Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Undocumented Students Lose in California Court

The battles over access to colleges and universities for undocumented students continues.  The California Court of Appeals in a decision issued yesterday ruled that a state law that allows uundocumented immigrants to pay resident fees for the University of California and other California colleges conflicts with federal law.  The court reversed a lower court's decision that there were no substantial legal issues and sent the case back for trial. Law professor Kris Kobach (Missouri-Kansas City) was an attorney for the plaintiffs, out-of-state students attending California colleges.

The suit was dismissed by the Yolo County Superior Court in 2006. The Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento held that the California law conflicts with federal law.

Click here for the opinion. Expect further appeals, first to the California Supreme Court.  Stay tuned!

UPDATE  The University of California has announced that it will be appealing the AB 540 appellate court ruling to the State Supreme Court.  UC will continue to award AB 540 tuition exemptions during the appeal process, which could take over a year or more. The ruling has not changed the University's tuition exemption program. The announcement can be viewed at http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/18617  See also a letter issued by General Counsel for the California Community College Chancellor's Office, which essentially says the same thing. The decision can be read at: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/C054124.PDF



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