalifornians Deserve What They Get - Poverty , High Taxes , Forclosure , Bankruptcy , Liquidation and Turned Into A Third World Nation . YOU ASKED FOR IT , YOU GOT IT

Great the state is broke, but you all in CA have to pay for illegals to go to your universities and state colleges. I'm thinking may I should send my kids there and tell them to say they are illegals, so I can get some the this free money, your state is willing to give those that break the law. Is there any common sense left in Ca?

This is your reward to re-electing Boxer.

While legal Americans are paying triple for out of state tuition, illegals from Mexico get a discount. Why are they even allowed to attend?

And once again, re-electing Boxer got not only in state tuition for illegals, but soon you'll be seeing drivers licenses for illegals too.

We are bankrupt state - our schools are in shambles - when will this illogical thinking stop?

If you go to CA from another state, just claim you're there illegally. Get in-State tuition. When I lived in that dump I was actually considered out of state for the first year I lived there, although they were happy to take my state taxes.

If someone is know to be an illegal alien, why are we educating them, instead of deporting then?

No wonder CA is bankrupt. They deserve to go down. They've chosen the bed they want to sleep in and we need to now let them lie in it, and under no circumstance should our tax dollars ever go toward bailing them out. All we'd do is give the likes of Boxer and Brown more money to throw into their deep, dark hole.

Then quit whining about being broke, California!

"the California law usurped a federal prohibition on giving educational benefits based on residency to illegal immigrants but not all U.S. citizens."


Disgusting. I cannot afford to send my own child to college. I cannot afford to pay my bills. But I am forced to pay taxes that will subsidize illegal aliens going to college. So illegal immigrants can become educated while my children cannot, and I pay for this? This is just not right.

Why when you hear Illegal it's the Mexicans??
I know for a FACT it is not all Mexicans taking advantage of this AB540. We have tons of undocumented students in this country- and a lot of them OVER stay their Visas!

Can someone remind me what the purpose of this unelected government is again?

Certainly even Government and it's members should be beholden to the law, but that's some steps away from policy being set and controlled by the somewhat clandestine unelected "elite".

This is a perversion and miscarriage of justice, plain and simple. It's a enforcing by law the act of state gifting, it binds the hands of those who are trying to address the budget. It's also a legal paradox, it's ridiculous, illegal immigrants and their children shouldn't be here, they are breaking the law by being here hence the illegal part of the title, this is a law that serves people that to the law don't exist (law absolute). It's lawmaking being driven by emotion rather than rationale, and I don't know about anyone else but the very idea of that makes me question the whole system (not to mention gives me the willies).

Kick these bums off the bar.

Because of liberals' sick sense of social "justice", U.S. citizens are now placed at a disadvantage to Mexican illegals competing for the same college education. This is why I don't respect democrat voters.

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