Kobach Is Fighting To Prevent Illegal Immigrant Students From Paying In-State Tuition

July 15, 2010 11:40 am ET

Kansas Republican Kris Kobach, an attorney for FAIR and co-author of SB 1070, has spent a considerable amount of time addressing the tuition rates offered to university students who are illegal immigrants.  So far, Kobach has inserted himself into the issue in at least three separate states - leaving a trail of lawsuits and appeals behind him.

Kansas

2004: Kobach Filed Lawsuit Against Kansas Law That Allowed Immigrant Students To Get In-State Tuition At State Universities. According to The Pitch: "Kobach has been paid substantial fees by FAIR for legal work done on its behalf -- such as filing a lawsuit against the state of Kansas. The suit aims to overturn new legislation that allows immigrant students to pay in-state tuition rates at Kansas colleges and universities, regardless of whether their parents are fully documented or have yet received citizenship. There are provisos to this legislation: The students must either have graduated from Kansas high schools or lived in the state for 3 years and earned equivalency certificates, and they must formally declare their intentions to become American citizens..." [The Pitch, 9/23/04]

Kobach Lost His Suit Against Kansas Law That Gave Reduced Tuition To Illegal Immigrants. According to the New York Times: "Mr. Kobach lost a suit against Kansas to block a statute allowing illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates in public colleges." [New York Times, 7/20/09]

Federal Judge Dismissed Kansas Lawsuit Because Students Had No Standing To Sue. According to the Deseret Morning News: "A federal judge has dismissed a Kansas lawsuit challenging that state's law granting in-state tuition to some illegal immigrants at state colleges and universities...In a 38-page decision Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Richard D. Rogers said the Kansas plaintiffs -- parents and students paying nonresident tuition -- failed to prove they were injured by the Kansas law or that they'd benefit if it were repealed. 'Hypothetical or conjectural harm is not sufficient,' Rogers wrote. 'When a law does not apply to a party, that party has no invasion of a legally protected interest...The law passed by the Kansas Legislature does not apply to the plaintiffs, and they have made no argument that it does.'" [Deseret Morning News, 7/7/05, via Lexis Nexis]

  • 10th Circuit Court Of Appeals Affirmed Ruling That Kansas Students Had No Standing To Sue. According to the Deseret Morning News: "The ruling last week by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which also oversees Utah, found that students paying out-of-state tuition in Kansas have no cause to sue the state's higher education system. The ruling says in part, 'the record before us is devoid of evidence of any causal relationship between the tuition cost imposed on Kansas' public universities by (the Kansas law) and nonresident tuition rates imposed on the plaintiffs.' The ruling doesn't address the validity of the law." [Deseret Morning News, 9/5/07, via Lexis Nexis, parenthesis original]

Kobach Called Federal Court Ruling "Unduly Narrow." According to the Deseret Morning News: "Plaintiffs' co-counsel Kris Kobach on Wednesday called the ruling 'unduly narrow.' Kobach said he plans to appeal the dismissal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals...If the ruling is overturned, the case will go back to the Kansas District for arguments on the merits." [Deseret Morning News, 7/7/05, via Lexis Nexis]

California

2008: State Appellate Court Rules That California Law Allowing In-State Tuition For Undocumented Students Violates Federal Law. According to the San Francisco Chronicle: "A state appellate court has put a financial cloud over the future of tens of thousands of undocumented California college students, saying a state law that grants them the same heavily subsidized tuition rate that is given to resident students is in conflict with federal law... The suit was filed in 2005 by out-of-state students attending California colleges. They challenged the state's practice of allowing illegal immigrants to pay significantly lower tuition than they pay at the University of California, the California State University and the California Community Colleges... In the ruling, the appellate justices said: 'The state statute allows the benefit to U.S. citizens from other states only if they attend a California high school for three years. Thus, the state statute does not afford the same benefit to U.S. citizens 'without regard to' California residence,' as required by the federal law." [San Francisco Chronicle, 9/16/08, via Lexis Nexis]

Kobach Filed Lawsuit Against California Law Offering In-State Tuition To Illegal Immigrants. According to the biography page of his 2010 Secretary of State campaign website, Kobach "is representing US citizens who are suing the California Board of Regents for offering in-state tuition to illegal aliens in violation of federal law." [KrisKobach.org, accessed 6/23/10]

Kobach Won Lawsuit Against California Law That Gave Reduced Tuition To Illegal Immigrants. According to Mother Jones, Kobach "successfully sued the state of California to block a legislative provision that allowed illegal immigrants to pay in-state college tuition rates." [Mother Jones, 5/7/10]

Kobach Is Preparing To Sue San Francisco For Being A Sanctuary City. According to the biography page of his 2010 Secretary of State campaign website, Kobach "is also representing the Bologna family in their lawsuit against the City of San Francisco - a city whose sanctuary policy for illegal aliens enabled an illegal alien gang member to murder Tony, Michael and Matthew Bologna." [KrisKobach.org, accessed 6/23/10]

Utah

2005: Bill Introduced In Utah Legislature To Revoke In-State Tuition From Undocumented Immigrant Students. According to the Deseret Morning News: "HB239, sponsored by Rep. Glenn Donnelson, R-North Ogden, sought to repeal a 2002 law allowing in-state tuition for undocumented high school graduates who have attended a Utah high school three years. It's his second attempt to repeal the law carried by Rep. Dave Ure, R-Kamas. 'It is not an illegal alien bill but a procedures bill,' Donnelson said." [Deseret Morning News, 2/12/05, via Lexis Nexis]

  • Kobach Advised Representative Who Brought Challenge To Law. According to the Deseret Morning News: "[Rep. Glenn] Donnelson was flanked by Kris Kobach, a professor at the University of Missouri at Kansas City law school who worked for the U.S. Department of Justice. Kobach said Utah's law conflicts with federal law saying undocumented immigrants cannot receive tuition breaks that wouldn't apply to any other U.S. citizen. 'Utah is currently exposed to significant legal liability in this matter,' including reimbursing out-of-staters if the courts decide, Kobach said." [Deseret Morning News, 2/12/05, via Lexis Nexis]

Utah Assistant Attorney General Argued That The In-State Tuition Law Did Not Contradict Federal Law. According to the Deseret Morning News: "Utah Assistant Attorney General William Evans, summoned to address the matter mid-discussion, analyzed the state and federal law in 2002 at the request of the University of Utah. He said state law is solid because it is not necessarily directed at undocumented immigrants. 'On its face, that part of the provision has...been available to anyone,' Evans said. 'It does not contradict the federal law...and has been applied as far as I know, neutrally.'" [Deseret Morning News, 2/12/05, via Lexis Nexis]

Kobach Warned That Utah In-State Tuition Law "Could Cost Taxpayers Dearly." According to the Deseret Morning News: "Kris Kobach, constitutional law professor at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, told lawmakers that granting in-state tuition to undocumented students violates federal law and the U.S. Constitution, and it could expose Utah to litigation. 'This gamble is one that could cost taxpayers dearly,' he said." [Deseret Morning News, 6/16/05, via Lexis Nexis]

Joint Education Interim Committee Voted To Recommend Repealing Utah's Tuition Law After Hearing From Kobach. According to the Deseret Morning News: "In Utah, the issue came to a head last month when the Joint Education Interim Committee voted to recommend repealing Utah's tuition law after hearing from Kobach and University of Utah students considering a lawsuit." [Deseret Morning News, 7/7/05, via Lexis Nexis]

2005: Kobach Threatened To File Lawsuit Against Utah In-State Tuition Law. According to the Deseret Morning News: "Activists against illegal immigration are hoping that a new lawsuit will fuel their efforts to repeal Utah's law that allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at colleges and university. 'If Utah doesn't do it, it's going to be facing the possibility of one of these,' attorney Kris Kobach said, holding up a copy of a class-action lawsuit filed Wednesday against California's higher education system." [Deseret Morning News, 12/15/05, via Lexis Nexis]

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