So Much for States’ Rights

By Guest Columnist Sep 16, 2008

by Jarad Sanchez NWFCO For years, California has allowed undocumented students who have met stringent requirements to pay in-state tuition at all state colleges and universities. This week a California State Court of Appeal ruled this week that the law can be reviewed in court and possibly struck down if the court finds the bill to be in violation of federal law. The plaintiffs, ironically, are out-of-state students claiming that they were wronged for having to pay out-of-state tuition. I say ironic for two reasons. It’s clear that the intent of this lawsuit is to punish the undocumented, not to redress any financial hardship placed on California’s out-of-state students. The attorney for the plaintiffs stated, "This is going to bring a halt to the law that has been giving in-state tuition to illegal immigrants." He made no mention of the good it would do his clients. There probably isn’t any, they won’t get refunds. It should also be noted that the attorney, Kris Kobach, has made an entire career of making life difficult for the documented and undocumented immigrant alike. This case is also sadly ironic in that a great many of the students who will be hurt, the ones who currently pay in-state tuition, have lived in California years longer than the plaintiffs from out of town. And they have lived in the U.S. longer than their home countries. By any measure, they are more Californian than others and more American than not. Yet Congress has made no accommodation, no path to citizenship, for these children who did not cross a border of their own free will. And the same folks who wrap themselves in the banner of “states’ rights” refuse to allow states that offer compassion as opposed to persecution to exist in peace. Xenophobia, it seems, will have its day in court.