Court Upholds UC Financial Aid to Undocumented Students
The state Supreme Court rejected a conservative group’s challenge Wednesday to laws that grant unauthorized immigrants who attend the University of California the same eligibility for financial benefits such as scholarships, loans and in-state tuition as other residents.
California residents, regardless of immigration status, pay $12,294 a year in tuition and fees at UC campuses. Non-residents pay an additional $26,682.
The court’s action comes as political leaders in California prepare to contest President Trump’s efforts to strip funding from cities and states that refuse to take part in stepped-up federal immigration enforcement and deportation efforts.
In addition to the “sanctuary city” policies in San Francisco and elsewhere that limit cooperation with federal immigration agents, California has made unauthorized immigrants eligible for driver’s licenses and membership in the State Bar.
The court case stems from a 1996 federal law that made immigrants who lack legal status ineligible for state education benefits unless a state passed its own law that made them eligible. California lawmakers proceeded to pass statutes in 2001, 2011 and 2014 that declared unauthorized migrants eligible for in-state tuition and state-backed financial aid and loan programs.
The state’s high court rejected a challenge to the in-state tuition law in 2010, but Judicial Watch, a conservative nonprofit, filed a new suit contesting any such benefits at the University of California...