Verdict Immigration 032011

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    VerdictThe Judicial Watch

    Because no one is above the law! A News Publication from Judicial Watch lMarch 2011 lVolume 17 lIssue 3

    TM

    Get the latest corruption news delivered right to your email in-box. Sign up for Tom Fittons Weekly Update.

    JW Files Lawsuit to Fight Tuition Breaksfor Illegal Aliens

    ost Americans would nd itoensive to think their taxdollars were being used to il-

    legally subsidize the college education

    o illegal aliens. But that is exactlywhat is happening in institutions ohigher education across the country.At least eleven states have laws grant-ing discounted tuition or illegal aliensto public colleges and universities.

    But in Montgomery County,Maryland the tuition policy at onelocal community college is not onlyoensive; it is also unlawul. AndJudicial Watch has taken legal action

    to put a stop to it.On Tursday, January 20, 2011Judicial Watch led a taxpayerlawsuit against the Board o rusteeso Marylands Montgomery Collegeor unlawully charging discountedin county tuition rates to studentswho graduate rom MontgomeryCounty public high schools,regardless o their immigration statusor place o residency.

    Te new lawsuit alleges Montgom-ery Colleges tuition policy violatesboth Maryland and ederal law andplaces a substantial nancial burdenon Montgomery County taxpayerswho subsidize the cost o studentsattending the community college.Judicial Watch led the lawsuit onbehal o Montgomery County tax-payers Michael Lee Philips, Patricia

    Fenati and David Drake in the Cir-cuit Court or Montgomery County.

    According to Judicial Watchscomplaint:

    Under ederal law, unlawully pres-ent aliens generally are ineligibleor state or local public benets,including post-secondary education

    benets such as reduced tuition,unless a state has enacted a lawafrmatively providing or sucheligibility. Te State o Marylandhas never enacted a law afrma-tively providing that unlawullypresent aliens are eligible to receivereduced, in-county tuition at publicinstitutions o higher education,

    M

    including community colleges sucas Montgomery College

    Pursuant to Maryland law,Montgomery College is requiredto charge out-o-state tuition toany student who attends a com-munity college in the State oMaryland and is not a resident othe State

    Deendant Boards long-standinpolicy is causing substantial, pecuniary loss to taxpayers in Mont-gomery County and the State oMaryland. By providing reducedin-county tuition to all studentswho graduate rom Montgom-

    Judicial Watch client Michael Philips (L); JW President Tom Fitton (C); Maryland State Delegate

    Pat McDonough (R) at a press conerence in Annapolis, MD on January 20, 2011 announcing a new

    lawsuit to stop illegal tuition benefts or illegal aliens.

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    2 March 2011 l Volume 17 l Issue 3

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    March 2011lVol. 17 lIssue 3

    ery County public high schools,regardless o their residence orstatus as unlawully present aliens,Montgomery College is ailing tocollect revenue that, by state andederal law, it is required to collect.

    By law, the tuition paid by astudent who attends communitycollege is determined by a studentsplace o residence. Students who areresidents o the county or countiessupporting the community collegethey attend are charged an in-countyrate. Students who are residents othe State o Maryland, but resideoutside the county or counties sup-

    porting the community college theyattend are charged an instate rate.Students who reside outside the Stateo Maryland are charged an out-o-state rate.

    However, Montgomery Collegehas a long-standing policy o pro-viding graduates o MontgomeryCounty public high schools, includ-ing illegal aliens who unlawully re-side in the United States, the lowest

    in county tuition rate regardless otheir place o residence.

    Montgomery College describedthis policy in nancial statements orFiscal Years 2007, 2008 and 2009:[]he Montgomery College policy isapplicable to all persons, equally, andincludes all citizens as well as undocu-mented aliens Te tuition policywas ormally adopted by Montgom-ery Colleges Board o rustees on

    November 15, 2010.But it bears repeating. Montgom-ery Colleges tuition policy is illegalwithout specic permission grantedby the Maryland State Legislature.

    Tis is probably why MontgomeryColleges tuition policy is so vastlydierent rom other institutions ohigher education, as Te WashingtonPostnoted recently: Some publiccolleges in the region dont admit

    illegal immigrants as students, andthose that do typically charge themhigher non-resident rates becausethey cannot prove legal residency.

    Laws in Maryland and Virginia

    allow public universities to acceptillegal aliens, but they are underno obligation to do so, and theseinstitutions certainly cannot providethem illegal perks in the orm o dis-counted tuition. (In act, the Uni-versity o Virginia, as the Postnotes,has gone to court to protect its rightto deny admission to illegal aliens.)

    How much taxpayer money isat stake? Between 2006 and 2009,Montgomery College ailed to col-lect $5,870,852 in tuition ees dueto its policy o unlawully allowing adiscounted in county tuition rateto illegal aliens and other out ostate students.

    Te policy has been questioned bythe Colleges own auditors. MarylandState Delegate Pat McDonough (R)rst alerted Judicial Watch to thisissue last year, prompting JudicialWatch to conduct an independent in-

    vestigation, which led to this taxpayerlawsuit.

    As one o Judicial Watchs clients,Mike Phillips, said at our press coner-ence, the policy is simply grosslyunair.

    Montgomery Colleges unnelingo tax dollars to tuition benets orillegal aliens is against the law. Tepolicy is especially egregious in thisage o government budget crises and

    it must be stopped beore other insti-tutions o higher education ollowsuit by providing taxpayer undedtuition breaks to illegal aliens, statedJudicial Watch President om Fitton.Our taxpayer clients hope the courtwill put a stop to Montgomery Col-leges policy o providing illegal perksat taxpayer expense. JW