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Supreme Court lets states give in-state tuition to illegal aliens (California)

A California law lets illegal aliens get in-state tuition rates which, as described on the DREAM Act page, allows illegal aliens to deprive some citizens of college or get a better rate on college than some citizens. The US Supreme Court earlier today refused to hear a challenge to California's law [1]. That has the effect of allowing California to continue giving citizens of other countries who are here illegally to get a better college rate than out-of-state U.S. citizens. This may also allow other states that have similar laws to continue the same practice. Note that the Supremes didn't issue a ruling, they simply refused to hear the case. This, at least for now, upholds a decision by the California Supreme Court.

California is able to give illegal aliens a better deal than citizens due to a disingenuous technicality. Federal law already says that states must give citizens any tuition breaks they're giving to illegal aliens. To get around that, the California law isn't for illegal aliens, but for those who've graduated from California high schools. It's designed to give tuition breaks to illegal aliens, but by making it for graduates of California high schools, they're able to skirt federal law.

There's no word on what role Sonia Sotomayor played in the decision not the hear the case, but she can't have helped. See her name's link for who's to blame for her being on the court.

Rather than lawsuits, the far more effective and far less expensive way to oppose such laws is to ask politicians the question on the DREAM Act page using the question authority plan. Turning popular opinion against lawmakers who push laws like the one in California will send a very strong message.

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[1] From this:

...Under this interpretation, a student from Oregon who graduates from a high school in California could obtain in-state tuition in the University of California system. In defense of its law, California education officials said that many of those who took advantage of its in-state tuition policy were U.S. citizens who hailed from other states.

Overall, the state said about 41,000 students last year took advantage of this special tuition rule, but the vast majority of those were students at a community college. In 2009, the 10-campus UC system said 2,019 students paid in-state tuition under the terms of the state law. Of these, about 600 were believed to be illegal immigrants.

The court's action turning down the appeal is not an official ruling, but it leaves in place laws in 11 other states that permit illegal immigrants to obtain in-state tuition. They are Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin...

Citing this confusion over the meaning of federal law, the Washington-based Immigration Reform Law Institute had appealed the California case to the Supreme Court. Kris W. Kobach, a Kansas lawyer and counsel for the group, said the federal law "will become a dead letter in any state where the legislature is willing to play semantic games to defeat the objectives of Congress."

Other tags: kris kobach

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 12:00 · Importance: 4