Posted Sep 06, 2012 09:30 pm CDT
Updated: A federal judge in Florida ruled this week that students in state-supported colleges and universities can’t be charged out-of-state tuition just because their parents are in the country illegally.
Such a policy violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause, U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore ruled Friday, according to the Associate Press and other news outlets.
In his 19-page decision (PDF), the judge said the relationship between the residences of the plaintiffs, their parents’ immigration status and the interest of the state in providing a quality university education is “too weak” to justify the state’s policy, Fox News Latino reported.
“The state regulations deny a benefit and create unique obstacles to attain public post-secondary public education for U.S. citizen children who would otherwise qualify for in-state tuition,” he wrote.
The underlying case was brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center on behalf of five university students denied in-state tuition because they could not prove that their parents were in the country legally.
Jerri Katzerman, the center’s deputy legal director, told the Associated Press that the ruling could give thousands of students greater access to a higher education.
State education officials are quoted saying that lawyers were reviewing the ruling and that no decision had been made on whether to appeal.
Florida Times-Union: Judge: Florida can’t charge out-of-state tuition to legal residents because of parents’ immigration status
Last updated 9:30 p.m. Thursday to write through the post and add the judge’s decision.