Due to an ongoing health crisis in the family, blogging will be 'on and off' as time and circumstances permit for the foreseeable future. I also beg your indulgence if I am slow in responding to emails. New posts will appear below this notice.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Calif. court upholds in-state tuition for illegal immigrants

California
SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court weighed in Monday on the politically charged immigration fray when it ruled that illegal immigrants are entitled to the same tuition breaks offered to in-state high school students to attend public colleges and universities.

While the ruling applies only to California, the case was closely watched nationally because nine other states, including New York and Texas, have similar laws.

Republican congressmen Lamar S. Smith of Texas and Steve King of Iowa filed a so-called friends of the court brief urging that illegal immigrants be denied the reduced rate.

The lawsuit considered by the court was part of a broader legal assault led by immigration legal scholar Kris Kobach, who has filed numerous cases across the country seeking to restrict the rights of illegal immigrants.

He represented a group of U.S. students who filed the lawsuit seeking to invalidate the California law.
Read the rest here.

20 comments:

gdelassu said...

I cannot imagine why you might choose to illustrate this entry with a picture of someone committing suicide.

Anam Cara said...

WOW! Does this mean that my granddaughter can go to California and get a free college education even though she isn't a resident of the state? What great news! Now we just have to get her citizenship from another country!

gdelassu said...

Does this mean that my granddaughter can go to California and get a free college education even though she isn't a resident of the state? What great news! Now we just have to get her citizenship from another country!

Two brief responses:
1) The California law at issue in this suit does not give illegal aliens free college education. It simply allows certain illegal aliens to pay "in-state" tuition rates. Even "in-state" tuition is hardly free.

2) The law does not say "if you are a citizen of a foreign country, you get 'in-state' tuition." The law says "if you go to a California high-school for three years, you get 'in-state' tuition." Has your granddaughter gone to a California high school for three years? If so, she gets the better rate already. No need to trouble yourself engaging a Mexican immigration lawyer.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

why you might choose to illustrate this entry with a picture of someone committing suicide

Because California refuses to maintain its territorial and cultural integrity by, among other things, preserving public resources for Californians. A democratic State that refuses to maintain its borders and refuses to safeguard the public purse will eventually cease to exist. Government becomes an inter-tribal spoils fight, and when there are no more spoils left to fight over, that is, when the net tax payors have either left or balkanized, the functional and territorially discrete State disappears. California will devolve into its constituent nations.

Followed by the US.

gdelassu said...

Because California refuses to maintain its territorial and cultural integrity...

"Territorial integrity"? Is California involved in border disputes? Is Arizona making a bid to annex Window Rock and Ft. Defiance? I confess that I must have missed those news reports.

As for "cultural integrity," I cannot even imagine what this term is meant to signify. I dare say that the culture of California in the 1950s was quite a bit different than California in the 1850s, and yet no one doubts that it was the same state throughout those cultural transitions.

A democratic State that refuses to maintain its borders and refuses to safeguard the public purse will eventually cease to exist.

No doubt. That said, you will be hard pressed to convince me that the real threat to the Californian public purse comes from Mexicans in California colleges. California has much bigger problems than kids whose parents have paid years of property and sales taxes (and often income taxes and various license fees) paying "in-state" tuition rates at California public colleges.

I could understand the suicide photo above a story about a missed chance at pension reform for state employees, or about another tax increase struck down at the California ballot box. Appended above a story about college tuition, however, the photo appears like just so much exaggeration and nonsense.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

you will be hard pressed to convince me that the real threat to the Californian public purse comes from Mexicans in California colleges.

I'm well aware of the fact that California is a state that is run for the benefit of old white retirees. That does not change the essential facts: immigrants are not coming to California to be Californians; they are Mexicans who have decided to live in California. Consequently, they have no interest in being somebody else's tax fodder and I certainly don't blame them. And after several decades of pretending Mexicans want to be Californians, the State has a multi-billion dollar deficit.

This is different on many levels from the 49'ers, the Okies, and the men who shipped out to fight WW2 or came for the aerospace industry.

Incidentally, Mexicans take things like territorial and cultural integrity very seriously--one might say deathly seriously--even if you don't.

Anonymous said...

"immigrants are not coming to California to be Californians; they are Mexicans who have decided to live in California."


You really need to brush up on your stereotypes.

Quite a few undocumented immigrants in California come from Ireland, Poland, Ukraine, China, Vietnam, the Phillipines.

As for Latinos, quite a few come from Honduras, Guatamala, El Salvador, etc;

After a few decades, most are not interested in going "home". Their children are "Americans".


If you wish to be a bigot, be an accurate bigot rather than magnificently illustrating the limited intelligence and insights of one who terms himself "Anti-Gnostic",i.e; anti-knowledge.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Ahem cough cough

I think this a good point to note that my illustration was a reference to California's fiscal insanity (the state is bankrupt in all but name). It had no racialist or "cultural" message. I am not a fan of the modern "know nothingism" that is sweeping the country and rehashing the same arguments used to exclude Poles, Jews and the Irish.

That said I must ask that we stay on topic (California's finances and the idiocy of burdening the tax payers of a bankrupt state with supplying costly benefits to those who are here illegally). Also please refrain from Ad Hominem attacks.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Gnosticism is not "knowledge." It is heresy, and a fatal conceit.

Per John's request, I will confine myself to pointing out that California and by extension the US is what you get when you combine open borders with a welfare state. Like Milton Friedman said, you can't have both.

gdelassu said...

the idiocy of burdening the tax payers of a bankrupt state with supplying costly benefits to those who are here illegally

A brief comment on the "burden" to taxpayers: I work at a university, so I have easy access to Lexis Nexis. I went and pulled up the brief in this case filed by the folks arguing that the California law should be overturned and illegal immigrants should not be allowed to pay "in-state" tuition (the appellants). The appellants claim that there are 25 thousand illegal immigrants paying in-state tuition each year under this law. They cite no source for that figure, and they have every incentive to inflate it, but let us take it as genuine arguendo.

The UC system's website claims that they have 220 thousand students at this time. The Cal State system's website claims 433 thousand. Presumably some of those 25 thousand illegal immigrant students that the appellants claim are getting "in-state" benefits are enrolled in the California Community College system, but in order to maximize their projected cost to the California taxpayer, I will pretend as if they were all enrolled in the UC and Cal State system and not even factor CCC numbers into my tallies. This means that those 25 thousand students amount to 3.8% (call it 4%) of the total student population in California public colleges.

Imagine if you made them all pay "out-of-state" tuition. This could, at most, reduce the state's outlays for higher education by 4%. That is, of course, a totally bogus approach to the math. In reality the marginal costs of these students are quite small and even if you deported every last one of them the costs of running the UC and Cal State systems would not decline even 1%, but let us imagine that the 4% drop in enrollment translated into a 4% reduction in public outlays to support the schools.

According to the Governor's Budget Summary (p.14) higher education accounts for 10.6% of the state's outlays each year. If you reduce that by 4%, you will now have higher education at 10.2% of the budget. You will, in other words, have shaved 0.4% out of the pie.

Is 0.4% really that much of a burden? I am not buying it. If Californians are really concerned about their state finances (and they should be), why did they just reject Prop 19? The state spends much more each year incarcerating drug pushers ($1.6 billion) than it spends on higher education for illegal immigrants ($506 million).

Moreover, to look at the education costs as pure cost with no benefit is rather short sighted. Many of these folks will eventually marry Californians and get their immigration status legalized. Many others will stick around in California over the long term despite their undocumented status. Education will help these folks to contribute more productively to California. Is it better to have these folks consigned to a permanent underclass where their ability to contribute productively to society is greatly limited? Is that what California really regards as its own self-interest? If California taxpayers must bear an extra 0.4% burden in order to achieve a more productive population, is that really such a bad bargain, especially when, as I mentioned before, far larger budget cuts could be achieved at much lower social cost by ending modern day Prohibition?

I stand by my earlier claim. The suicide photo might make sense on an article about tax reform or pension reform or prison reform, but appended above this particular story it is simply nonsense on stilts.

The Archer of the Forest said...

I did a little calculating of my own from the information on the Cal State and UC systems in terms of their in state v. out of state tuition rates.

According to the UC website, fees (just tuition, not room/board,books,insurance, etc.) are $11285 for a resident and $34164 for a non-resident undergraduate.

The Cal State system website made it hard to figure out exactly what an out of state tuition would be, but I found a blurb on one of the pages that said that out-of-state tuition was calculated at $320 per semester unit on top of the $5180 in-state tuition. Assuming that some one is taking 5 classes a semester, that's $1600 plus the $5180 regular tuition for a total of $6780 in tuition fees.

I am going to assume what the No. 10 comment above assumes in that Community Colleges are factored out and that 25000 illegal immigrants are actually paying in-state tuition.

Given that Cal State seems to be much for affordable in terms of out of state tuition, I am going to make a guess (out of the air) that 2/3's of the illegal immigrants are going to Cal State instead of UC for financial reasons. (16000 to Cal State and 8000 to UC).

As such, I calculate that 8000 UC students paying $34164 in tuition is $273,312,000 vs. 8000 students paying $11285 in tuition is $90,288,000.

Likewise, 16000 Cal State students paying $6780 in tuition is $108,480,000 vs 16000 students playing $5180 a year is $82,880,000.

Thus, that grand total of what this is costing the state in lost out-of-state tuition fees would appear to be a difference of $208,624,000. This is not counting other revenue lost on providing health insurance, housing, or other welfare assistance to illegal aliens.

Granted, in a bankrupt state government that is potentially losing billions in deficit spending, 208 million dollars isn't exactly a golden parachute, but it is a significant figure.

Anam Cara said...

$ and races aside, in what dimension is it right for someone who is illegal to have the same benefits as one who is legal?
There must be some new definition of "legal" that I haven't learned yet.

This makes no sense to me at all.
Why do we even bother to have "in-state" and "out-of-state" tuition if people who are illegally in the state get the "in-state" tuition?

Why do we even have the terms "legal" and "illegal" if it makes no difference? Heck, just let everybody go for the same price!

(Sorry about the "free college" remark earlier. When I was in college, California colleges were free to residents. Of course, that was a while ago. I guess things have changed.)

gdelassu said...

Thus, that grand total of what this is costing the state in lost out-of-state tuition fees would appear to be a difference of $208,624,000.

O.k., I was predicating the cost savings in my analysis on the idea that the 25 thousand would drop out for unaffordability or else be deported. You prefer to imagine that they would stick around but pay a higher rate. Fair enough. In that case you have now shrunk the higher education slice of the budget pie from 10.6% to 10.4%.

In other words, in my analysis, eliminating the law in controversy would reduce the state budget by 0.4%. In your analysis, it reduces it by only 0.2%. You are, in other words, only making my point even more forcefully.

I can agree that California is committing budgetary suicide right now, but if you imagine each deficit dollar as driving that sword in the picture above further into the samurai's chest, the costs imposed by illegal immigrants paying "in-state" rates would not even push the sword far enough in to break the skin on his abdomen. And that assumes that subsidizing the education of those who will live and work in the state is really a long term cost to the treasury, a debatable assumption in the first place.

Incidentally, I left out the Community College system simply so as to give my opponents the benefit of every possible doubt. To the extent that some of those 25 thousand (once again, a figure of which I am suspect but which I employed simply so as to give the other side the benefit of its own, likely inflated, figures) attend community colleges your numbers will be exaggerated. In other words, it was fair for me to make that assumption. I am not sure that your argument is really quite as fair when you employ that assumption.

gdelassu said...

208 million dollars isn't exactly a golden parachute, but it is a significant figure.

No, I am sorry, it is not. 0.2% of the budget just is not significant. This is why governments around this country do not have their fiscal houses in order - because citizens are willing to be distracted by trivial costs associated with emotionally charged issues instead of keeping their attention focused on the really important stuff.

California is in trouble because of pensions, K-12 education and overcrowded prisons. Illegal immigrants in the public colleges have nothing to do with it. I could barely see my way clear to believing that illegal immigrants in the K-12 system have something to do with the state's budget problems, but the law in issue in this thread is a complete distraction from the real troubles that California faces.

Anonymous said...

"Gnosticism is not "knowledge." It is heresy, and a fatal conceit."

Guess Clement, Origen, Antony of the Desert, the Cappadocian Fathers were all heretics since they wrote quite often about gnosis.

When someone makes bigoted remarks, it's logical to assume bigotry.

Anonymous said...

By the way, the photo is a horrendously inaccurate depiction of seppuku.

The one committing seppuku usually does it with a very short sword in a swift motion cutting across the lower abdomen. A second is there to lop off the head as soon as the cutting is done.

The picture shows an impossible situation somewhat like the hue and cry over what some have pointed is small potatoes.

The Archer of the Forest said...

I don't know how you can get to the place where you can say 200 million dollars isn't a significant figure. I guess in a world of trillion dollar federal deficits, then, no 200 million isn't a huge sum. I granted that it was not a golden parachute to fix the California budget woes, but 200 million is way more money than I will ever make in my lifetime. In a budget crunch, you need to save wherever you can.

I think that's the problem with both the California and Federal deficits. Those numbers are so big, we can't get our minds around them. That is the real danger when we have deficits so large that 200 million dollars seems like chump change. When that's the case, I despair of the world and national economies.

gdelassu said...

I don't know how you can get to the place where you can say 200 million dollars isn't a significant figure.

Fair enough. I do not understand how a person can say with a straight face that 0.2% (not even one quarter of one percent) is a significant figure. I suppose that we can both be content to regard the other with a charitable bewilderment.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

"When someone makes bigoted remarks, it's logical to assume bigotry."

Logic dictates that you have a coherent definition of 'bigotry' by which to analyze remarks.

Logic dictates that if California spends like its tax base is all aerospace or software engineers when the reality is rather, ahem, different, then California better engage in some critical thinking rather than politically correct warm-fuzzies.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

"I do not understand how a person can say with a straight face that 0.2% (not even one quarter of one percent) is a significant figure."

This reminds me of the economics joke that the purpose of the GDP is to make everything look small by comparison. If you dole out enough goodies, eventually everybody can point out that their slice of the pie is "only .2%."

Truly though, why would anybody emigrating to California bother with US citizenship? You can still get all the welfare state bennies, and you don't have to be tax fodder for old, white, government retirees.