BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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          Date of Hearing:   March 27, 2012

                       ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION
                                 Marty Block, Chair
                   AB 1899 (Mitchell) - As Amended:  March 20, 2012
           
          SUBJECT  :   Nonresident tuition exemption and financial aid 
          eligibility: crime victims.

           SUMMARY  :   Extends eligibility for residency for tuition/fee 
          purposes and student financial aid programs and scholarships 
          administered by a public entity to noncitizen victims of 
          trafficking, domestic violence and other serious crimes, as 
          defined, to the same extent as available to individuals admitted 
          to the United States as refugees.  Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Exempts students who are victims of trafficking, domestic 
            violence, and other serious crimes who have been granted a "T" 
            or "U" visa under Section 1101 (a)(15)(T)(i) or (ii), or 
            (U)(i) or (ii) of Title 8 of the United States Code, from 
            paying nonresident tuition at the California State University 
            (CSU) or the California Community Colleges (CCC) to the same 
            extent as individuals who are admitted to the United States as 
            refugees under Section 1157 of Title 8 of the United States 
            Code.

          2)Provides eligibility to student financial aid programs and 
            scholarships administered by a public postsecondary 
            educational institution or the State of California to students 
            who have been granted a "T" or "U" visa, as defined, to the 
            same extent as individuals who are admitted to the United 
            States as refugees, as defined.

          3)Requests the University of California (UC) comply with the 
            above provisions.

          4)Requires CCC districts to waive the fees of a student who has 
            been granted a "T" or "U" visa, as defined, to the same extent 
            as individuals who are admitted to the United States as 
            refugees, as defined.

          5)Creates a reimburseable state mandate if so determined by the 
            Commission on State Mandates.

           EXISTING LAW  :








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          Federal law: 

          1)Provides that immigrant survivors of human trafficking, 
            domestic violence and other serious crimes may apply for 
            special visas to allow them to remain lawfully in the United 
            States, and must cooperate with a law enforcement agency in 
            the investigation and prosecution of the criminal activity.   

          2)Provides that immigrant survivors of human trafficking, 
            domestic violence and other serious crimes are eligible for 
            specified federal and state services to the same extent as are 
            refugees once federal processing of their application for a 
            visa is complete.

          State law:

          1)Extends eligibility for social services and benefits to 
            noncitizen victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, 
            and other serious crimes.  (Welfare and Institutions Code  
            18945) 

          2)Provides for a variety of student financial aid programs 
            including the Cal Grant programs, the CCC Board of Governors 
            (BOG) fee waiver, a variety of systemwide and/or 
            campus-specific grant and/or loan programs, and other 
            state-administered financial aid programs.  Participation in 
            these programs is, among other criteria, typically needs-based 
            and limited to California residents.  (EC  69430 et al)

          3)Establishes the requirements for determining residency for 
            purposes of paying the lower-cost "in-state" student fees at 
            the California Community Colleges (CCC), the California State 
            University (CSU) and the University of California (UC), which 
            generally includes a demonstration that the student has 
            resided in California for more than one year immediately 
            preceding the residence determination date and undertake other 
            specified actions such as registering to vote or registering 
            one's car in California.  (Education Code  68017)

          4)Exempts specified California nonresidents from paying 
            nonresident tuition at UC, CSU, and CCC, also known as the AB 
            540 nonresident tuition waiver, if they meet all of the 
            following:  (EC  68130.5)









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             a)   Attended a California high school for three or more 
               years;

             b)   Graduated from a California high school or attained an 
               equivalent degree; 

             c)   Registered or attended an accredited California higher 
               education institution beginning after fall of the 2001-02 
               academic year; and,

             d)   If an alien without lawful immigration status, has filed 
               an affidavit stating that the student has filed an 
               application to legalize his or her immigration status or 
               will file such an application as soon as he or she is 
               eligible to so do.

           FISCAL EFFECT :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :    Background  .  Nonresident students who meet specified 
          criteria (established by AB 540 in 2001-see Existing Law above) 
          are exempt from out of state rates for tuition/fee purposes.  
          However, nonimmigrant victims of trafficking, domestic violence, 
          and other serious crimes who are granted a special status, known 
          as "T" or "U" non-immigration status, are not eligible for 
          residency under the provisions of AB 540 because the law 
          excludes holders of non-immigrant visas, as defined.  This bill 
          would extend to holders of "T" and "U" non-immigrant status 
          eligibility for in-state tuition/fees and state financial aid 
          programs that are available to a person admitted to the United 
          States as a refugee, in effect, enabling these students to 
          utilize the AB 540 path to residency for tuition/fee and 
          financial aid purposes.  

           Need for this bill  .  According to the author, "A technical fix 
          in the law is needed to ensure that these crime victim survivors 
          can continue their education uninterrupted when they secure a 
          lawful status, and that any disincentive to cooperate with law 
          enforcement in prosecuting the perpetrators of crimes against 
          them is minimized."

           How many students will be affected  ?  According to the National 
          Immigration Law Center, approximately 75-100 students will be 
          affected, many of whom are students who were paying in-state 
          tuition rates under the provisions of AB 540 but who lost 
          eligibility when they were granted "T" or "U" non-immigrant 








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          status.

           What are "T" and "U" visas  ?  Congress created the "T" and "U" 
          nonimmigrant classifications with passage of the Victims of 
          Trafficking and Violence Protection Act in October 2000.  The 
          "T" nonimmigrant status, also known as the "T" visa, provides 
          immigration protection to victims of a severe form of human 
          trafficking.  The "U" nonimmigrant status, or "U" visa, is 
          designated for victims of certain crimes who have suffered 
          mental or physical abuse because of the crime and who are 
          willing to assist law enforcement and government officials in 
          the investigation of the criminal activity.  The legislation was 
          intended to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies 
          to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual 
          assault, trafficking of persons and other crimes, particularly 
          against immigrant crime victims, while at the same time offering 
          protection to victims of such crimes.  Unlike many other 
          non-immigrant statuses, individuals with "T" and "U" status have 
          a pathway to lawful permanent residence (LPR). They are 
          generally eligible to apply for LPR status after 3 years. 

           Benefits for which these students would be eligible  .  

           1)Residency  .  To qualify for the lower resident fees, students 
            are generally required to have resided in California for more 
            than one year and one day immediately preceding the residence 
            determination date and undertake other specified actions such 
            as registering to vote or registering one's car in California. 
             Tuition and fees for a full-time undergraduate student in 
            2011-12, not including registration and education fees, are:

                          Resident                       Out-of-State  
            UC                  $12,192$35,070
            CSU                           $5,472         $10,170
            CCC                 $36 per unit$244 per unit 

           2)Student financial aid .  This bill provides eligibility for 
            state-administered financial aid programs for which AB 540 
            students will be eligible beginning in 2013, including Cal 
            Grant Entitlement awards, UC and CSU institutional aid, CCC 
            Board of Governors fee waivers, CCC Transfer Entitlement 
            awards, Cal Grant C awards, as well as Assumption Program of 
            Loans for Education awards, State Nursing Assumption Program 
            of Loans for Education awards, Child Development grants, and 
            Law Enforcement Personnel Dependents grants.  AB 540 students 








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            are explicitly denied eligibility to the Cal Grant Competitive 
            awards unless the program is fully funded in the annual Budget 
            Act.   

           Related legislation  .  AB 1569 (Kuehl), Chapter 672, Statutes of 
          2006, extended eligibility for social services and benefits to 
          noncitizen victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, and 
          other serious crimes, as defined.

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          American Civil Liberties Union
          Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach
          Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges
          California Catholic Conference, Inc.
          California Coalition Against Sexual Assault
          California Immigrant Policy Center
          California Partnership to End Domestic Violence
          Central American Resource Center/Centro De Recorsos 
          Centroamericanos
          Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles
          Immigrant Center for Women and Children
          Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)
          Peace Over Violence
          WOMAN Inc.
          Women's Crisis Support - Defensa de Mujeres

           Opposition 
           
          >
           
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Sandra Fried / HIGHER ED. / (916) 
          319-3960