BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 2136


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          Date of Hearing:  April 19, 2016


                       ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION


                                 Jose Medina, Chair


          AB 2136  
          (Mayes) - As Amended April 11, 2016


          SUBJECT:  Public postsecondary education:  exemption from  
          nonresident tuition


          SUMMARY:  Provides nonimmigrant alien students, as specified,  
          who meet outlined criteria, as specified, and are enrolled at  
          the California State University (CSU) or the California  
          Community Colleges (CCC) exemptions from nonresident tuition.   
          Specifically, this bill:  


          1)Provides that any student of the CSU or the CCC who meets all  
            of the following requirements as a dependent of an individual  
            with an E-2 nonimmigrant classification shall remain exempt  
            from paying nonresident tuition as long as the student remains  
            continuously enrolled, irrespective of any change in the  
            student's visa or immigration status: 


             a)    Satisfaction of either of the following:


               i)     High school attendance in California for three or  
                 more years; or,










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               ii)    Attainment of credits earned in California from a  
                 California high school equivalent to three or more years  
                 of full-time high school coursework and a total of three  
                 or more years of attendance in California elementary  
                 schools, California secondary schools, or a combination  
                 of those schools.


             b)   Graduation from a California high school or attainment  
               of the equivalent thereof; 


             c)   Registration as an entering student at, or current  
               enrollment at, an accredited institution of higher  
               education in California not earlier than the fall semester  
               or quarter of the 2001-02 academic year; and, 


             d)   In the case of a person without lawful immigration  
               status, the filing of an affidavit with the institution of  
               higher education stating that the student has filed an  
               application to legalize his or her immigration status, or  
               will file an application as soon as he or she is eligible  
               to do so.


          2)Provides that a student who is exempt from nonresident tuition  
            under this section may be reported by a CCC district as a  
            full-time equivalent student for apportionment purposes.


          3)Requests the UC Regents to enact exemptions from requirements  
            to pay nonresident tuition for its students that are  
            equivalent to the aforementioned.


          4)Provides that if the Commission on State Mandates determines  
            that this act contains costs mandated by the state,  
            reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those  








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            costs shall be made.


          EXISTING LAW:  Qualifies (established by AB 540, Chapter 814,  
          Statutes of 2001) students that meet all of the following  
          outlined requirements for lower "resident" fee/tuition payments  
          at the CCC, CSU, and UC:


          1)Is a student, other than a nonimmigrant alien within the  
            meaning of paragraph (15) of subsection (a) of Section 1101 of  
            Title 8 of the United States Code;

          2)Attended high school in California for three or more years, or  
            equivalency;

          3)Graduated from a California high school, or attainment of  
            equivalency;

          4)Registered as an entering student at, or enrolled at, an  
            accredited institution of higher education in California not  
            earlier than the fall semester or quarter of the 2001-02  
            academic year; and,

          5)In the case of a person without lawful immigration status,  
            files an affidavit with the institution of higher education  
            stating that the student has filed an application to legalize  
            his or her immigration status, or will file an application as  
            soon as he or she is eligible to do so. (Education Code  
            Section 68130)

          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown.


          COMMENTS:  Background.  The federal E-2 nonimmigrant visa is  
          authorized for a foreign national who is coming to the United  
          States solely to direct and develop the operations of an  
          enterprise in which the individual has invested or is actively  
          involved in the process of investing a substantial amount of  








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          capital.  The investment involved must place lawfully acquired,  
          owned, and controlled capital at commercial risk with a profit  
          objective, and it must be subject to loss if the investment  
          fails.  Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of an  
          E2 nonimmigrant may be granted the same status to accompany the  
          E2. As long as the dependents are in E2 status, they can attend  
          school without changing to another nonimmigrant status.


          E-2 visa holders are allowed a maximum initial stay of two  
          years.  Requests for extension of stay may be granted in  
          increments of up to two years each.  There is no maximum limit  
          to the number of extensions an E-2 nonimmigrant may be granted.   
          All E-2 nonimmigrants, however, must maintain an intention to  
          depart the United States when their status expires or is  
          terminated.


          Purpose of this bill.  According to the author, "federal policy  
          allows E-2 dependents to remain in the United States until age  
          21, at which time they can transition to a student visa.  This  
          transition removes their exemption from nonresident tuition  
          under California policy. The end result is that an E-2 dependent  
          pays in-state tuition until 21, but then pays nonresident  
          tuition at age 21 or older, even if the student met the high  
          school attendance and graduation requirements of AB 540."   
          According to the author, "E-2 visa holders have often lived in  
          the United States legally for decades, with their children  
          identifying as Americans. Their investments in the American  
          economy create jobs and contribute to California's tax base.  
          There is no reason to allow undocumented immigrants to receive  
          in-state tuition, but not legal, nonimmigrant aliens who meet  
          the same criteria."


          Is this bill consistent with the intent of AB 540?  The author  
          and supporters of AB 540, according to Legislative history,  
          intended AB 540 to provide nonresident tuition waivers to  
          undocumented students whom considered California their home and  








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          desired to someday become citizens.  Supporters argued the law  
          would provide talented California high school students, who  
          could not afford to pay nonresident tuition, an opportunity to  
          afford college.  Alternatively, while there are immigrant visa  
          pathways available for business owners seeking to immigrate  
          permanently to this country, federal law explicitly establishes  
          the E-2 nonimmigrant visa for foreign entrepreneurs seeking a  
          limited stay in the United States.  


          Prior legislation.  The Legislature has enacted several bills to  
          expand eligibility for, and benefits related to, AB 540.  These  
          include the following:

          AB 2000 (Gomez, Chapter 675, Statutes of 2015) expanded  
          eligibility to students who have attained credits equivalent to  
          three or more years of full-time high school coursework, and  
          earned these credits in California from a California high  
          school. 

          SB 141 (Correa, Chapter 576, Statutes of 2013) required the CSU  
          and CCC districts, and requested the UC, to exempt from  
          non-resident tuition charges, under specified circumstances, a  
          United States citizen who moved abroad as a result of his/her  
          parent's deportation. 

          SB 150 (Lara, Chapter 575, Statutes of 2013) authorized a CCC  
          district to exempt pupils attending CCCs as special part-time  
          students from paying nonresident tuition as a means of extending  
          in-state tuition benefits to high school students who would  
          ultimately be eligible for AB 540 benefits upon graduation. 

          AB 1899 (Mitchell, Chapter 509, Statute of 2012) grants students  
          who are noncitizen victims of trafficking, domestic violence and  
          other serious crimes (T and U visa students) the same exemption  
          from nonresident tuition and eligibility to apply for and  
          participate in state and institutional financial aid programs as  
          that extended to AB 540 students.









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          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support


          E2VisaReform.org


          Southwest California Legislative Council




          Opposition


          None on File




          Analysis Prepared by:Laura Metune / HIGHER ED. / (916) 319-3960