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Undocumented Immigrants

College students who are U.S. citizens have over the past year been denied financial aid by several States seeking to reduce their educational expenses. These U.S. citizen students’ parents are undocumented. Recently Federal Courts in New Jersey and Florida have stayed these States from this practice because the U.S. Constitution bars unequal application of the laws. Although States like Florida and New Jersey may legally charge higher tuition for out of state residents more than they charge for state residents at public colleges and universities, still U.S. citizen students who are in state residents cannot be charged the higher rates because their parents are undocumented.

Student Aid Laws

student aid immigrantsOne U.S. born student recently who had graduated high school in Florida and lived there all his life, fled to enter Florida International University at the lower tuition rate but he was not admitted because he could not prove his parents were legal residents. The State denied him State residence because his parents were not legal residents of the State. He could not attend the public university because of the higher tuition. A Federal Judge in Miami, Florida found the State regulations unconstitutional. This law created a lower class U.S. citizenship category.This policy the Judge stated "does not advance any legitimate state interest" while it hindered Florida’s goal of furthering educational opportunities for its own residents. These U.S. born children are citizens. Their family’s status is not relevant. They do not conform to the Constitutional mandate of the equal protection of the laws.

Student Aid Policy

student aid immigrantsA New Jersey State Appeals Court Judge in August, 2012 held that the State of New Jersey may not deny a U.S. citizen and State resident the rights and privileges of tuition benefits because of who her parents are. The Judge declared this is "decidedly un-American". Similarly in California in the past, the State put an end to policies that denied residency to American students because their parents were in the country illegally.
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