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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)

"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.]

How is this moron a judge? A double negative and a faulty logical comparison i nthe same sentence. Bravo CA, Bravo.

Bu bye California. The state is doomed to bankruptcy. The new House majority in D.C. WON't be bailing you out either.

California courts being activist and not actually follow the law? heres my surprised face...

California is so far gone I say we just give it to mexico and let them deal with the problems.

I use to get mad at these stories. Now I think it's great because it hastens the demise of California.

So let me get this straight.....a tax paying citizen of the United States who lives in any state but California must pay full tuition to go to college in CA...... A law-breaking trespasser from Mexico gets a discount.....hmmmmm.....smoking too much of the weed out there aren't ya??

CA will eventually come crying to the federal government for a financial bailout ...I hope Congress has the courage to say "NO!"

More power to them, we all know that CA has money to spare. Just don't come knocking on our door for a bail out!

Crazy, just crazy. Just don't ask the rest of us to bail you out.

God Bless Texas.

So . . . I graduated from a California high school and now live in Ohio. This means that I can come back and go to college at resident rates. Cool. I'll use it to learn Spanish so I can discriminate against illegals as they arrive in Ohio.

They're going to want a bailout. Don't let them have it. They need to figure this problem out all on their own.

Hey California,

when you guys eventually reach the tipping point, and that's a lot sooner than you think, don't come with your hands out for a federal bailout. You created your own problems and should have clean them up yourselves.

This is how the rest of the country views you:


Message to all LEGAL residents: Time to stop paying taxes, time for a tax strike! Where to start? Very simple: change your W2 deductions and the state forms to a large number - say 8 or more. This will deprive the state of income on an ongoing basis. When tax time rolls around next April 15, don't pay up. They can't come after everyone at the same time. Better yet, leave the state and go to one of the several US states who don't collect income taxes.

None of this nonsense is sustainable. The rest of sane America needs to let California go on down the tubes. No bailouts when they hit bottom.

Justice Ming W. Chin should be removed from the bench. What part of the word illegal does the so-called jurist not understand? This is ridiculous and we as a nation and people should be ashamed that there is no outcry over this situation. The first job of government is to PROTECT the CITIZENS, not to have the citizens pay for people to break the law.

Cut it loose and let the Pacific Ocean take it -- and pray the ocean doesn't throw it back.

Just what exactly is the point (or benefit) of being a U.S. citizen? It's much better just to give up one's citizenship. Not only do you save a bundle, but you have more rights and more freedoms.

once again, i am so thankful to have escaped from the trash heap called california. seven long years & i got out in 2006.
shortly it will no longer be possibl, even for our media, to portray that place as anything other than what it truly is. a totally dysfunctional disastrous fantasy land that should be forced to align itself with mexico & not America.
if a person exhibited half of the traits of, or behaved similar to california they would be in a rubber room on heavy meds.

We should leave California and Illinois to their crazy, corrupt ways...

BUT when they come to the federal government - our taxes - to balance their budgets - We must say no way!

What is wrong with California? They are borrowing money now to pay fo un-employment benefits? This state will have to go tits-up before their funding situation is taken seriously. I wonder what part of ILLEGAL the court fails to understand?

I'm leaving this state next summer, closing my business and moving it out of state. I see the Cal system and the Cal State system shrinking their student bodies and making it harder to gain entrance. All legal qualified US tax paying citizens should be allowed entrance before one illegal resident is admitted. I can see a future when my kids can't get in, so I feel forced to leave and to note, yes I'm taking jobs with me.

...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...

OK... Since when does "unlawful alien = American Citizen" in this or any other country? (Except California)
This is nuts.

wow. there are just so many things wrong with this. illegal aliens getting more benefits than our own American citizens. Once again, I am disgusted.

So let's get this straight. You can walk across the California border and instantly be qualified for taxpayer subsidized tuition? This is insanity. We are losing our country.

hahahahahah! when the riots erupt next year and your state government and its programs cease to exist, you can blame yourselves for the people you've elected and policies you've supported. the rest of the country will not be bailing you out; figure it out yourselves...

Another rule to benefit slipping under the radar coming here illegally. Why do Illegals have more rights and benefits than citizens? Why not cut the rate for deserving Americans and charge everyone else up the wazoo

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