State Senator Sharon Runner issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to hear Martinez v. Board of Regents.
“Today, the Supreme Court rejected a case that challenged California’s policy of granting in-state tuition at state universities to its high school graduates who are illegal immigrants, thereby allowing them to pay cheaper rates.”
“The Legislature was wrong when it passed this law in 2001 to allow illegal immigrants to pay reduced tuition fees that are subsidized by California taxpayers.”
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“With today’s decision, the Supreme Court essentially thumbs its nose at taxpayers,” she said. “People who enter our country illegally should not receive the privileges granted to American citizens.”
“At a human level, I sympathize with their desire to obtain advanced degrees. But this is about fairness – reduced college fees should be granted to citizens because their parents pay income, sales, car and countless other taxes to support California state schools.
“The privilege of paying reduced, taxpayer subsidized tuition for California colleges and universities should be for citizens and legal immigrants, not those here illegally.”
Martinez v. Board of Regents took issue with Assembly Bill 540, which passed the legislature and was signed into law by Governor Gray Davis in 2001. The bill allows California high school graduates, regardless of their citizenship, to pay reduced, in-state tuition at California colleges and universities.