In-state tuition for illegal immigrants survives, Supreme Court declines case
The Supreme Court refused Monday to hear a challenge to a California law that allows illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities.
The US Supreme Court refused on Monday to examine a California law that allows illegal immigrants to attend state colleges and universities at preferential in-state tuition rates that are roughly one-third the cost charged to students from out-of-state.
Under the state law any individual – regardless of immigration status – who graduates from a California high school after attending for three years qualifies for the same tuition discount offered to California residents.
The discounts apply at all public universities in the state, including the system’s most prestigious and highly-competitive institutions.
Eight other states have enacted similar provisions, offering illegal immigrants in those states the same in-state tuition discount offered to state residents. Those states are Illinois, Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, New York, Texas, Utah, and Washington. Oklahoma passed a similar law, but later repealed it.
A group of out-of-state students filed a lawsuit challenging the California law. The suit says the state measure conflicts with and is preempted by a 1996 federal immigration statute that forbids states from offering resident tuition rates to any illegal immigrant unless the state offers the same preferential tuition rates to all US citizens regardless of their state residency.