California Supreme Court justices have agreed to hear arguments on a state law granting in-state tuition to illegal immigrants attending public colleges and universities, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The law, enacted in 2001, currently allows illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities, despite not being legal residents of the state or citizens of the United States.
The challenge to the law, which will remain in effect during the legal challenge, arose from a lawsuit filed by out-of-state students and their parents who argue it is unconstitutional because it conflicts with federal law, and violates both the equal protection clause and privileges and immunity clause of the constitution.
The decision, expected to be handed down later this year, could affect hundreds of college students who don’t have legal status in the United States but reside in California nonetheless.
Nine other states that allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition, including New York, Texas and Oklahoma, could also be affected by the decision, although the will not be bound by the California ruling.
“The implications of this decision extend far beyond California, and far beyond a state's ability to set educational policy, into the heart of the national debate about illegal immigration," Utah Atty. Gen. Mark Shurtleff tells The Times.
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