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Immigrants without legal status in U.S. sue Georgia for in-state tuition

March 25, 2014 (1 min read)

"Rigoberto Rivera grew up in Georgia, he graduated from Roswell High School and he and his parents are paying state income taxes.  Now he wants to go to college and study criminal justice in his home state.  But he said he can't afford it because Georgia won't let him pay its in-state tuition rate, which is several thousand dollars below the out-of-state rate.  The reason: Rivera was illegally brought here from Mexico as a child and doesn't have legal status in the U.S. like a citizen or a green card holder would.  Rivera and 38 other immigrants like him are now suing the state, arguing it is not following its own tuition policy. ... Michael Olivas, who has testified in similar lawsuits in other states and teaches immigration law at the University of Houston, predicts Georgia will lose the legal battle.  He cited the wording in the Board of Regents' in-state tuition policy, which says noncitizens aren't eligible for the benefit unless they are "legally in this state."  "The arithmetic on this is very easy," said Olivas, a board member with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. "I have never seen such a clear-cut case."" - Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mar. 25, 2014.