Immigration Law

California High Court Says Illegal Immigrants Qualify for In-State Tuition

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In a first for the nation, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously that illegal immigrants who graduate from state high schools can receive lower tuition at California’s public universities and colleges.

Reporting on Monday’s ruling, the Los Angeles Times notes that California is one of 10 states that allow undocumented immigrants the opportunity to receive in-state tuition.

Daniel J. Hurley, director of state relations and policy analysis for the American Assn. of State Colleges, tells the Times that he expects the decision will have repercussions in the other nine states, discouraging challenges to similar policies.

Ralph Kasarda, a lawyer for the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation, denounced the ruling as failing to acknowledge “clear tension between federal law and the state’s special financial benefits for illegal immigrant students.”

Federal law bars illegal immigrants from receiving college benefits based on residency and not provided to all citizens.

The Times notes that the case, Martinez v. U.C. Regents (PDF), is expected to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Related coverage:

The Recorder: “Justices Uphold California Law Allowing Illegal Immigrants to Pay In-State Tuition”

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