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CA Supreme Court Rules Illegal Immigrants can Have In-State Tuition

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by rocketsjudoka, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    I have mixed feelings about this as I am a big proponent of immigration and think the illegal immigration scare is overblown. I think CA as a state has a right to grant in state tuition to whoever it wants but in a time when the state and UC system are facing deficits and cutbacks I am not sure now is the time for a move that hurts the UC and Cal State systems fiscally.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40201035/ns/us_news-life

    Calif. court upholds in-state tuition for illegal immigrants
    Justices say law is constitutional because U.S. residents also have access to the reduced rates

    SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court weighed in Monday on the politically charged immigration fray when it ruled that illegal immigrants are entitled to the same tuition breaks offered to in-state high school students to attend public colleges and universities.

    While the ruling applies only to California, the case was closely watched nationally because nine other states, including New York and Texas, have similar laws.

    Republican congressmen Lamar S. Smith of Texas and Steve King of Iowa filed a so-called friends of the court brief urging that illegal immigrants be denied the reduced rate.

    The lawsuit considered by the court was part of a broader legal assault led by immigration legal scholar Kris Kobach, who has filed numerous cases across the country seeking to restrict the rights of illegal immigrants.

    He represented a group of U.S. students who filed the lawsuit seeking to invalidate the California law.

    Kobach did not return a phone call seeking comment about the ruling in California.

    A unanimous state Supreme Court, led by politically conservative Justice Ming Chin, said the California provision was constitutional because U.S. residents also had access to the reduced rates.

    The California Legislature passed the controversial measure in 2001 that allowed any student, regardless of immigration status, who attended a California high school for at least three years and graduated to qualify for in-state tuition at the state's colleges and universities. In-state tuition saves each state college student about $11,000 a year and each University of California student about $23,000 a year.
    A state appellate court ruled in 2008 the law was unconstitutional after a group of out-of-state students who are U.S. citizens filed a lawsuit. The suit alleged the measure violated federal prohibitions barring illegal immigrants from receiving post-secondary benefits not available to U.S. citizens based on state residency.

    However, the state Supreme Court noted the California law says nothing about state residency, a distinction that foes of the plan said shouldn't matter. The Sacramento-based Pacific Legal Foundation, which supports numerous political efforts, said the spirit of federal law was to deny tuition breaks to illegal immigrants.

    "This court has received many briefs making policy arguments for and against section 68130.5's tuition exemption. We have received arguments that section 68130.5 affords deserving students educational opportunities that would not otherwise be available and, conversely, arguments that it flouts the will of Congress, wastes taxpayers' money, and encourages illegal immigration," the Supreme Court ruling noted.

    "But this court does not make policy. Whether Congress's prohibition or the Legislature's exemption is good policy is not for us to say. Rather, we must decide the legal question of whether California's exemption violates Congress's prohibition or is otherwise invalid."

    Foundation attorney Ralph Kasarda, who submitted a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, said California was not in sync with the federal mandate against showing favoritism to illegal immigrants.

    "California's policy is also atrocious financial stewardship," he said.

    The state law also requires illegal immigrants who apply for the in-state tuition to swear they will attempt to become U.S. citizens. The applicants are still barred from receiving federal financial aid.

    "Through their hard work and perseverance, these students have earned the opportunity to attend UC," said University of California president Mark G. Yudof. "Their accomplishments should not be disregarded or their futures jeopardized."

    Kobach also failed to invalidate a similar law in Kansas. His lawsuit in Nebraska is pending.
    The law professor was the chief drafter of Arizona's tough new laws against illegal immigrants, which is pending before a federal appeals court.

    He was elected earlier this month to serve as secretary of state in Kansas.

    Democratic leaders in Washington, D.C., are mulling whether to try to pass immigration reform measures before they lose control of the House of Representatives in January.

    During his re-election campaign, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., promised to try to get a vote on the "DREAM Act," which would create a path to citizenship for youth living in the country illegally who attend college or join the military.

    White House spokesman Luis Miranda said the administration welcomes any opportunity for Congress to take up the proposal. The legislation "is important to both our national security and our economy,"
    Miranda said.

    Meanwhile, retiring Republican Florida Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart is seeking a vote on proposed legislation giving states the option to allow illegal immigrant students to pay in-state tuition.

    "Allowing undocumented students to attend primary and secondary schools but requiring that they pay out-of-state tuition for college creates an unfair financial burden," Diaz-Balart said.
     
  2. StupidMoniker

    StupidMoniker I lost a bet

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    LOL. Getting free schooling that someone has no right to from K-12 is creates an unfair financial burden. Try being an illegal immigrant in Mexico and trying to get free primary and secondary education.
     
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  3. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    How are you a resident of California. . when you are not a resident of the USA?

    Rocket River
     
  4. bucket

    bucket Member

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    Nobody's making that argument.

    "The California Legislature passed the controversial measure in 2001 that allowed any student, regardless of immigration status, who attended a California high school for at least three years and graduated to qualify for in-state tuition at the state's colleges and universities."

    The court declined to say the law was unconstitutional. It didn't say undocumented students have a right to reduced tuition, only that it's not unconstitutional for the state to choose to give it to them. I don't think that's an unreasonable opinion.
     
  5. bnb

    bnb Contributing Member

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    I think most K-12 funding comes from property taxes, assessments and sales taxes -- so in that sense, local schools are not much more of a financial burden to the state for illegal residents then they are for legal ones -- assuming they reside in the area. They don't get a break on their rent or sales taxes on stuff they buy by virtue of being illegals.

    ...but how are you going to keep 'em down on the farm after they've seen UCLA?
     
  6. Ender00

    Ender00 Member

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    I wondering if you are here on student visa and you been here for 3 years, can you get instate tuition rate?
     
  7. Raven

    Raven Member

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    Is all you need to know.
     
  8. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

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    I don't agree with this ruling.
     
  9. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    State residency and US residency aren't the same thing.

    Also:
    [rquoter]However, the state Supreme Court noted the California law says nothing about state residency, a distinction that foes of the plan said shouldn't matter. The Sacramento-based Pacific Legal Foundation, which supports numerous political efforts, said the spirit of federal law was to deny tuition breaks to illegal immigrants.[/rquoter]
     
  10. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    So we should do as Mexico does?
     
  11. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

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    In this case, yes. I think it perfectly reasonable to supply these programs only to those who pay for them via taxes - that's how they are designed.
     
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  12. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    how do illegal immigrants even afford in-state tuition rates?
     
  13. Major

    Major Member

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    Illegal immigrants pay state and local sales and property taxes (through rent). So they sort-of pay for that stuff minus the income tax. In Texas, they basically pay all state & local taxes since we don't have an income tax.

    I don't have a problem with the Supreme Court ruling. I don't think anyone should force the state to do it, but if that's what the state wants, I don't see why it would be unconstitutional (the only question at hand for the court).

    As noted in the article, the court was unanimous in its ruling and there are similar laws here in Texas. So this isn't some crazy liberal illegal immigration agenda.
     
  14. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

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    I knew someone would make this argument. Not terribly convincing, for two reasons: First, it's a hard argument to prove quantitatively and secondly, it still skirts the issue that a social system is designed and intended for the members of that society. If we're going to extend public services to anyone who "kinda-sorta" paid some taxes I think we're headed in the direction of stupid.
     
  15. Major

    Major Member

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    Wait - how is it difficult to prove quantatively? We know they pay sales and property taxes, and we know that most don't pay income taxes. I don't think any of that is in dispute. So just determine what % of California taxes are paid in each form and you know exactly what % of total taxes they pay.

    But for the second part about the social system - I would agree, if California made their social system that way. But they specifically wanted it to support illegal immigrants going to college. If that's the case, where's the Constitutional argument that it's not allowed?

    Besides which, we already extend a lot of social services to people who kinda-sorta pay taxes. Kids of illegal immigrants can go to public schools, they get emergency care, they have access to police and fire services, etc.
     
  16. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

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    How are you going to prove that a particular illegal immigrant paid the necessary taxes?

    It's not an axiom system and I am not referring to the legal interpretation concluded upon in the trial. I'm simply protesting the concept or, to be more accurate, the implications of this decision. Socialist systems such as these should be built on equal participation in the society by which they were founded, organized, and funded.
     
  17. Ubiquitin

    Ubiquitin Contributing Member
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    This is preposterous. The Cal system will never recovery.
     
  18. SunsRocketsfan

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    California system/govt is r****ded.. from the supreme court to the governor to the senators
     
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  19. Major

    Major Member

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    We don't link social services to the taxes an individual pays. The whole idea of social services is a shared service. We can't prove that an individual legal citizen paid the necessary taxes either.

    Fair enough - you mentioned you disagreed with the ruling; I took that to mean you disagreed with the court decision. You seem more opposed to the California law itself. As I mentioned, that's something for California's citizens to decide through its legislature. I'm probably with you that I wouldn't do it if I ran the state, especially given their financial difficulties.
     
  20. Major

    Major Member

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    Clearly, you didn't read the article. The conservatives on the court agreed with the decision. Other courts in other places (like Kansas) have made the same ruling. Nine other states, including Texas, have the same basic law in place.

    It has nothing whatsoever to do with California.
     

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