Monday, July 11

Federal judge: Illegal immigrants qualify for tuition breaks

The mess will only get worst.

By Dennis Byrd
The test case turned out in favor of undocumented immigrants being allowed to pay in-state tuition rates to attend state colleges and universities.

No, it was not in Arkansas because the Arkansas Legislature attempted but failed this year to pass legislation that would have allowed immigrants not here legally - sans "papers" in other words - to go to state colleges and universities by paying the same tuition as legal Arkansas residents.

A federal judge in Kansas said decisions on who qualifies for such things as in-state tuition, or perhaps academic scholarships, rest with legislatures and Congress, not with the courts.

Naturally, there will be an appeal.

Out-of-state students getting their postsecondary education in Kansas and some parents sued because they said it was unfair for undocumented immigrants in Kansas to pay a lower rate than they pay. The judge who dismissed the case said the out-of-staters had no standing to challenge the law. The 18 students and six parents who filed the suit were not directly harmed by the state law, U.S. District Judge Richard Rogers said in his 38-page ruling.

The fairness issue was one of the many arguments made by Arkansas legislators.
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