Dreamers Shouldn't Get State Aid, Taxpayer Says
LOS ANGELES (CN) - The University of California is breaking federal law by allowing undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition and apply for state-funded financial aid programs under California's Dream Act, a taxpayer claims in court.
Earl De Vries, a "taxpayer and resident of the State of California," sued the Regents of the University of California on Tuesday in Superior Court.
De Vries, who is represented by Judicial Watch, asked the court to enjoin the university from spending taxpayer money or "taxpayer-financed resources" on in-state tuition and financial aid for undocumented undergraduates.
He also wants university employees to cease and desist from offering tuition and aid to the students.
The Board of Regents allocates taxpayer money, including $2.67 billion for the 2013-14 budget from the California's general fund, according to the complaint.
Under a 2011 amendment to the California Dream (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act, some undocumented children who entered the United States before they were 16 may receive state financial aid or qualify for in-state tuition.
De Vries claims that violates federal immigration laws, specifically section 8 U.S. Code § 1621, which states that aliens who are not qualified aliens or nonimmigrants are ineligible for state and local public benefits.
In a 2010 ruling in Martinez v. Regents of the University of California, the California Supreme Court found that students without visas or documentation could be eligible for in-state tuition at California State University schools, and California Community Colleges.
But De Vries claims that the court never tackled UC's "unique constitutional status" as an independent school.
"The parties in Martinez also did not address, and the court in Martinez did not decide, whether a resolution, standing order, or policy of the Board of Regents, as opposed to a law enacted by the state, could ever satisfy the requirement 8 U.S.C. § 1621(d)," the complaint states.
De Vries claims that 440 undocumented undergraduate college students will receive in-state tuition and quality for grants and scholarships worth almost $4.3 million this year.
He seeks declaratory judgment and an injunction.
He is represented by Sterling Norris, with Judicial Watch, of San Marino.