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New California budget limits out-of-state enrollment at some universities

Illegal immigrant students in California get treated better than an American from Utah

The latest budget signed by California’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom will include limits on how many “nonresident” students can enroll at three public universities.

But the new legislation does not count illegal immigrant students as “nonresidents” if they live in California and graduated from a high school in the state, according to Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting’s office.

They can still apply to UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego without fear that their citizenship status will be used against them under the new discriminatory admissions policy.

“Students who did not graduate from a CA high school or who have not lived here are considered nonresidents and must pay the higher nonresident tuition,” Ting’s office told The College Fix via email, prior to passage of the legislation. “Nonresidents classification can be students from other states or other countries.”

“The Legislature’s plan would replace about 900 nonresident students with 900 resident students for five consecutive years,” Ting’s office said in its email. At the end of those five years, “there would be about 4,500 more California students at these three campuses.”

The legislation could reduce the number of foreign students enrolled at these three universities. Ting’s legislation will ask taxpayers to make up the loss in tuition, since nonresidents, both American and not, pay higher tuition rates than California residents.

The budget allocates $184 million for the reduction program.

The budget language says:

It is the intent of the Legislature to reduce the number of nonresident undergraduate students at the University of California Berkeley, the University of California Los Angeles, and the University of California San Diego such that nonresident undergraduate enrollment at each campus comprises no more than 18 percent of total undergraduate enrollment by the 2026–27 academic year. It is the intent of the Legislature to provide ongoing resources to offset the associated decrease in nonresident tuition and fee revenues, beginning in 2022–23.

The Fix contacted the media offices for each of the three universities included in the legislation, but none responded to multiple emails sent over the past two weeks.

“We understand and support the Legislature’s goal of providing more opportunities for Californians at UC,” Ryan King, a spokesperson for the UC president’s office said, “though we believe trying to achieve this through reducing nonresident students will potentially lead to unanticipated outcomes.” King made the comments in early June to The Daily Californian, Berkeley’s student paper.

Legislation called ‘derogatory’

Ting, who helped secure money to study anti-Asian hate, has faced criticism for the legislation’s effect on international students.

“I honestly think it just feels really derogatory,” Sarah Kamel, a leader in the International Students’ Association at Berkeley, told the campus paper before the legislation passed.

“International and nonresident students deserve an education as good as the one at Berkeley and it feels unfair for us to have to face an additional boundary to get here,” Kamel said.

MORE: This law would save American students money, but DOJ won’t enforce it

IMAGE: Governor of California office/Gov.ca.gov

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About the Author
Rachel Lalgie -- University of Florida