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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)

California is the laughing stock of the country. The "Progressives" are progressing it right off the cliff.

Why not just turn California over to Mexico. They're no longer part of this country anyway. I can't believe the Court doesn't just make education free to illegals. Why should they have to pay?

How much further in political correctness has this country got left to fall before she wakes up to what is happening?
What about the word "Illegal" can people not understand? Ok, so some say there is no such thing as an illegal human being. Well, there are such things as illegal acts!! Being in this country without properly coming here is an ILLEGAL act and thereby should assume penalties. Instead, we want to award them! My God where are we going as a country?
How much further must we go before it's not illegal to rob a bank or take another human's life? Oh, abortion, forgot about that. Guess we have already knocked off one of those!!


This news made me sick.

The question isn't if its constitutional but why do we have such a law in California to begin with? Elect more Democrats and tear down that border. Benefits for all of South America, paid by the few taxpayers left in California.

Who will join me in impeaching these judges?

What a joke! Keep on flushing the money down the toilet CA....

Gee.... this is fair.... as long as the rest of the country does NOT have to bail out California. As a matter of fact, no federal funds should go to California since the entire state is a gigantic, irresponsible sloth. I'm all for States crapping on themselves as long as I don't have to pay for it in federal taxes.

California probably should just be bottled up and jetisoned from Union to become "Mexifornia," which they are already becoming rather than a burden on the other 49. Then California can become the true Socialistic Banana Republic that the larger portion of the population seems to want over there....

So someone with a valid U.S citizenship out of state pays more.. as opposed to someone who is living here illegally??? What is wrong with this picture. They are not legally supposed to be here.

The Democratic party should no longer be under any illusion about why it lost the heartland. California is essentially saying that one of the most important rights given to its own citizens, the right to a college education, is extended to citizens of a foreign country but denied to fellow American citizens from the other 49 states. If you were from any other developed country in the world and tried to explain this to the people living their, their jaws would hit the ground.

Conservatives on the other hand like to pretend that California is the closest thing that America has to Europe. Au contraire, mon ami, European states would never, ever privilege the citizens of other countries over their own citizens, grant rights to foreigners over their own citizens.

The best thing for the US at this point is a dissolution of the union-- and I hope that such a dissolution comes for my children as quickly as possible. California should go its own way-- deal with its own problems. I know it has a lot of riches, a lot of capable people, and I am sad to see it go, but it must form its own country eventually. There is no way that I want to live in a union with a California that privileges foreigners over my own children, one of which was born in California, but now lives in another state.

I think that this is entirely unfair. I am a college student and I was born and raised here and I have to pay all this money for my education how come illegal immigrants get a break! My children are citizens as well and now when they go to college they will have to deal with this as well. Something is really wrong with our society when we reward someone for breaking a law and doing the wrong thing.

Hey CA,
You can have all the illegal aliens, all the gutless judges and all the liberal politicians. The catch is you have to keep them there. Don't let them out...
If I were to protect our southern border with a wall, it would go across TX and NM and AZ, then go north straight up to Canada. If Mexico wants CA, WA and OR, they can have them. Just no $$$ to prop-up...

The Madhatter is running around in black robe. Only lawyers could convolute logic to the point that this makes sense. Outrageous!

California is doomed.

Now all Brown has to do is concentrate of giving illegals driver's licenses and state ID cards. That way they would be able to vote and return him and our leftist legislature to power over and over and over - forever.

Watching my beautiful state collapse is depressing beyond words.

This looks like unfair. For example, tens of thousands international students are paying out-of-state tuitions regardless the period of living in California. They are all legal in California. To get this benefit, do they have to become illegal and hide long?

one could only wonder if medical marijuana could have influenced any of the court?

Morons .

yay!! with the csu and all the other school prices going up, this will keep helping ab540 students to continue thier education, it would be nice if the dream act happen.

Geesh!!! Now I'm paying for illegal criminals to go to school and I couldn't even afford to send mine to school. I had to borrow the money for three kids to go, paying it back with interest and worked two jobs. And now criminals get rewarded with my hard earned tax dollars!!!!!!!!!!!! The Justice Department is not doing their damn job. I used to be proud to be American, but this court system and elected officials are pushing that pride. I am shocked every day! No wonder the state is broke.

Californians have finally tar and feathered themselves with their own brush. How can an "illegal" let me repeat that ILLEGAL have any rights? The state is broke and you fund illegals? There's no hope for you now.

" THIS ABSOLUTELY INSANE" !!! and they continue to walk all over us...

"immigrants educational benefits based on residency."

Um, you idiots in the Supreme Court... you said "based on residency"... THEY ARE NOT CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS!!!!! They are residents of THEIR country, not ours, not California. So if I visited Latin America and stay there... I'm now a "resident"?

This state is so backwards... not even the slightest thought of what's right for the Americans PAYING THE DAMN TAXES!!!!

No wonder California is circling the drain.

It's all been said so well here already.

Noticed one thing, though -- where are all the self-righteous do-good lefties who want to save the world with OUR tax money??? Don't seem to see any of them on here criticizing us mean ol' folks who don't want this to happen.

And guess what folks...FOREIGN INTERNATIONAL students who are here legally, also get in state tuition rates. We have some of the best colleges in the world and foreigners, illegals and out of state students get more preference.

I have 4 kids and NONE of them could get into a UC school. Only CSU campuses. And one had a GPA of 4.5.

But then again, I was born and raised in California along with our kids, so what am I thinking???

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