The U.S. Supreme Court June 6 declined to review a California Supreme Court decision that upheld California's policy of charging reduced, in-state tuition at its colleges and universities to graduates of California high schools who are undocumented immigrants. Working pro bono Munger, Tolles & Olson lawyers Bradley Phillips and Fred Rowley Jr. represented undocumented immigrant students and student groups as amici curiae in helping the University of California secure the Nov. 15, 2010 decision of the California Supreme Court. That court unanimously upheld AB 540, which allows undocumented graduates of California high schools to pay in-state tuition at the University of California and California State University.
The California Supreme Court ruled that California’s policy does not conflict with federal law because the tuition benefit turns on whether a student attended and graduated from a California high school, not his or her residency. Eleven other states permit undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition, including Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.