California Tuition Breaks May Be Challenged in US Supreme Court

California’s policy of offering in-state college tuition to illegal immigrants who graduate from its high schools is being challenged in the US Supreme Court, according to the Los Angeles Times. 

Opponents of the practice are focusing on a provision in a 1996 federal law that says states cannot give “any post secondary benefit” to an “alien who is not lawfully present in the United States…on the basic of residence within a state,” reported the newspaper. The case is being pushed to federal court despite the fact that last year the California Supreme Court upheld the state’s policy, ruling that it did not conflict with federal law.

The paper said that the California law says students qualify for the tuition break based on high school attendance in California for three or more years and graduation from a state high school. State lawyers in turn argue that the policy does not violate federal law since it is based on high school attendance and not residence.

Eleven other states would be affected if the US Supreme Court overrules the California verdict. The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that New York, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Washington, Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Maryland also offer lower in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.