April 5, 2023

WASHINGTON (November 17, 2010) – The Asian American Justice Center welcomed today’s California Supreme Court ruling that undocumented students, in certain circumstances, qualify for in-state tuition rates when attending state colleges.

Asian American Center for Advancing Justice members AAJC and the Asian Law Caucus joined the Asian Pacific American Legal Center’s friend-of-the-court brief in the case, Martinez v. Regents of the University of California, last September supporting the state’s case. Under California law, students who meet certain criteria, such as graduating from a state high school, are eligible for in-state tuition rates within the state’s higher education system.

“The court’s unanimous decision has a tremendous affect on Asian American and Pacific Islander students within the University of California system,” said Marita Etcubañez, AAJC program director. “Nearly half the students benefiting from this law are AAPIs. Without it, many of our community members simply would not be able to afford college.”

An anti-immigration group had challenged the law, and won in lower court, on behalf of out-of-state students who pay higher rates and are U.S. citizens. Today the California Supreme Court unanimously upheld the state law.

“The law addresses many of the barriers students, regardless of immigration status, encounter in trying to attain higher education,” Etcubañez said. “It shows how important it is that Congress pass the DREAM Act, which would provide undocumented students who attend college or join the military a path to citizenship.”

The Asian American Justice Center (www.advancingequality.org), a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice (www.advancingjustice.org), works closely with its sister organizations – the Asian American Institute in Chicago (www.aaichicago.org), the Asian Law Caucus (www.asianlawcaucus.org) in San Francisco and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (www.apalc.org) in Los Angeles – to promote a fair and equitable society for all by working for civil and human rights and empowering Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other underserved communities.

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