Welfare Reform Act of 1996
Provision of public services to immigrants is addressed in the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. Certain public health and welfare benefits are denied to aliens who are not “qualified” under the terms of the Act. This prohibition does not extend to basic public education. Section 433(a)(2) of Title IV (U.S. Code, Title 8, Section 1643[a]) specifically states, “Nothing in this title may be construed as addressing alien eligibility for a basic public education [emphasis added] as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States under Plyler v. Doe (457 U.S. 202)(1982).”
However, in 1997, federal immigration law was changed to say that a non-immigrant foreign student could only obtain an F-1 student visa to study in the U.S. if the student paid the school of attendance a fee equal to the cost of educating the student. A school that wishes to accept such students must file an application and be approved to admit foreign students. (8 U.S. Code Section 1184[m][B]; 8 CCR Section 214.3.)
Although a California school is not required to inquire about immigration status, once the school knows a student is not a citizen, the student should be directed to pay the fee required by federal law.
I can't believe this has been sitting on the CDOE website and I only find it now. We need to pass a law requiring students to declare their citizenship or residency or unlawful status. Then, they can still attend school here, they just need to pay for it. That seems fair to me. And as we have heard oh so many times, the Federal Government has the last word on matters of immigration.