Immigrants without legal status seeking in-state tuition hit setback

The Georgia Court of Appeals on Thursday rejected an appeal aimed at making young immigrants who were granted a special reprieve from deportation eligible for in-state college tuition.

In rejecting the appeal, the court upheld a Fulton County Superior Court’s ruling from June that says state law bars such lawsuits through sovereign immunity.

“We agree with the trial court that sovereign immunity bars this action,” the court said in its six-page ruling. “Our state constitution provides that, with certain exceptions not relevant to this case, sovereign immunity ‘extends to the state and all of its departments and agencies.’

The attorney for the 39 plaintiffs in the case, Charles Kuck, said he would appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court in the next two weeks.

“The day that residents of Georgia cannot seek redress in court for the state’s action against them is a sad day for all Georgians,” he said in a prepared statement. “We will appeal this decision and continue our fight for tuition equity on all available fronts.”

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