U.S. Supreme Court rules on in-state tuition for illegal immigrants amidst a pending proposal

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June 7, 2011

By Bailey Ludlam

On Monday, June 6, 2011 the United States Supreme Court ruled that the state of California could continue granting reduced, in-state tuition to illegal immigrant college students. The high court's decision comes as referendum efforts continue to develop in Maryland to overturn a similar law.

The recent ruling upholds California Supreme Court's 2010 ruling that said the state law was legal. The court argued that the in-state tuition was based on a student's graduation from a California high school, not on their citizenship. However, opponents argued that the reduced rate was indicative of preferential treatment, which they argued violated federal law. According to reports, a total of twelve other states follow similar practices.[1]

In Maryland, a referendum against a 2011 approved law - Senate Bill 167 moved one step closer to the 2012 statewide ballot. A third of the required petition signatures were submitted on May 31, 2011.[2] In order to qualify a veto referendum on the statewide ballot, a minimum of 55,736 valid petition signatures must be submitted by June 30, 2011. The state's distribution law requires that no more than half of the required signatures be from any one county or the City of Baltimore. The legislation in question would allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state or in-county tuition at Maryland colleges.

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