Wednesday, September 17, 2008

California Court on In-state Tuition for illegals

California Court of Appeals has weighed in with a decision on illegal aliens and In-state Tuition, declaring it unconstitutional:

A three judge panel of the California Court of Appeals unanimously ruled Monday that a California law intended to permit illegal aliens to attend public colleges and universities at in-state tuition rates is unconstitutional because it conflicts with federal law, and violates both the equal protection clause and privileges and immunity clause of the constitution. Ruling in the case of Martinez et al. v. Regents of the University of California, brought by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) on behalf of some 80,000 nonresident American students who were denied in-state tuition benefits, the Appeals Court agreed that California policy violates expressed provisions of both the Immigration Act and the Welfare Reform Act of 1996.

The 1996 Immigration Act states that "an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the basis of residence within a State...for any postsecondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of the United States is eligible for such a benefit..." In their ruling, the judges concluded that a California law that recognizes illegal aliens as residents for the purpose of attending public colleges and universities at taxpayer subsidized tuition rates, "does, and was intended to, benefit illegal aliens" - a benefit that the state fails to provide to U.S. citizens from other states. The court also granted injunctive relief to nonresident American students, meaning that they must be permitted to pay in-state tuition. Students who have already paid out-of-state tuition rates must be reimbursed."

This decision should be a call to action in Utah to repeal in-state tuition for illegals. Obviously court cases may continue, but the salient point in this decision is that some in the Utah government have used the original court decision (no standing) as a reason to allow continuing the Utah illegal alien in-state law.

This case is based on virtually the same scenario as Utah's situation, and the California Court ruled on the RESIDENCY issue. A letter to U of U from the AG's office opines:

"This Utah statute provides, by its own terms, that it is only operational “[i]f allowed under federal law”. Federal law places limitations on a state allowing higher educational benefits to aliens who are not lawfully present in the United States unless the same benefits would be available to any other individuals in the United States regardless of whether they are residents of Utah." . . .

"We have not found applicable judicial opinions interpreting 8 U.S.C. Section 1623, so there is always the possibility that a different or more strict interpretation might be applied by the courts, but on its face, at this preliminary juncture, we are of the opinion that it does not override Utah’s tuition statute."

It appears that opinion has now been offered - Martinez v. Regents of U.C. 9/15/08 CA3 :

"2. Respondents argue in-state tuition is not granted "on the basis of residence within a state" as required by federal law. Respondents point to the fact that in-state tuition for illegal aliens is based on a student’s having attended a California high school for three or more years and on the student’s having graduated from a California high school or having attained "the equivalent thereof." (§ 68130.5, fn. 1 ante.) As we shall explain, the three-year attendance requirement at a California high school is a surrogate residence requirement. The vast majority of students who attend a California high school for three years are residents of the state of California. Section 68130.5 thwarts the will of Congress manifest in title 8 U.S.C. section 1623.
We shall conclude the trial court erred in determining the complaint failed as a matter of law. We shall reverse the judgment of dismissal and allow the case to proceed in the trial court."

As has been testified many times before Utah legislative committees, there is a huge POTENTIAL liability to the taxpayers of Utah in continuing this action - Instate Tuition for illegal aliens should be repealed as soon as possible. The estimated liability to Utah may be in the $100's of millions.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

2008 GOP National Platform - Immigration

It appears the 2008 GOP platform on illegal immigration has changed from 2004 (amnesty) - for the better!!! The GOP apparently may have listen to its grassroots constituents' inputs - Now, if only the elected officials would now heed those wishes.
"Immigration, National Security, and the Rule of Law" shows up on page 3 of the 67 page document" - 2008 excerpts:

"Immigration policy is a national security issue, for which we have one test: Does it serve the national interest?"

"Experience shows that enforcement of existing laws is effective in reducing and reversing illegal immigration. Our commitment to the rule of law means smarter enforcement at the workplace, against illegal workers and lawbreaking employers alike, along with those who practice identity theft and traffic in fraudulent documents. As long as jobs are available in the United States, economic incentives to enter illegally will persist."

"the denial of federal funds, for self described sanctuary cities,"

"It does not mean driver’s licenses for illegal aliens, nor does it mean that states should be allowed to flout the federal law barring them from giving in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens, nor does it mean that illegal aliens should receive social security benefits, or other public benefits, except as provided by federal law."

THIS was REMOVED from the 2004 platform: "President Bush has proposed a new temporary worker program that applies when no Americans can be found to fill the jobs. This new program would allow workers who currently hold jobs to come out of the shadows and to participate legally in America’’s economy. It would allow men and women who enter the program to apply for citizenship in the same manner as those who apply from outside the United States."

Regrettably, they failed to include anything on "anchor babies." Inclusion of a restriction on the interpretation of the 14 th amendment giving citizenship to those born within the geographic boundaries of the US was defeated in the platform committee.

Click here for Michelle Malkin's comments on this immigration platform plank.

Now we will have to keep Pres. McCain on the straight and narrow on the issue!!! There appears some differences with McCain past positions:
"The 2004 platform also reflected the position of Arizona Senator McCain, who co-sponsored legislation last year that would have overhauled the immigration system and offered an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants a path to citizenship while tightening the border with Mexico and creating a guest- worker program. He has since said the U.S. must secure its borders before changing the system."