U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear challenge to California’s immigrant tuition law

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to a California law similar to a bill passed in Connecticut granting in-state tuition to some undocumented immigrants.

The California law and the Connecticut measure both grant in-state tuition to such students if they complete a minimum amount of their high school educations in state–three years in California, four years in Connecticut.

A group of out-of-state students challenged California’s law on the basis of a 1998 federal statute that says states can’t provide benefits to illegal immigrants based on their in-state residence, unless the state makes the same benefits available to U.S. citizens elsewhere, the San Francisco Chronicle says.

Opponents of the Connecticut measure argued during General Assembly debate that it would violate the same federal law.

However, the California Supreme Court ruled late last year that the lower fees were allowed because they were based on immigrant students’ high school graduation, and not merely on their residence in California. The U.S. Supreme Court this week refused to hear an appeal of that ruling without comment.