The California Supreme Court building.
Latin America: Week in Review, United States

California Supreme Court Allows Undocumented Immigrants To Get Reduced College Tuition

November 16, 2010 By Staff

The California Supreme Court building.

Today in Latin America

Top StoryCalifornia’s state Supreme Court ruled Monday in a unanimous vote that undocumented immigrants who graduated from state high schools can continue to receive lower, in-state tuition at public universities and colleges.

The ruling is the first of its kind in the United States, which has recently seen a series of high-profile battles about state immigration policies including one over Arizona’s strict immigration law.

“Throughout the country, the California court decision will have reverberations,” said Daniel J. Hurley, director of state relations and policy analysis for the American Association of State Colleges, according to The Los Angeles Times.

The court’s decision overturns a lower-court ruling that stated that the law favors undocumented immigrants over U.S. citizens who live in the state and pay a higher tuition.

California passed a law eight years ago that allowed students without legal residency to attend the University of California, California State University or community colleges on in-state tuition rates. Anti-immigration activists challenged the law and the measure has bounced through the state’s courts since.

The state’s Supreme Court said Monday that law does not conflict with a federal prohibition on education benefits for undocumented immigrants based on residency, because U.S. citizens from other states may receive the benefits as long as they attended high school in California.

“It cannot be the case that states may never give a benefit to unlawful aliens without giving the same benefit to all American citizens,” wrote Justice Ming W. Chin, one of the court’s more conservative justices, in the court’s opinion, according to The New York Times.

In California, Latinos make up over half of all students in public schools and strong support from Latinos helped the Democrats perform well in the state during this year’s midterm elections.

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1 Comment

Aaron says:

Immigrants are the future and it’s better to get them educated and assimilated into the American way of life than it is to keep them down by not letting them get an education if they choose to.

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