Becky Bae, NAKASEC, 323-937-3703
Dae Yoon, KRc, 323-937-3718
Victory! Student Rights to Public Education Upheld
[Los Angeles] For the approximately 300 students entering the University of California – San Diego (UCSD) in Fall 2007, one barrier facing immigrant students has been successfully removed - the right to access in-state tuition. The difference between out-of-state and in-state tuition is tremendous. Oftentimes receiving in-state tuition is the determining factor for low-income immigrant students in going on to higher education. After 5 years of advocacy in California, Assembly Bill 540 was passed in 2001 to allow certain immigrant students to pay in-state tuition rates.
Since this spring, KRC received numerous calls from eligible immigrant students being denied in-state tuition from UCSD. Many of these cases were students who once entered the U.S. with a visa that has since expired. UCSD failed to realize that immigrants become undocumented in various ways and many from Asia lose their status after their visas have expired. Moreover their statuses are predicated on their parents and have no control over their status. For these students, the U.S. is their home and they will no doubt continue to contribute back to the U.S. well beyond college.
KRC and NAKASEC, with assistance from the National Immigration Law Center and the determination of the impacted students, successfully advocated for the University of California and UCSD to rescind their decisions and take at face value students’ applications and intentions to legalize their status should they be given the opportunity.
Unfortunately, NAKASEC sees that while the fight at UCSD may be over, many other California public colleges are also denying in-state tuition and even admissions to eligible students. This victory and demonstration of power of those most impacted to make change lays a strong foundation for continuing work.
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