In separate decisions over the past month, courts in New Jersey and Florida have rebuffed state efforts to reduce spending on college education by denying low tuition rates and financial aid to American citizens whose parents are illegal immigrants, The New York Times reports. The latest ruling came from a federal court in Florida, which threw out state regulations defining American children of parents without legal immigration status as out-of-state residents, ineligible for tuition breaks at public colleges and universities. Tuition for out-of-state students can be as much as three times the rate for residents. The five students who brought the lawsuit against Florida education officials were born in this country, had been living in Florida for most or all of their lives, and had graduated from public high schools there. In a broad decision, Judge K. Michael Moore of Federal District Court in Miami found the regulations unconstitutional because they “create a second-tier status of U.S. citizenship,” by denying benefits to the students freely available to other Americans. The policy “does not advance any legitimate state interest,” the judge wrote, while it hindered Florida’s goal of “furthering educational opportunities for its own residents.” The lawsuit was brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama.
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Source: PEN Newsblast