JUNE 14, 2012
A special category of tuition created this month for illegal immigrants at a public university in Colorado violates both federal and state law, Judicial Watch points out in a letter to the school’s Board of Trustees.
Therefore JW is calling for the immediate rescinding of the measure, which enables certain unlawfully present aliens to attend the taxpayer-funded school, Metropolitan State College of Denver, without having to pay full non-resident tuition. “In approving this new category of tuition, the College recognized that these students would otherwise be required to pay full non-resident tuition because of their inability to demonstrate lawful presence in the United States,” JW writes.
Because the new category violates both federal law and Colorado law and constitutes an act beyond the powers of the board, it must be reversed. Under federal law illegal immigrants are ineligible for state or local public benefits, including post-secondary education benefits unless a state enacts a measure affirmatively granting the perk.
Though a handful of states—including Texas, California, Utah, Washington and New York— have done this, Colorado has not. In Texas and California the illegal alien discounted tuition measures have been legally challenged and at least three states—Georgia, Oklahoma and Arizona—have solved the contentious issue by creating policies banning discounted tuition for illegal aliens at public colleges.
In this case one school passed the controversial measure, so it would apply only to that Denver campus, which has an enrollment of about 24,000. Founded in 1965, Metro State is a comprehensive college that offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of fields. Its school of business, professional studies, academic affairs and science are considered to be highly regarded.
In announcing the new illegal immigrant tuition rate, the university issued a press release calling it a “historical day” that earned a standing ovation from students, faculty, community members and even state legislators. The Board of Trustees passed the measure, originally proposed by President Stephen Jordan, with a 7-1 vote after hearing testimony from an army of supporters, including “undocumented students” attending the college.
To qualify, candidates must graduate from a Colorado high school or obtain a general equivalency diploma (GED) in the state. Here’s a good one; candidates must also provide a statement that they are in “good legal standing, other than their undocumented or unclassified status.” The goal, after all, is to help “students living in the state of Colorado who through no fault of their own do not have the lawful status to be eligible for resident tuition rates.”
That’s a classic line of the open borders movement, that American taxpayers are somehow responsible for helping illegal aliens brought the country as children “through no fault of their own.” Bottom line is that it violates a number of state and federal laws, though Metro College’s president insists the Board of Trustees has the “legislative authority to establish nonresident rates.”
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