Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Calif. Court Threatens In-State Tuition Break for Undocumented Students

A Cakifornia state appeals court ruled that a break given to undocumented students in state universities violates a federal law that requires the same break must apply to out-of-state students who are U.S. citizens. (See LA Times article.) Any student who graduates from a school in the state and has been there for three years was entitled to in-state tuition rates. This was challenged in a class action suit on behalf of out-of-state students. The court found the practice in violation of The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1991. The ruling restricted only to California will probably lead to similar suits in the other seven states (Illinois included) that also provide an in-state break for all graduates of their schools.

A study of California immigrants by the U.S. Census estimates that they now make up a fourth of the state's population and a third of Los Angeles County's. While nativists give the impression that these hordes will create "a separate nation" -- a charge against German and Scotch-Irish immigrants before the Revolutionary War -- the study also found that the process of assimilation has quickened. More immigrants have become citizens and the English fluency of most Spanish speaking immigrants has increased. Some think this is because the new undocumented are driven to other states because of the economy and those who remain have been here longer. (See LA Times article.)

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