Posted on July 6, 2005

Judge Dismisses Suit over Immigrant Tuition Law

AP, July 5

TOPEKA — A federal judge today dismissed a lawsuit challenging a year-old state law that gives some illegal immigrants a break on tuition at state universities, community colleges and vocational colleges.

The law says illegal immigrants can qualify for lower tuition rates reserved for Kansas residents if they have attended a Kansas high school for at least three years and have graduated or earned a general education development certificate in Kansas. Also, they must actively be seeking legal immigration status or plan to do so when they are eligible.

Challenging the law were six parents and 18 students who were residents of other states but were attending Kansas institutions and paid higher rates.

The difference can be substantial. For example, state residents taking 15 hours of undergraduate classes at the University of Kansas pay $2,081 a semester in tuition, compared with $5,069 for non-Kansas residents.

But Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Rogers ruled the students had no standing to sue because they weren’t directly harmed by the law. Rogers said to have standing, a plaintiff must face an injury that is “concrete and imminent.”