Archive for Monday, June 30, 2008

Court denies hearing on immigration tuition law

June 30, 2008


— The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a lawsuit that challenges a Kansas law that allows some illegal immigrants to pay lower in-state tuition for higher education.

The action essentially ends the case, but the attorney who filed the lawsuit said Monday that the challenge may continue.

"At this point, we are trying to decide what to do," said Kris Kobach. "We're considering all of our options," he said.

At issue was a law approved in 2004 that allows children of some undocumented workers to pay the in-state tuition rate if the student lived in Kansas for at least three years, graduated from a Kansas high school, and sought or promised to seek legal status.

Last year, about 240 students benefited from the law, with most attending community colleges.

After the law was enacted, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which seeks to limit immigration, filed a lawsuit in federal court.

The plaintiffs, who were classified as out-of-state students and had to pay the higher tuition to attend Kansas schools, argued that the law violated their constitutional rights of equal protection by granting illegal immigrants a benefit that they couldn't receive.

But a federal court in Topeka and later the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver said the plaintiffs didn't have legal standing to challenge the law because they couldn't show they would have been affected even if the law was struck down.

Without comment last week, the Supreme Court denied a request by FAIR to re-consider those rulings.

But Kobach, who also is chairman of the Kansas Republican Party, said he could challenge the law again with plaintiffs who are in a different situation, or file a new lawsuit in state court with the same kind of plaintiffs.

He said the courts have ruled only on the issue of legal standing, and not on the actual merits of the challenge to the law.

But Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who signed the law, said she was confident it would be upheld by the courts.

"Gov. Sebelius has always been confident in this law which makes college accessible," said her spokeswoman Nicole Corcoran. "Those eligible for in-state tuition must prove they're pursuing citizenship and must pay their own way and are not eligible for state or federal financial aid," she said.


bd 9 years, 9 months ago

Viva la Revolution!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Satirical 9 years, 9 months ago

I would rather have illegal aliens have an education than not, but doesn't it seem contradictory that we don't give in-state tuition to citizen of this country simply because their primary residence is in another STATE, however we give it to people who are here illegally from another NATION?

penguin 9 years, 9 months ago

ok just read the article again and they say 240 students and mostly at community colleges. Some of these CCs do not even have a different rate for out of state residents as long as you agree to live in Kansas for 6 months after you start at the CC.

jafs 9 years, 9 months ago

These laws are patently absurd.We should deport illegal immigrants.Also, I think we should change the laws that make any children born in the US citizens - this might reduce the practice of illegal immigrants coming here and giving birth to "anchor babies".

Satirical 9 years, 9 months ago

geekin..."regardless of who they are sitting next to."What????

Shelley Bock 9 years, 9 months ago

Asbestos...Now there you go again...anyone who disagrees with you is an idiot and unAmerican. "Selling out his constituency"? We'll see if Tom Sloan gets reelected. Do you live in Lawrence? Douglas County? or even Kansas? You're probably an "out-of-stater". You never answered that question before. I bet you live in Texas.

RiverCityConservative 9 years, 9 months ago

We are a nation of immigrants and always have been. Following the logic of those who think we ought to distinguish between those born on U.S. soil whose parents are citizens and those born on U.S. soil whose parents are not citizens, 99 percent of the individuals currently residing in the country would have to give up citizenship rights because for any one of us you can trace lineage back to a U.S. born child of an immigrant. Also, imagine the infinite number of blood tests and DNA analyses that would be required to be absolutely certain each newborn was actually genetically related to his or her father and not the result of a secret dalliance before granting citizenship by birth. This immigration issue is the biggest political and rhetorical boondoggle I've ever seen. If you have a local or personal problem or challenge, the answer is not to try to find a scapegoat--that's the coward's approach. Make an effort to improve things at home, in your community, in yourwork or your art of living--do something constructive instead of trying to tear others down as if you were addicted to hatred. Being born in America is not enough: there is a positive, can-do spirit that comes with this birthright and we have a responsibility take advantage of greater awareness today and avoid the nativist, xenophobic mindset of earlier generations. What parent would really want their descendants to safeguard an attitude as illogical and worthless as racism? You might as well raise and educate your children in an actual prison.

penguin 9 years, 9 months ago

just one point is that these students have to graduate from a Kansas High school and have spent at least 3 years in the state of Kansas. The out of state students come here to go to school and their high tuition allows a university to keep tuition lower for in state students. There are other qualifications that you must meet:A Kansas law that took effect on July 1, 2004 makes eligible for in-state tuition at Kansas public colleges anyone who (1) attends an accredited high school in the state for at least three years, (2) graduates or earns a general education development (GED) certificate in Kansas, and (3) is admitted to or enrolls in a Kansas college. If the person is "without lawful immigration status" that is, an undocumented alien, he must also have filed an affidavit with the college stating that he or his parents have applied to legalize his immigration status or will do so as soon as he is eligible. they get the in state rate, but are not eligible for Pell Grants or Stafford Loans. So these students are not getting a free ride in the form of dollar, but simply pay a reduced rate. Below is a link to all the qualifications one must meet for Federal Financial Aid. even if they wanted to hop the border and run to Kansas for in state tuition it would not occur. This issue sounds more simple than it really is. I guess that is why so few have actually qualified under the program. I know there have been stories done on it that say between 100-200 per year in all of the BOR institutions, but I can't seem to find the articles.

bd 9 years, 9 months ago

So these illegals get in-state tuition and legal out of staters have to pay more????Something is not right!My State tax $ at work!

Godot 9 years, 9 months ago

Valkyrie wrote: "FAIR seeks to improve border security, to stop illegal immigration,"'nuf said.

Miles Nease 9 years, 9 months ago

invictus, you rock!! Keep up the good work.

Kathy Theis-Getto 9 years, 9 months ago

Au contraire. This from their website: FAIR seeks to improve border security, to stop illegal immigration, and to promote immigration levels consistent with the national interest-more traditional rates of about 300,000 a year.FAIR advocates a temporary moratorium on all immigration except spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and a limited number of refugees. A moratorium would allow us to hold a national debate and devise a comprehensive immigration reform strategy. A workable immigration policy is one that would allow us time to regain control of our borders and reduce overall levels of immigration to more traditional levels of about 300,000 a year.Caught 'ya, Godot. Naughty, naughty, naughty..... :-)

Keith 9 years, 9 months ago

"At this point, we are trying to decide what to do," said Kris Kobach.That's pretty much every day with Kris.

Robert Marble 9 years, 9 months ago

That sounds like a good idea....a bit overly generous, perhaps...

Godot 9 years, 9 months ago

"After the law was enacted, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which seeks to limit immigration, filed a lawsuit in federal court."Correction: if telling the true story is the point of this article (which is doubtful) the phrase should be worded, "which seeks to limit illegal immigration."Caught ya, Rothschild. Naughty, naughty, naughty.....

Satirical 9 years, 9 months ago

max1..."What percentage of illegal immigrant children do you think can even afford in-state tuition?"How does that have anything to do with my quote? It is still contradictory even if illegal aliens can or cannot afford in-state tuition.

geekin_topekan 9 years, 9 months ago

So these illegals get in-state tuition and legal out of staters have to pay more????+++"legal" out-of-staters would have to pay more regardless of who they are sitting next to.

RiverCityConservative 9 years, 9 months ago

Those were tough, principled votes taken by state legislators in 2004, and it has been sad to see so much time wasted by mostly out-of-state groups seeking to politicize an issue of basic states' rights, human dignity and fairness. There are also still a few outlying legislators trying to whip up the rhetorical fight on immigrant tuition, but their numbers keep fading, kind of like "one-trick ponies." The more Kobach beats the drum on immigration, the more credence it gives to the impression that Republicans are mean-spirited, which works to the advantage of Democrats and may well deliver that party both a senatorship and our state's electoral votes for president this year. Immigrants have kept many small towns and school districts across the state viable over the past five to ten years, accruing to the benefit of all Kansans. It's laudable that Kansas was able to win the fight against out-of-state xenophobes without much of any organized effort. Up north in Nebraska, there is a group which really works hard to protect the human rights of immigrants in that state, against much harsher competition. On a more local scale, in Kansas City, is , whose former director of research and advocacy, Melinda Lewis, gave important testimony at Topeka to help educate legislators on the benefits of the immigrant tuition bill. A local Lawrence Republican and senior legislator, Tom Sloan, was also a key voice of reason during those debates.

KS 9 years, 9 months ago

Get legal standing and go for it. You will eventually win, Kris!

ASBESTOS 9 years, 9 months ago

Tom Sloan is an idiot and is selling his state, country and constituentcy out. Ilelgal aleins must GO, and illegal aliens supporters need to be flexhed out and proxecuted under the laws, like environmental violators, like other criminals.Laws is laws!

ASBESTOS 9 years, 9 months ago

"Would you mind citing some of those industrialized nations, for argument's sake?"Spain, France, Germany, Canada, Great Britian, Japan, China, South Korea, on and on.Mexico does not recognise children born on their soil as "citizens" either, and they sure as heck don't concern themselves too much about fairness to "other country's" ilelgal aliens in Mexico.And NO, a baby born here is NOT a citizen, the baby's parents must be "under the jurisdiction of the United States", and an illelgal entrant is not under that jurisdiction. A Visa holder, or a visitor (legal entrant) would however.With 330 million and climbing, our population and the economy will foster a very virulent anti illegal alien sensibility. It is no longer acceptable to a majority of American Citizens to be an illegal entrant in the United States.Any politician that holds out the "amnesty" pledge will lose their elections, as have 37 of the last 40 senators, most are Republicans.

ASBESTOS 9 years, 9 months ago

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ebyrdstarr 9 years, 9 months ago

Asbestos, that is not a correct reading of the 14th amendment. The amendment's language is that the person born must be subject to the jurisdiction of the US, not the parents. While the US Supreme Court has never explicitly distinguished between non-citizens who are here legally and those who are not who give birth in the US, they have clearly interpreted this section to grant birthright citizenship to the children of all non-citizens. The Court has at least suggested the US born children of illegal immigrants are citizens.As of right now, the only recognized exceptions to birthright citizenship are the children of diplomats and those born to enemy forces in hostile occupation.

brujablanco 9 years, 9 months ago

invictus says:"You trying to accuse me of racism for wanting my race to merely survive: is ironic. Doesn't that make you the racist?"_________Feeling the need for YOUR race to survive makes it very clear to me who is the racist.

RiverCityConservative 9 years, 9 months ago

What more perfect example of a welfare state than giving away land for free? And do you really believe that every one of your ancestors waited in line at Ellis Island to enter in an orderly fashion? I used the word "immigrant" because certain extremist groups (not you I'm sure) on the right are always trying to win pity points and rhetorical victories by assuming that they are on the legal side of a distinction between documented and undocumented immigrants, all the way back to their original immigrant ancestors. Culture is neutral--each one is different but none is better than any other. For several hundred years, new arrivals in America have been people who appreciate the opportunities and freedoms here. That is as true as ever of our most recent new immigrants as well, They continue to be the most patriotic and optimistic Americans. I have no idea what you mean by "third world" America, but I assume you are not making a racist statement. Each new generation of immigrants has suffered rejection and discrimination and worse: it is this ugly aspect of American society that we ought to be able to overcome through education and awareness. I sincerely believe that it is possible to see immigration from a more enlightened perspective and to be grateful to those who have improved America's future prospects by going through the tough experience of immigrating to a new country. "Land of the free and home of the brave." Let's work to keep our minds free of racism, prejudice, and intolerance!"

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