Kansas is one of eight states that have enacted legislation guaranteeing illegal aliens who reside in the state the same reduced-rate college tuition as legal state residents. Out-of-state students, even if they are native-born citizens or legal immigrants, pay much more. This politically correct Kansas legislation happens to be blatantly illegal. A federal immigration statute, on the books since 1996 provides:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the basis of residence within a State . . . for any postsecondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of the United States is eligible for such a benefit (in no less an amount, duration, and scope) without regard to whether the citizen or national is such a resident.Impressed by the blinding clarity of this federal law, and no doubt grateful that their Congress deemed them worthy of rights at least equal to those of illegal aliens, a handful of US citizens who attend Kansas state colleges from out of state (and some of their tuition-impaired parents) sued the Governor of Kansas in the local US District Court, demanding that either the law be overturned or they be given the same reduced-rate tuition as the illegals. On July 5 US District Judge Richard Rogers ruled that the citizen students had no enforceable rights in the matter. Plagiarizing the story line of Catch 22, Judge Rogers held that the citizen students had no "standing" to overturn the Kansas law because Kansas's generosity towards illegal aliens did not injure the out-of-state students and no "right of action" to demand equal treatment because the federal law was aimed at denying benefits to illegals, not conferring benefits on citizens! Adding insult to injury, the court ruled that the Kansas League of United Latin American Citizens and the Hispanic American Leadership Organization did have standing to intervene in the case against the citizen students! The US citizen students did of course learn a lesson about the value of citizenship in politically correct America.