SACRAMENTO – The California Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that students who attend at least three years of high school in California and who graduate from a California high school are eligible for in-state tuition rates at California public colleges and universities, regardless of their immigration status. The court found that federal law did not bar California from offering tuition equality to students. California is one of 10 states to grant tuition equality to its students.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case,Martinez v. Regents of the University of California, along with the National Immigration Law Center, the ACLU of Northern California, the ACLU of Southern California and the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties.
The following can be attributed to Lee Gelernt, Deputy Director of the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project:
"This law provides a lifeline for hard-working students, many of whom were brought to this country based on the choices of their parents and have grown up in low-income households. These students have persevered, often against long odds, to graduate from high school and gain acceptance into a state university or college. We are delighted that the court has ruled that these students should be granted the same opportunity to obtain an affordable education as their classmates."
The following can be attributed to Lucas Guttentag, Director of the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project:
"The court correctly rejected a misguided and politically-motivated campaign that attacked the state's education policy and tried to stifle the hopes and intellectual ambitions of the students of California. This lawsuit and similar lawsuits in other states are shortsighted, mean-spirited and driven purely by politics. We hope the court's decision will send an unmistakable message that dedicated college students should not be used as pawns for political purposes."