State Supreme Court Upholds Tuition Break For Illegal Immigrants

Undocumented residents must meet same requirements as other students

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The California Supreme Court ruled Monday
that some illegal immigrants are entitled to the same tuition breaks offered to in-state high school students to attend public colleges and universities.

While the ruling applies only to California, the case was closely watched nationally because nine other states including New York and Texas have similar laws.

UC Davis law school dean Kevin Johnson talks to KNX 1070’s Dick Helton

Republican congressmen Lamar S. Smith of Texas and Steve King of Iowa filed a so-called friends of the court brief urging that illegal immigrants be denied the reduced rate.

The lawsuit considered by the court was part of a broader legal assault led by the immigration legal scholar Kris Kobach, who has filed numerous cases across the country seeking to restrict the rights of illegal immigrants.

He represented a group of U.S. students who filed the lawsuit seeking to invalidated the California law.

Kobach did not return a phone call seeking comment about the ruling in California.

A unanimous state Supreme Court, led by politically conservative Justice Ming Chin, said the California provision was constitutional because U.S. residents also had access to the reduce rates.

The California Legislature passed the controversial measure in 2001 that allowed any student regardless of immigration status who attended a California high school for at least three years and graduated to qualify for in-state tuition at the state’s colleges universities. In-state tuition saves each state college student about $11,000 a year and each University of California student
about $23,000 a year.

A state appellate court in 2008 ruled the law was unconstitutional after a group of out-of-state students who are U.S. citizens filed a lawsuit alleging the measure violated federal prohibitions barring illegal immigrants from receiving post-secondary benefits not available to U.S. citizens based on state residency.

But the state Supreme Court noted that the California law says nothing about state residency,

The state law also requires the illegal immigrants applying for the in-state tuition to swear they will attempt to become U.S. citizens. The applicants are still barred from receiving federal
financial aid.

“Through their hard work and perseverance, these students have earned the opportunity to attend UC,” said University of California president Mark G. Yudof. “Their accomplishments should not be disregarded or their futures jeopardized.”

Kobach also failed to invalidate a similar law in Kansas. His lawsuit in Nebraska is pending.

The law professor was the chief drafter of Arizona’s tough new laws against illegal immigrants, which is pending before a federal appeals court.

He was elected earlier this month to serve as secretary of state in Kansas.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • MMcK

    What has happened to our country. ????

  • AJ

    This country has been sold out to the non nationals.

  • Charlie

    Great!!just great,while my child has to go to New York State-Buffalo because the lack of funding in Cal,and no student aid for our Calif.born students,our dedicated courts rule for the illegals,let’s call ICE on them,instead of educating them.

  • JC

    I’m a born & raised Californian about half through with my life. I was tired of our not handling illegals way back when I was 14. I’ve finally come to the pitiful conclusion that the “LEFT” in California H A T E S America. In my opinion they are worse than the international terrorists our military is busy chasing all over the globe. I love my country! These America bashers

  • Jim

    Fact: The “left” that reside in California hate America! This continued disregard of their fellow Americans is like treason in my opinion. Twist another doobie you losers!



  • Angry American

    Illegal immigration isn’t about ideology its about politics.
    Benefits for illegals increases future voting rolls for Democrats.
    Its that simple.
    That’s all that its about.
    Catch a clue America… Take back your country.

  • Jeff

    Unbelievable. What’s the breaking point going to be?

  • Enrique R.


  • Vancho Pilla

    Move now, gringos. The time you have left in Aztlan is numbered.

  • Dan

    It is not about the left or right, it is about the money and is all wrong . Rich people use illegals to lower wages for their profits, and with all the burden put on the average soon to be gone middle class tax payer. Why wouldn’t the rich want to have incentives for illegals? lets have minimum 6 year sentences for people like Meg Wittman and other rich people who continue to hire illegals at the cost of real Americans. If there is no demand there will be no more mass influx of illegals across our borders. Most illegals aren’t here to stay, they take advantage of all we offer, send most of their money back home to family so when they return they can live like kings. That is why money sent to Mexico by illegal alliens in th US is the second highest source of income money for Mexico, only second to oil exports.

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    […] State Supreme Court Upholds Tuition Break For Illegal Immigrants The high court unanimously upheld a state law that says any student, regardless of immigration status, can qualify for in-state tuition rates. Read more on CBS 2 Los Angeles […]

  • KansasGirl

    If this is what Kalifornia wants that fine and dandy. But don’t ask fly-over country to pick up the tab. Hell will freeze over before the bible thumping red-necks will accept this bill.

  • Saber 1

    Shut the boarders and ship all passport, work/school visa holders out. Patrol our boarders with attack helicopters and gun boats on our waters.

  • Unbelievable

    I am disgusted. 25,000 illegals in the UC and CSU system, and we are giving them “in state” tuition? They should be paying “international” tuition, as NON citizens. As it is, legal california students that are good students are denied admission due to overcrowding, or if they do get in, tuition continues rising in order to pay for all these illegals. The entire UC system is rigged to get them in, giving them priority over citizens for coming from “disadvantaged” backgrounds, or being a “first generation” college student. This pandering to illegals is pervasive throughout CA.

  • is this america

    “Attempt to become a US Citizen” – how about when you graduate or turn 18, which ever comes first – your application better be filed or you are subject to deportation. No ifs, ands’ or but’s – you got your free education to graduate from high school – time to stand up and appreciate what you have become or find another country to mooch off of.

  • D417

    All the illegals and “anchor babies” have had their educations paid for by hard-working, tax-paying LEGAL citizens. Their illegal parents who work under the table don’t pay into the system. It’s truly no wonder this state is in the shape it’s in. And now this? When will we stop this nonsense? Start charging illegals to go to our public schools. Quit with the handouts.

  • human rights

    wow! i dont understand how people can blame everything on illegals. why so much hate towards them? just because they dont have a piece of paper that says theyre a US ctizen doesnt make them less human than YOU!.. are they not allowed to seek a better future just like you or your kids?..dont u people think that they would love to be citizens? but the whole process is BS! if u were the one living in poverty with no money to support your family do u think u would wait 10 years for u to become a citizen? while in the meantime u have a family that need u to provide a roof for them? no! im sure u would all do whats best for your families and that what these people are doing. if u give them a faster way of becoming a citizen, they would all apply! all of you sound like IGNORANT red necks and as i read all the comments you all put, it makes me sad to know that so many people feel thsi way.. i wish we could have a time where we didnt ave any illegals here, then u all would see how this country would collapse. they do all the jobs u snotty white people wouldnt even dare to do!… illegals are the hardest working people there is and still dont get payed as much as u do or they dont have benifits like most of us do so stop complaining and blaming everything on these people!!!!… god bless us all

    • GC1008

      This isn’t about race, color or human rights. This is about breaking the laws of our country and getting away with it. And as for rednecks being ignorant, that statement in itself shows both your bias and your ignorance. Don’t talk to me about snotty white people. When I need to make money and clearing brush happens to be what’s available, then that’s what I’ve done. (I’m not too happy with the poison oak end of that particular job, but it goes with the territory) Immigration laws were put into place for a reason and our federal government is not doing anywhere near enough to uphold them and protect our borders. When things get really bad (Ms/Mr.) Human Rights it’s those “ignorant rednecks” you’ll be running to for protections you wouldn’t need if the country was protected now. You say illegals are the hardest working people there “is”. That’s a blanket statement that’s not always true. Some are murdering police officers and committing other crimes. And as for wanting to become citizens? Yes, lots do. But did you see the high school students who put the Mexican flag above an upside down American flag and the girl screaming that they should take back California for Mexico? You’ll figure it out when it’s too late. It’s not just because they don’t have a piece of paper. And there are parents in this state that are citizens of this country whose children can’t get into State school s because of overcrowding or finances and people who break the law are getting in. Ignorant rednecks? You can’t spell, you don’t use proper punctuation…You come off as another ignorant bleeding heart bumper sticker.

  • Fed up

    Welcome to California – where you are expected to pay high taxes but your children will stand behind international students and illegals if they want to attend college here! It’s time to privatize all UC and CS campuses. Sell all of them and save our tax dollars. Better yet, tax them like any corporation doing business in the State.

  • ginny25

    Ture story- when my son, a native born CA (whose parents and 2 prior generations were all CA natives) was applying to colleges; he researched and found the top 10 schools in the country for his particular choice of degree program. It inculded a highly regarded CA. system school. (Our choice because it was close to home). He was accepted to 9 of the 10 schools. The only one to turn him down was the CA school. And the written reason they provided was that because the year he was entering needed to have more hispanic female minority enrollment he did not qualify. YES, they put that in writting and I still have it. Harvard, MIT, Tulane and the others all offered him decent financial packages so it came down to which one offered the best. And when he gradusted from college he did not return to CA to apply his skills, he stayed in the area where he went to college. We found that for the most part schools actually were cheaper (even for out of state students) then our own CA State systems for residents. Sad but true. If CA parents would look outside of CA I bet they would find much higher levels of education at the college and university level than here. Even private colleges here in CA treat CA natives better.

  • mister s

    Im for giving illegals this tuition break and even citizenship…….. just as soon as they complete 4 years or so of military service for this country.

  • san francisco tuition illegals

    […] State Supreme Court Upholds Tuition Break For Illegal Immigrants … Nov 15, 2010 … SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The California Supreme Court ruled Monday that some illegal immigrants are … […]

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