Education Expert Witness On Texas Statute

Attorneys for an anti-illegal immigration organization are challenging a Texas state law that allows illegal immigrant students to attend colleges and universities at in-state rates, saying it violates federal law. David A. Rogers, a lawyer for the Immigration Reform Coalition of Texas, an organization that opposes illegal immigration, said the lawsuit filed on Monday in Harris County District Court marks the first direct court challenge of the Texas law. Texas is one of 10 states in the nation that have laws offering in-state tuition to illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria, including graduating from a local high school and pledging to legalize their immigration status as soon as possible.

Education expert witness Michael A. Olivas, a University of Houston law professor who specializes in higher education and immigration issues, said that the lawsuit filed Monday was based on a flawed reading of federal statutes and the Texas residency law. “The state can, and did act properly, and the statute is constitutional,” said Olivas, who also served as an expert witness when a similar law was later challenged in Kansas.

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