Students Sue Over Tuition
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Out-of-State Students Sue Over Illigal Immigrant Tuition Break
Attorneys representing non-resident California college students filed a class-action lawsuit against the state Wednesday, arguing against a state education policy that allows lower tuition for illegal immigrants than fees paid by American students from out of state.
The suit filed on behalf of nearly 60,000 out-of-state college students from 19 states claims California circumvented federal law in 2002, granting resident status to illegal aliens for tuition purposes at California's public colleges, including the University of California and California State University systems.
Nine students brought the suit, which seeks to repeal the 2002 law that saves illegal immigrant students between $10,000 to $20,000 a year in out-of-state fees.
"It's pretty ridiculous how much more we pay," U.C. Davis student and Hawaii native Chaning Jang said. "They are giving these kind of tuition kickbacks to illegal immigrants that are not even going to work here when they are done with college."
Meanwhile, many students who benefit from the law say they would be forced out of school by the higher fees if the law is rolled back.
One CSUS student named Enrique graduated from high school in California after immigrating to the U.S. from Mexico when he was 12 years old. "I've been here ten years and they barely moved to this state," Enrique said. "I've been living here and paying taxes and everything. We deserve to have that."
Students must have three years residence in the state and have graduated from a California high school to receive the in-state tuition rates.
California is one of nine states that currently offers discounted tuition to illegal immigrants. A similar lawsuit has also been filed in Kansas.
(This story was provided by News10 KXTV Sacramento.)