Archive for Wednesday, September 17, 2008

In-state tuition law rejected in Calif.

Attorney says Kansas should repeal benefit for immigrant students

September 17, 2008

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— A California court has ruled against a law similar to the Kansas law that provides a way for some undocumented students to pay lower-cost in-state tuition.

Kris Kobach, the lead attorney challenging the California law, said Tuesday that the decision by a California appellate court was relevant to Kansas. The ruling said the California law was in conflict with federal statute.

"The legal question is now decided," said Kobach, who also is chairman of the Kansas Republican Party and a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. "This has huge repercussions for Kansas."

Kobach said the Kansas Legislature should repeal the Kansas law when the 2009 session starts in January because it conflicts with federal law.

But Attorney General Steve Six's office disagreed, issuing this statement: "The California court's decision has no legal impact on Kansas' statute. Federal courts have rejected Mr. Kobach's challenge to the Kansas law."

Under the Kansas law, the children of illegal immigrants may have the benefit of paying the lower in-state tuition if they lived in Kansas for three years, graduated from a Kansas high school and promised to seek citizenship. The requirements under the California law were similar in applying to the California higher education system.

Federal law says that illegal immigrants aren't eligible for any postsecondary education benefit on the basis of residence. Supporters of the state laws argued that the in-state tuition was not based on residence but on the high school graduation requirement.

The California appellate court dismissed that reasoning, saying the state law set up a "surrogate residence requirement." The court reversed a lower court dismissal of the lawsuit, and has said a trial should be held. The plaintiffs are U.S. citizens from other states who must pay the higher out-of-state tuition rates.

The legal dispute has produced different results in Kansas.

In the Kansas lawsuit, a federal court in Topeka and later the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver said the plaintiffs who challenged the law didn't have legal standing to do so because they couldn't show they would have been affected even if the law were struck down. The U.S. Supreme Court denied a request to reconsider those rulings.

But Kobach, who was also the attorney in that lawsuit, said the courts in the Kansas case had ruled only on the issue of legal standing, and not on the actual merits of the challenge to the law.

In Kansas, approximately 240 students are paying in-state tuition under the law, according to the Kansas Board of Regents. Most are attending community colleges.

Since the law was enacted in 2004, there have been numerous unsuccessful attempts to repeal it.

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

Comments

KS 6 years, 6 months ago

Having legal standing and giving a legal opinion on the law seem to me to be two different issues. I predict the same decision will come down in Kansas sooner or later. Might as well start now.

Haiku_Cuckoo 6 years, 6 months ago

"The better solution?Pass a law that grants resident tuition to SOME residents of other states. For example: those who once lived in the state but moved later or the children of alumni of Kansas colleges."Wrong. The better solution is to obtain citizenship the same way other immigrants do. There must be no special privileges for people who fail to follow the laws of this country.

Sigmund 6 years, 6 months ago

The California courts are still crazy, just not THAT crazy!

texburgh 6 years, 6 months ago

Who supports the law? Kansas Association of School BoardsKansas School AdministratorsKansas NEAKansas Board of RegentsKansas Families for EducationMethodist Women of KansasKansas Catholic ConferenceWho opposes the law?Kris Kobach and the Kansas Taliban that holds the leadership of the Kansas Republican party.Why did Kobach's suit fail?Because the illegal immigrant parents of these children spent years in Kansas paying taxes - sales taxes on their purchases, indirect property taxes through their rent, income taxes for which they do not claim refunds. Those taxes support our educational institutions. Residents of other states pay no taxes to support our institutions.Why these kids are not "illegals."They came to the US with their parents not knowing their own status and not making the decision to come. Some are even citizens having been born here. The US does not give these children immigration status until they reach adulthood - just about the time they look to go to college. This "benefit" does not apply to them until they agree to pursue citizenship or legal status as soon as they are legally able to do so. They cannot on their own pursue such status as minors.The better solution?Pass a law that grants resident tuition to SOME residents of other states. For example: those who once lived in the state but moved later or the children of alumni of Kansas colleges.What does the Kobach Taliban forget?The teachings of Jesus whom they pretend to worship. Matthew 25 - "That which you do for the least among you, you do also for me."

aeroscout17 6 years, 6 months ago

Sorry, this is all BS. If I came from another state as a documented U.S. citizen, I would have to pay more tuition (being an out-of-state resident) than an immigrant who is not a citizen of the U.S. Let us get real here. If this had happened when I was still in school, I would be filing a class action law suit for a refund of tuition because if a person who is not a legal resident (read undocumented alien, illegal alien, or however you want) can get a tuition break, why couldn't I?

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

Agreed, Haiku.If they're here illegally, they should obtain no privileges at all, and should be sent back.At the same time, we should probably reform the immigration process to make it more efficient and fair for those seeking legal status.

John Hamm 6 years, 6 months ago

Who opposes the law?Kris Kobach and the Kansas Taliban that holds the leadership of the Kansas Republican party.You can add me to the list of opposers and I'm neither of your ill chosen possibilities.What part of "illegal" do you not understand?

KU_cynic 6 years, 6 months ago

I understand that "somebody" must advocate via the courts on both sides of this and similar issues involving undocumented immigrants. That said, I don't know how Kris Kobach goes to bed each night knowing that he's spent his time and talents persecuting some of the most vulnerable people in our society. As an independent-minded Republican I'm ashamed that he's the head of the party and a past and likely future office seeker. He'll never get my vote, and anyone who cozies up to him will have a check against them in my book.

saoirseglen 6 years, 6 months ago

Just because an illegal immigrant graduated from high school does not mean the graduate is any less illegal nor any more a state resident or citizen.

BorderRat 6 years, 6 months ago

Texburgh, while I agree with you that most undocumented persons in this country indirectly pay property taxes through rent and and sales taxes on their purchases, most are not due a Income Tax refund as they have been "coached" on taking maximum deductions on their W-2's where they would have to pay taxes if they did in fact file.

kansas778 6 years, 6 months ago

Where's bozo et al to chime in by saying that you all are a bunch of racists! LOLKU_cynic, I imagine he sleeps just fine knowing that he is advocating for his fellow citizens against law-breakers. It's interesting that you consider these people part of "our society" when that is exactly what is at issue here. They are not part of our society as they have not been given permission to enter it. They have committed violence against our society by breaking its laws. And you wish to reward this?

dweezil222 6 years, 6 months ago

The payment of taxes alone does not excuse the fact that they broke the law by coming into this country illegally. I have no problem with legal immigration. What I have a problem with is the ability of a large body of people, who are by legal definition criminals, able to profit from their crimes, with the state's knowledge and even open endorsement.

hs_reader 6 years, 6 months ago

"Texburgh, while I agree with you that most undocumented persons in this country indirectly pay property taxes through rent and and sales taxes on their purchases, most are not due a Income Tax refund as they have been "coached" on taking maximum deductions on their W-2's where they would have to pay taxes if they did in fact file."How can they deduct if they don't file in the first place? Just a question, I don't really pay attention to tax laws. And I agree, you can't compare illegals who have paid sales tax, ect. for years to out of state students. If they wanted a tuition break they should have tried to get residence in this state.

andreainkansas 6 years, 6 months ago

Also, there IS a difference between being a resident of a state and being a legal permanent resident or a citizen of the U.S. Gosh, people, do I need to loan you my civil procedure book and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure????

Mixolydian 6 years, 6 months ago

geniusmannumber1 (Anonymous) says: They took our jerbs!=============================Ha! Good one. Too funny. Jerbs!

andreainkansas 6 years, 6 months ago

In reference to the first comment: Yes, there is a different between a legal issue and legal standing. Kobach's problem is that he can't sue without finding plaintiffs with legal standing. And he's probably never going to find them because the law doesn't harm US citizen students, regardless of what there tuition residency status is. It doesn't affect them, on the face of the law or as a result of the law. Period. You can't sue someone in this country if you aren't injured. That's the rule, folks, and there's plenty of reasons for that rule.

kansas778 6 years, 6 months ago

jackbinkel--what exactly is it about breaking the law that you find so humorous?

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