Yesterday the California Supreme Court ruled "that illegal immigrants are entitled to the same in-state tuition breaks that are offered to citizens who attend public colleges and universities."
The Associated Press reports that "[t]he high court unanimously upheld a state law that says any student, regardless of immigration status, who attended a California high school for at least three years can qualify for in-state tuition that's much less than what out-of-state students pay."
The losing party in the case plans an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, so this may not be the final word on the issue.
Given that the Golden State is flat broke and illegal immigration is a hot button issue nationally, this sounds like a story worthy of mainstream media attention.
Yet it appears the story has been largely ignored or buried by the MSM thus far.
Of the three broadcast morning news programs, only "Good Morning America" ran an anchor desk briefing on the development today:
JUJU CHANG: The California Supreme Court has ruled illegal immigrants are entitled to in-state tuition discounts at public universities. A lower court ruling had classified illegal immigrants as non-residents. The case is likely headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Washington Post ran a four-paragraph news brief on page A2 of today's paper while the New York Times buried its November 16 story, entitled "Court Backs Illegal Immigrant Students," on page A20.
What's more, New York Times reporter Ian Lovett seemed to imply that the ruling was one that conservatives should have no trouble with:
"It cannot be the case that states may never give a benefit to unlawful aliens without giving the same benefit to all American citizens,'' wrote Justice Ming W. Chin, one of the court's more conservative justices, in the court's opinion.
For its part, the Los Angeles Times devoted front-page coverage to the story, where it noted in the second paragraph that (emphasis mine):
The ruling is the first of its kind in the nation. California is one of 10 states that permit undocumented immigrants to receive in-state tuition, which can save them $23,000 a year at the University of California.
In his New York Times story, Lovett had a much lower number, perhaps reflecting the average savings from in-state tuition:
Currently, students who attend at least three years of high school in California and graduate are eligible for in-state tuition at public schools, which can save them as much as $12,000 a year compared with students who come from other states.
Either figure is a hefty chunk of change for which California taxpayers and law-abiding out-of-state tuition payers have to pick up the slack.