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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)

from illegal immigration, to cheap cash paid labor found at Lowe's and Home Depot's, and the various other cash paid services provides by the undercut mexican workforce will deteriorate california, anyone who hires one is responsible for the collapsed direction. when californias economy becomes comparable to mexico's, the rest of the nation has no other choice but to follow. had the aftermath of nine-eleven included a strike on california's industrial or financial district, or military installations, the country would have been done. now we say that because of the taliban we have been stereotyped by profiling, and its true and for good reason. the threat we have surrounding our southwest boarders are as big if not greater of an international terror situation. we have bullets coming into our country from stray gunfire from the cartels, and we don't do anything about it but duck? we're doomed surely.

What an oxi-MORON here. Illegals have rights provided by states and the states laws override federal law here. Why does the state not have a right against illegals that follows federal law as they have in Az. I would like to hear what this judge would have to say about that.

I live in this dump, and I can tell you, we have food carts on the streets that are not inspected, street peddling that is not curbed, illegal drivers who's cars are not impounded, law enforcement cant question immigration status, chickens and roosters waking up neighbors at the break of dawn, uninsured drivers victimizing Americans, companies hiring openly illegal immigrants, non profits helping illegals buy homes, and cars, consulates assisting law breaking, illegal store fronts are opening up all over the state.

Didn't we see this in Mexico, before it fell to the cartels, gangs, and criminals?

With stories like this becoming a steady stream out of this once great state, all I can say to you California citizens (and I am a former citizen)is....good luck - you are going to need it

You people in CA are INSANE.

Why say anything.... the article says it all......

Unbelieveable. Illegals continue to get better benefits than AMERICANS!

Time to put a stop to this even if we have to resort to violence!!

Ridiculous that people in other 50 states have to pay out of state tuition and pay MORE than those who are in the country ILLEGALLY!! WHY ARE THEY NOT CONSIDERED "OUT OF STATE" when they ARE NOT LEGAL RESIDENTS of CALIFORNIA OR THE USA????????


I think that illegal aliens should be eligible for the California Supreme Court .. They could rename it the California Illegal Supreme Court. Why not?

and you wonder why california is broke -- illegals mooching off the US -- illegals should not be allowed to tap into the benefits for legal americans -- no wonder tuition has gone through the roof in california schools.. Illegal is/means illegal maybee Kalifornia might want to teach that in the schools

This is totally insane. Wow. I can't wait until California is officially bankrupt and complete anarchy and riots in the street occur. You deserve it.

The United States of America would be better off without California. The super liberal state is unable to manage its own finances and they are bringing the rest of the country down with them. To give free tuition to illegal aliens instead of Americans is disgusting. I've lost all respect for California citizens. Please leave our country.

Amazingly, there was not one dissenting judge on the court.

Cali is so far in the hole why not pile on more debt?? I mean the rest of the country will pay for it because California is flat busted!! And now they think that Jerry Brown will save them??? California is becoming a laughing stock a joke a poster child for what not to do!!

Great. More benefits for criminals. I was born here and I've lived here most of my life and yet someone who snuck into this country illegally has a better chance of getting lower college tuition than I do. Our fore-fathers are turning over in their graves right now.

You have GOT to be kidding? ...and we wonder why our state/country is going to the dogs! We need to get rid of these people that are making these policies/laws. They haven't a clue and are so unAmerican. This has got to be one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard so far...and there have been MANY!

And we wonder why California is on the brink of finanical disaster and a waste of good beach front real eastate on the "Left Coast"

And the budget hole gets bigger and bigger due to things like this. Cut off the money flow to the illegals and protect American citizens. -- you people elected "Moonbeam" Brown to help the state circle the drain -- Hows that tuition hike thingy workin out for ya Kali???

I really think the country would be better off without California as a State. Please consider succession and elect Nancy Pelosi as your President.

That's just GREAT! Let illegals pay the lower rate for tuition when they aren't even in the country legally! Okay, California courts, let's see how many OTHER stupid ways you can think of to hasten Calfornia's bankruptcy! You have total fiscal CHAOS over there!

This is the stuff that makes me sick. U.S Citizens pay taxes to the State and to the IRS (feds) and we pay more every year and now you know why! I don't want to pay taxes, health and car insurance, car registration, school bills and health care bills! Well not only do I have to pay those things I'm also paying for hundreds of thousands of illegal immgrants! Who thinks this is fair? No one is helping me out and all I'm ask to do every year is to give more! If I get hurt today and go to the hospital and it cost me $10,000 I have to pay but if a illegal goes to the hospital is FREE! They have no social security and they can't find them, crush there credit score and garnish there wages like us U.S Citizen. It seems to me that illegals have more right then U.S Citizens! We may want to start fighting now before its to late!

If your here illegally you should not get any benefits period.

How do illegals even get into school without permission to study - they have no status to be students.


California should do the entire USA a favor and secede from the union.

This is just sad... Why even become a legal resident/citizen if you can just get the benefits without paying the dues? And going to a Public School for three years is not paying dues... :-/

wow, seriously.. And yet they still want to raise our taxes

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