Court Rulings Help Illegal Immigrants’ College-Bound Children

Ann McClure's picture
Thursday, September 6, 2012

Several states with financial difficulties have moved quietly in recent years to reduce spending on college education by denying low tuition rates and financial aid to American citizens who are the children of illegal immigrants.

But in separate decisions over the past month, courts in New Jersey and Florida have rebuffed those efforts, adding new limits to the measures state officials can take to crack down on illegal immigrants by denying benefits to them and their families.

The latest ruling came on Friday from a federal court in Florida, which threw out state regulations defining American children of parents without legal immigration status as out-of-state residents, ineligible for tuition breaks given to state residents at public colleges and universities. Tuition for out-of-state students can be as much as three times as high as the rate for residents.

The five students who brought the lawsuit against Florida education officials were born in this country. They had been living in Florida for most or all of their lives and had graduated from public high schools there.

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