Children of Illegal Immigrants Sue Florida Over State’s College Tuition Policy

By Candice Leigh Helfand

MIAMI, Fla. (CBS Tampa) — Children of illegal immigrants living in Florida are suing the state for charging them out-of-state tuition.

Wendy Ruiz, a sophomore at Miami Dade College, is one of those behind the lawsuit.

She is paying $5,000 more than she technically has to, because her college insisted upon charging her out-of-state tuition when her parents were unable to produce legal immigration documents.

Ruiz was born in the United States, and has lived in Florida her entire life. As such, she is both an American and Florida citizen in the eyes of the law.

“It’s so unfair,” she told CBS Tampa. “I was born here. This makes no sense.”

Rather than keeping quiet, Ruiz chose to take action. She and five other college-age Floridians are now involved in a class-action lawsuit that seeks to overturn the rule.

Miriam Haskell of the Southern Poverty Law Center is working on the case.

“We believe strongly that young people … should be treated equally, and have a right to access education,” Haskell stated to CBS Tampa. “(This policy) is deterring not just Wendy and the four other plaintiffs, but scores of others in Florida.”

Gerard Robinson, the Florida Commissioner of Education, and Frank T. Brogan, the Chancellor of the State University System, are listed as the defendants in this case.

When CBS Tampa called the Florida Department of Education, the press office said they could not comment on pending litigation.

Haskell said that the case has been filed in federal court.

“This policy violates the federal constitution. This is not a state statute,” she said. “It violates the equal protection clause, which guarantees equal rights for all United States citizens. The constitution doesn’t make exceptions based on who the parents are.”

In the meantime, Ruiz is doing her best to continue with her education despite the thousands of dollars she must now pay in tuition costs.

“I have financial aid … (but) the rest I pay out of pocket,” she said. “During the week I work at the school in administrative services, and on the weekends I tutor, I babysit … I’ve been a waiter, and had other jobs.”

To make time for her jobs, Ruiz said that she has assumed part-time student status, and is presently taking eight credits in the form of three courses.

Haskell noted that, though her schedule is sometimes grueling, Ruiz is still fortunate.

“Some are able to make ends meet. Some try to do later education, or take a longer time with their education,” she said. “But hundreds are completely deterred from going at all. Three of the plaintiffs (in this case) are unable to attend at all.”

The hope is to resolve the issue and see this rule reversed before it reaches trial.

“We’ve reached out to them, and given them the opportunity to talk with us before moving forward,” Haskell said. “(They have not done so) yet, but it hasn’t been too long.”

According to NPR, State Rep. Reggie Fullwood (D-15) has introduced legislation that would grant access to in-state tuition rates to qualifying citizens, regardless of the immigration status of his or her parents.

“You know I would be extremely happy if we didn’t have to push this legislation, if there was some policy fix or some administrative fix that could be done,” Fullwood told NPR. “I would be one of the happiest people around.”

Ruiz is optimistic that the situation will resolve itself in a way that allows for more affordable opportunities for her and others in her situation. Until then, she’s not backing down.

“This is not stopping me from coming to school. I want to have a bright future ahead of me,” she said. “This (situation) is making me strong and more independent, and more willing to speak my voice.”

Added Ruiz, “It makes me more determined to what I want to become.”

  • paolo

    F them, charge them double and then deport them!

    • JTripodous

      They should not have standing to sue as they are not even here legally. Letting such a law suit even make it past the initial filing stage should be a crime for which any judge that allows it should be removed from the bench. If you are not here legally, you are not entitled to any rights vis-a-vis benefits.

      If they find for these people the state can come in and investigate them for tax fraud because they have not been working legally and, thus, not paying taxes and the same goes for anyone who hired them. Know the parents? They cut your lawn? Don’t hire them to do ANYTHING and let them starve to death with their kids.

      • Daniel

        Funny Guy—

        A lot of people would agree with you. As for me, I’ve been more concerned here to oppose misrepresentation of the relevant laws than to advance my views as to what the laws ought to be.

      • NY9Solyndra

        “They should not have standing to sue as they are not even here legally.”

        The daughter is suing. She is a citizen.

      • FUNNY GUY

        Daniel, I have to agree with what you are saying but I do not agree with the 14th amendment. It needs to be changed and not interpreted because that opens the door for all kinds of problems regarding the Constitution. Which is already happening in the courts most of the time, it should be followed as it is written and most of our problems would be solved like immigration. Follow the law as it is written and not assume what it means.

    • bigjet


      • Ladyvarn

        Agree! If Mexico not only encourages but is a co-conspirator with the coyotes to get their citizens here illegally, We COULD AND SHOULD take all mexican assets i this country to mediate the damage done byillegal aliens.

      • Gibbs Bentley

        Freeze all of Mexico’s assets in US banks to pay for this and all other costs … now.

    • renee


    • Ben

      We have gone stark raving mad it seems……………..


      • MaPe1024

        Stark raving mad is Perry shelling out $100k PER ILLEGAL to go to college in Texas. Call me heartless, but that makes absolutely no sense. I say we all go take a squat in his yard and ask him for tax-payers dollars while he “creates jobs” to clean up the mess.


      • roger parry


        Immediately deport the parents and then charge the daughter in-state tuition

    • ChangoMango

      Amen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Although you can’t deport this student she is a U.S. citizen (by law only as I’m willing to bet she hates this county, people and traditions and blesses her parents homeland) you can certainly deport her illegal parents. Unfortunatly we’re sewing the seeds of our own destruction becuase when she graduates and earns an advanced degree, she, along with thousands of other anchor babies with American college education, will work to legalize their family members and further flood our country with millions of citizens from failed countries with failed traditilons, failed cultrues, failed ethics and failed morals.

      • Horice Sheet

        She is NOT a legal citizen by law. Merely being born here does not qualify one for automatic citizenship. One of the parents must be a legal citizen.

      • krp

        About 20 years ago on the local news in Miami there was a human interest story about a German couple that was on vacation in Miami and the woman went into pre-mature labor and gave birth in Miami.
        At the end of the story the reporter reported, that the baby was granted U.S. citizenship.
        So yes, children born to parents traveling through the United State ARE automatically given U.S. Citizenship.

        Foreign diplomats on the other hand are under the jurisdiction of foreign sovereigns – on official government business – and so are NOT given citizenship. The embassies are technically foreign soil anyway, and they diplomat fall under the “foreign juristdiction” clause of the 14th amendment.

      • Exton1

        Dan,,,For almost 150 years there was no question what the 14th Amendment means, and it does not apply to illegal aliens and their children. The 14th Amendment was added after the Civil War in order to overrule the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision. They only gained any status, when out of the blue in 1982, Justice Brennan slipped a footnote into his 5-4 opinion in Plyler v. Doe, asserting that “no plausible distinction with respect to Fourteenth Amendment ‘jurisdiction’ can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful.” If you are right this means that an illegal mother gives citizenship to her child by the mere fact of crossing the border illegally. You are also saying that you can gain benefits from breaking a law. Your view, and all Liberal/Marxist, basically dilutes American Citizenship. If the illegal voted Republican, the borders would be closed within a week.

      • Daniel


        Your bad analysis includes bad arithmetic. The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868; 1982 was 114 years later, not “almost 150 years”.

        I have repeatedly explained why invocation of alleged *intent* cannot resolve the question of the effect of this amendment. Again: If any intent is relevant, it is the intentions of the ratifiers (not of the authors, who could not themselves amend the Constitution), and the intentions of the ratifiers were diverse and are largely unrecoverable. We must go with the plain language of the Amendment. There is little question that it was provoked in the first place by the issue of former slaves and of their children, but the Amendment, which could have been written very specifically (to refer only to former slaves and to their descendants as such), was instead written very broadly. You may regret that, but that’s simply how it is.

        Indeed, a pregnant woman can come to the United States just in time to give birth to a child, and thereby grab US citizenship for that child. The fact that you actively *dislike* that doesn’t make it not so. Even if everyone here agreed that it were a Bad Thing, that wouldn’t make it not so. (The Constitution has had various Amendments that I’m sure were bad, such as the 16th, 17th, and (for a time) 18th Amendments. They are or were none-the-less active parts of the Constitution.)

        Your need to imagine that your opponents are “Liberal/Marxist” does you no credit.

      • The Basics

        “Indeed, a pregnant woman can come to the United States just in time to give birth to a child, and thereby grab US citizenship for that child.”

        Assuming they came legally then that is true but when their visa is up, they have to leave and take their child with them. They can apply for citizenship just like any other immigrant does.

        If immigration laws were followed, this young girl would not be in this bad situation.

      • Restless

        Well said!

      • Daniel

        No, Horace, read the Fourteenth Amendment; being born here makes her a citizen.

        On the other hand, I was born within the United States, but if I tried to go to school in Florida (or any of 48 other states) then I’d have to pay out-of-state tuition.

      • NY9Solyndra

        Horace said: “She is NOT a legal citizen by law. Merely being born here does not qualify one for automatic citizenship. One of the parents must be a legal citizen.”

        False. As Daniel says, read the 14th Amendment.

        However, 14 was enacted to provide citizenship to slaves and their children. It was NOT intended to apply to those who came here of their own free will and without going through the legal process.

      • Frank

        No Daniel, you read the 14th. Both parents have to be US citizens in order for the child to be a US citizen. It’s be subverted by the progressives who hate this country.

      • bh

        The issue has never beeen decided by the Supreme Court and the Constitution does not give automatic citizenship upon birth.

      • Daniel

        here it is, Frank: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” The only people born here not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States are the children of those with diplomatic immunity.

      • Todd

        14th Amendment applied to slaves, not illegal aliens. Writings from Congress and from the times prove it. She should be deported along with her family.

      • Sterling

        You sir, are correct! It was also upheld in US v. Wong Kim Ark in 1898, where the US Supreme Court ruled that if parents who are here illegally, without visa, have children, those children do not receive citizenship.

      • Nosympathyforillegals

        Deport her parents, she just made the Government aware of where they are.

      • The1

        Yelling fire in a movie theater is not freedom of speech nor is committing a crime protected by the constitution.

      • Daniel


        The practice of claiming that the Constitution doesn’t mean what it says leaves with people rewriting to suit themselves. Sometimes those people are on the Supreme Court, which has more than once reversed itself, so let’s not pick-and-choose court cases to suit ourselves.

        Each of the authors may have differing intents, and each of the ratifying legislators may have different intents. What counts are exactly the actual words with the prevailing definitions at the time of passage. If you think that the authors expressed themselves so badly as to have said something quite other than they meant, then your recourse is another Amendment.

      • chowthen

        What do you mean by citizen by law? Are you pertaining to the 14th amendment of the constitution? Read it carefully and I think it should go to the supreme court and actually make an interpretation of this clause:

        “Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

        The part that says subject to the jurisdiction is the key to the interpretation of citizenship. Since the parents are not US citizens an not under the jurisdiction of the US thus the child is also not a US citizen. As an example a foreign person traveling thru the US and gave birth does that mean is a US citizen? What about foreign diplomats giving birth in the US does it mean the child is a US citizen?

      • Daniel


        To be *subject* to a jurisdiction is not the same as being *citizen* of that jurisdiction (otherwise, the 14th Amendment would circularly define citizens as citizens). To be *subject* to a jurisdiction is to be *subject* to its laws. Anyone in a jurisdiction *except* those with diplomatic immunity is subject to that jurisdiction, as has repeatedly been noted.

        So, yes, someone just passing through could bear a child, and that child would be a citizen, unless the person passing through had diplomatic immunity.

      • Fritz Lentz

        if she was born here where is the birth cert

      • John

        To horice sheet the constitution states born or naturalized to be a citizen. Nothing about the parents is needed to be a citizen. In fact if her parents were deported when she was a baby and she lived her whole life in another country then came to the US and lived in FL long enough to claim citizenship she would be entitle to in state rates just as if she had moved from Nebraska or Kansas. Birth = citizen but that does not give the parents a right to stay.

      • chowthen

        Daniel I disagree with your interpretation of under the jurisdiction. A foreign person traveling thru the country has to obey the laws of the country but they are not necessarily under the jurisdiction (or subject as in under the command of the king) of the US.

        I’m sorry we can argue about this till we’re blue but we’ll never be able to resolve it. The only solution to me is to have congress make an amendment either to abolish the 14th amendment or to clarify the meaning.

      • Daniel


        Illegal immigrants are indeed legally required to obey the legal commands of officials in the US. They are *subject* to its jurisdiction while in it. And, as I said, an Amendment that said that used “subject” to mean “citizen” and declared that any subject were a citizen would accomplish absolutely nothing.

        I don’t need you to concede anything; I just want some of the other readers to see that you’re quite wrong.

      • b

        Arrogant Daniel refuses to concede that there is another reasonable view. In fact, the author of the 14th Amendment’s text regarding citizenship, Sen. Howard, said that it specifically excluded foreigners like today’s Mexican illegals. This was keeping perfectly in line with previously passed laws. Go look it up on Wikipedia if you don’t believe me.

        What happened is that judges simply incorrectly interpreted the plain language and history of the 14th Amendment and related US laws. So now we are stuck with the idiotic situation of people who hate this country and who have no ties to it getting to claim citizenship based on birth tourism and anchor babys. Outrageous!

        The fundamental fact that open borders advocates cannot avoid is that the modern welfare state is incompatible with uncontrolled immigration. You can’t have both leftists. Pick one way or the other to ruin the country.

      • BadWhisky

        The 14th amendment grants citizenship if one is born here. It need to be changed though. The 14th amendments purpose was to patriate slave after the civil war, all those who needed to be patriated are long since dead and buried. No other country on earth will allow you to enter the country simply to bear a child for the purpose of obtaining that child citizenship. We have a real problem with this, the Mexicans doing this are a minor issue in comparison to the middle easterners coming in on medical visa’s for this express purpose, at least the Mexicans are Christian (Oh my I will get plugged for that one).

      • Adam

        In regards to whether or not the children of illegals born in the US are citizens, the facts are that under constitutional law they are not, but under case law they are.

        In a footnote by a supreme court justice on a dissenting opinion a reference was made to that justice’s personal opinion that birth within the borders of the US grants citizenship. I believe this was in the early 80’s.

        Prior to that footnote, there was no such thing as birthright citizenship. The liberals, however, saw the opportunity for a significant increase in potential voter ranks and quickly pushed this as Supreme Court opinion and it has since taken on the status of case law, upheld in court, without any legislative law to support it.

        Judges legislating from the bench are an epidemic in this country that just adds to the corruption of the political system. I agree that the intent of the founders should be respected and these students deported, allowed back in only after they have acquired a student visa. The law, however, due to this corrupt system grants them US Citizenship. It does not, however, grant them state citizenship as the state laws would come into play there. As such out of state tuition would be appropriate unless Florida law regarding citizenship has been met by these students.

      • Sterling

        I believe US v. Wong Kim Ark settles the whole thing. Wong’s parents were in the United States LEGALLY. They were conducting business in the San Fran area, which means they had some kind of visa or whatever was necessary in the 1860-70s. IMHO, I believe that if someone is here on a visa, and they happen to have a child, then that child is a citizen. However, it the parents come here illegally, and have a child, then the child is a citizen of whatever country the parents are from.

      • Adam

        In the end if these types of behaviors continue the schools will have little choice to abolish in-state vs out-of-state tuition, and just charge a higher rate for all the in-state students to compensate. The left in their attempt to champion the cause of a perceived “victim” will make all those trying to do what is right suffer to accommodate their confused vision of social justice.

      • Daniel


        As I already noted, the *intents* of the authors and the *intents* of the legislators who voted for ratification can be at odds each with the other. And if any *intent* counted, it would be that of the latter — if they could be made to agree. The intentions of those who actually ratified the Amendment (or any other part of the Constitution) aren’t really observable; their words suggested that supporters did not agree amongst themselves.

        That leaves us with the actual words of the Constitution. And it is *plain* language that declares that anyone born here and not insulated from the laws of the US is a citizen. Calling me arrogant won’t change that.

        You are, at least, absolutely correct that the modern welfare state cannot endure open borders. And it cannot long endure anything like the present immigration policy of the US.

      • Daniel

        The Basics—

        Insisting that the law is whatever you wish it to be won’t get you very far; and that point includes the highest formal law, the US Constitution.

        The Fourteenth Amendment is perfectly silent about visas except in-so-far as they may acknowledge diplomatic status (which would deny, rather than confer, citizenship to the child). The rest of the legal apparatus accepts that a child born here to an illegal immigrant is a citizen, even if the mother came here for the sole purpose of grabbing that status for her child.

      • Gremlin

        She probably has the Mexican flag hanging proudly at her house.

      • Joe

        Daniel is completely incorrect:

        “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.[3]“
        Not so fast, the men who wrote this said very plainly that people born here, who were under the jurisdiction of another nation, unless their parents were naturalized, are not citizens.
        Read the actual debate:

        During the original debate over the amendment Senator Jacob M. Howard of Michigan—the author of the Citizenship Clause—described the clause as excluding Indians, who maintain their tribal ties, and “persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers.” He was supported by other senators, including Edgar Cowan, Reverdy Johnson, and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lyman Trumbull.[3]

        Howard additionally stated the word jurisdiction meant “the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to every citizen of the United States now”[3] and that the United States possessed a “full and complete jurisdiction” over the person described in the amendment.[4][5][3]

      • american


      • JD

        He birth in the US by illegal immigrants is not what the Fedearl law on citizenship means. She is not a citizen and should have NEVER been given that status, along with hundreds of thousands of others like her. She, along with her parents, should be coutner sued, arrested and be deported. This madness MUST stop and NOW! I hope you hear me Gov. Perry!!!! And Mr. Obama. I do not have a President.

      • drljr

        She is not a citizen. Amendment 14 requires one to be subject to the jurisdiction. She is not since her parents are illegal aliens. The whole family is comprised of illegal aliens.

        These cases are important to understanding Amendment 14

        Elk v Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884)
        United States v Wong Kim Ark 18 S. Ct. 456 (1898)

      • drljr

        To the comments in this subthread. “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” refers to citizenship and allegiance to the country not criminal law. This is common mistake people make. Illegal aliens, visitor, and diplomats do not produce citizens. They are fall under the same issue – they are not “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”. This issue was discussed in detail in

        Elk v Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884)
        United States v Wong Kim Ark 18 S. Ct. 456 (1898)

        In particular Elk, a native American, renounced his citizenship/allegiance to his tribe and said he was now a US citizen. It was determined that just because he was born in the US and left his tribe (a subjugated nation) he was not a citizen. To become a US citizen he would have to be naturalized. Note:This changed in 1924 when Congress passed a law under the provisions of Article 1, Section 8, Paragraph 4.

        Based upon the information in the article she is an illegal alien and should never have been admitted in the first place. She and her siblings are illegal aliens and would be citizens of the parents country of origin depending upon the laws of the parents country. The children may even be stateless – having citizenship of no country.

        The only way she could be a citizen if she can point to an Article 1, Section 8, Paragraph 4 law.

      • krp

        The Page Act of 1875 was the first federal immigration law and it was targeted at Chinese in California. While there were previous laws that dealt with NATURALIZATION, this was the first law in U.S. history that dealt with IMMIGRATION. What means that prior to 1875 the concept of “illegal immigrant” was not even a consideration. There was no such thing as “illegal immigration” at the time, Either a person was a citizen, a visitor, or they hadn’t yet been naturalized. “Unlawful presence” in the country did not exist.
        Therefore, there was “no intent” of the 14th Amendment to restrict citizenship from children of illegals, because the idea didn’t even exist at the time.

    • meeester

      and check whoever comes to the hearing with them

      • NY9Solyndra

        They’ll have their Dem voter registrations with them.

      • Gremlin

        ICE will have to round up the whole courtroom for deportation…..oh, I forgot….the Obamunist & company are so busy shipping guns for drugs, that they have no time to round up & deport illegals. The Obamunist & company need the illegals here to sell the drugs and commit crimes so Obamunist and his minions can use the Mexican crime wave to outlaw gun ownership and enslave the people.

    • db

      Where do they get balls to claim such entitlements? Should say “thank you” for not being deported so far and get the f out.

      To save $5,000 she wants to bring spot light to illegal status of her parents and to deport them!? Wow!

      P.S. I went through immigration process legally and I feel when illegals get more slack then legal immigrants it undermines the whole immigration process. Stick to the current laws or rewrite them for all, not just for illegals!

      • alnga

        I was living in the Miami area when Jimmy Carter opened the doors to any Cubans that could make it here. This part was not a bad situation but because many that did make it here were prisoners direct from prison and put on boats by Fidel. Now I loved our Cuban employees but the criminal group was not vetted and never became citizens. She needs to be vetted to insure all rules were followed.

      • lisa pell

        take take take take take- being a consumer is not being a citizen.

      • Lilith

        We had a friend in the Navy who had to be able to read, write, and speak English. 2 Middle Eastern men behind him could do none of that and were still given citizenship as well. The laws needs to be applied equally in that process too. The 14th Amendment needs to be removed and no more anchor babies idc what race you are. These college idiots need to learn to shut up since they just spotlighted their illegal parents! I think a deportation needs to happen to each of the parents and that would distract them from the extra 5k. It’s too bad that Florida doesn’t cover in college what the word ILLEGAL means.

    • Horice Sheet

      Agree. Plus I think tuition is lower in Mexico. Send them ALL back. Being born to illegal parents in the US does not under the Constitution automatically grant the child citizenship. This is misinterpretation. The law also requires at least one of the parents to be a legal citizen.

      • RealistMe

        Amazing, I wish more people were informed of this. I laugh when she states, “This is in violation of the federal constitution.” And come on now, if you were born here in the United States then it should be easy to obtain some papers at least; why did they wait so long to get them? I’m willing to bet that she was born in Mexico and her parents crossed over when she was very young and simply lied to her about the past.

      • Daniel

        The Fourteenth Amendment begins “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” Children born here other than those born to diplomats are citizens.

        The practice of claiming that the Constitution doesn’t mean what it says leaves us with no formal Constitution at all; just people rewriting to suit themselves. And appeals to intent (as opposed to solid textualism) are unworkable because each of the authors may have differing intents, and each of the ratifying legislators may have different intents. What counts are exactly the actual words with the prevailing definitions at the time of passage.

      • Jotonquo Jones

        That’s not true. Go back to bed.

      • Bill

        You are wrong. If you are born in the U.S. you are a naturalized U.S. citizen, period. There are tons of articles written just recently about rich Chinese women who come here just to have their children, the kids are granted U.S. citizenship.

      • Daniel

        Illegal immigrants do not as such have diplomatic immunity, which means that they *are* “subject to the jurisdiction”. Those who want to deny their children born here citizenship are grasping at a straw; the argument stinks and sinks.

      • Ron

        Horice, you are simply wrong. Under the current law, being born in the U.S. automatically confers U.S. citizenship (regardless of the citizenship of your parents). I was an INS agent for 32 years. I know what I am talking about…you do not.

      • NY9Solyndra

        Bill: “If you are born in the U.S. you are a naturalized U.S. citizen, period.”


        The 14th Amendment makes you a full citizen as long as your are born here.

        Naturalized citizens are people who were originally citizens of other countries and later received US citizenship.

      • jrstudioboss

        For however many years it has been since her parents committed the crime of illegally entering the country, the entire family has profited off of that crime – minimally from her state funded education since kindergarten as well as any siblings, and the state paid costs go up from that! Sorry Wendy, but scream at your parents who ARE STILL ILLEGALS, this is their fault, not the lawmakers of Florida!

      • Ron

        You are very wrong!

      • Frank

        Read the 14th Amendment. “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, AND SUBJECT TO THE JURISDICTION THEREOF……” An illegal is not subject to the jurisdiction of the US therefore neither is the child and thus the child is also an illegal.

      • Daniel

        Frank, the only way to be in a jurisdiction and not subject to that jurisdiction is to have diplomatic immunity, which illegal immigrants don’t.

      • craig54

        just reread the 14 th amendment, it does not state that one parent needs to be a citizen, it would be a mute point. The child would automatically be a citizen.there would be no need of an amendment.

      • chowthen

        This in reply to Daniel.

        Why do you keep adding this sentence to the 14th amendment when it’s not in it?

        “Children born here other than those born to diplomats are citizens.”

        Are you perhaps trying to justify your misunderstanding of it to make it sound more legal?

      • Daniel


        I’m not *adding* a sentence. I’ve not inserted anything spurious into the text where I’ve quoted it.

        I have repeated my own words across multiple comments in reply to a duplication of foolishness across some of the other comments here. There isn’t any great need for me to rephrase simple things across replies.

        And if the best that you can do in response is to formulate some wack theory that readers can’t see quotation marks and where they end, and that I’m hoping to exploit this illiteracy that you believe them to have, then I suggest that you bag it.

      • krp

        You are obviously a Left-wing kook, because you obviously cannot read. They were not askeing for SHE birh certificate, they were asking for the immigration status of her parents.

        Vital records in Florida would be very easy to obtain and verify, but that is NOT what is at stake here.

        Oh, and birthright citizenship comes from English common law. I would suggest that you look it up, but it is obvious being such a libturd that you are not capable of facts or research.

      • drljr

        Horice, if you are a child of immigrants (i.e. someone given permission to enter and live in the country) under Amendment 14 the child born in the country is a citizen.

        Elk v Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884)
        United States v Wong Kim Ark 18 S. Ct. 456 (1898)

    • Pablo Chabau

      Yes, Wendy, it is UNFAIR to us AMERICANS that your CRIMINAL PARENTS are not deported or thrown in jail for breaking our laws.
      You don’t DESERVE anything.
      You should be charged DOUBLE what LEGAL IMMIGRANTS get charged.

      • Common Sense

        Thank you, Pablo, for stepping up and responding in the terms that you did.
        Wendy is exactly the kind of loudmouth that thinks she is entitled to citizenship and spits in the face of people who do it right.
        This issue would be a lot easier to solve if politicians didn’t see illegals as ‘just another vote.’

      • Seth

        Common, she probably doesn’t think that she’s entitled to citizenship because she is a legal US citizen. When was the last time you pondered the legitimacy of your citizenship?

        Are you saying that all children of illegal immigrants aren’t ‘doing it right’? What, in your opinion, should an unborn baby do differently?

      • american


    • Michael Heitzman

      I couldn’t agree more. I’m just shocked at the sheer audacity of these people. These children of illegals have ZERO rights as US citizens in my opinion. They would never be in this situation if their parents had not violated our laws to begin with.

      • krp

        Your opinion doesn’t count. She is a US Citizen, and unless you can prove that she was born in any other country then there isn’t anything that you can do about it.

        When she turns 21, she will be eligible to sponsor her parents for PERMANENT RESIDENCY and they will then be LEGAL RESIDENTS entitled to all benefits thereof.

    • steverino

      Do illegals have the legal standing to sue for anything in an American court?

      • Bill

        She isn’t an illegal, she was born here, read the article. She is a U.S. citizen, her parents are not, Florida proves state residency based on parental information. If she has lived in Florida all her life she should be considered a Florida resident and pay in state tuition, regardless of her parents status.

      • Michael

        What we need is new legislation that clearly reads that a child born here from parents here illegally do not automatically get US citizen status, but rather are illegal just as their parents are. Sadly, Bill is absolutely right and it makes me sick that this is how our system works. It flatly encourages illegals to come here and start the birthing process – on our dime of course, as always..

      • Seth

        Michael, I’m sorry that you disagree with the Constitution. The 14th Amendment has been the law of the land for almost 150 years and is always upheld. I’m sure there are plenty of other countries you could move to with citizenship requirements more to your liking, though.

        People born in the US are American citizens. There’s no gray area there. Arguing otherwise is just wishful thinking.

    • lala

      You da man.

    • Rob Adkerson

      They are legal citizens. Why punish them for their parents mistakes?

    • krp

      Obviously you cannot rad. She is a U.S. Citizen. Why would you deport her.

    • Allan Szast

      Don’t forget that by law she is legal, her parents are not. So give her the instate tuition that she is enttled to, but deport her parents and charge her for all benefits that she recieved from the US government. Then see where her lawsuit goes.

      • Seth

        Daniel — “In the cases such as that of Ms Ruiz, the parents are not considered to be entitled and hence the children not considered to be entitled.”

        Are you referring to some specific state school tuition policy here? I don’t think we’ll find anything about minors being responsible for the transgressions of their parents anywhere in US law. You’re probably aware that it’s usually the other way around.

        Suppose I had bad parents who never paid their taxes. Is that somehow my responsibility? Or suppose I was adopted at birth and it was later discovered that my natural parents were illegal immigrants — what then?

        I’m not arguing that her parents shouldn’t be deported. I’m only defending the rights of a fellow US citizen.

      • Seth

        If she’s a taxpaying citizen, on what grounds would you charge her for the benefits she received? What about kids whose parents died or abandoned them — would they also on the hook?

      • Daniel


        The reason that young adults who *are* born to US citizens cannot typically reap the benefit of a discounted education upon becoming legal residence of a state other than that in which they were raised is that the benefit is really considered to be granted indirectly to parents. In the cases such as that of Ms Ruiz, the parents are not considered to be entitled and hence the children not considered to be entitled. There’s no evident inconsistency in this.

      • Daniel


        I’m not arguing that her parents *should* be deported. I am noting that the benefit in question is not provided to older minors an young adults simply as a result of residency, nor residency combined with citizenship; it is an indirect prerogative of parents who have met certain requirements, which hers did not. There is an equivalent benefit for adults who themselves meet different requirements, which she has not.

        No one is responsible for where they are born, nor are minors responsible for where they reside. If we pursue some of your arguments to their natural conclusions, then the state of Florida should provide discounted tuition to children from anywhere and everywhere — or the discounts should go to no one at all (even those born in Florida). Practicability will argue against the former. Perhaps you will embrace the latter, or perhaps you’ll rethink some of your presuppositions.

    • paperpushermj

      Excuse me She is an American Citizen. Born in Florida lived there all her life. She has been a Citizen of Florida and IMO is entitled to instate Tuition. All instate tuition means is she pays the regular price that all State Tax payers receive because their taxes go toward supporting the Higher Ed State System.

    • James Smith

      Chip them, deport them at once and if they return (we will know from the chip), execute them summarily.

    • abbey

      Past time to get these lazy, ugly, dumb, intellectually inferior ,pushed= in faced creeps out of our country. They are beginning to push the wrong buttons…..people are going to get REALLY upset.

      • Seth

        …so upset they might even post in caps!

    • Blank

      SHE is a citizen of the United States and resident. Her PARENTS are illegal, she isn’t. The immigration status of her parents is irrelevant.

    • Fritz Lentz

      what nerve deport her ass figures the splc would be involve

    • luckydog


    • Seth

      “them”, meaning US citizens?

    • William E. Wilson

      There is no way she can lose this case. being born in the USA and a resident citizen, I can’t understand how the state can make a decision like this. It appears that most of the comment writers didn’t understand that Florida is charging US and Florida citizens $5000 more than other citizens BECAUSE their parents are illegal.Bill

    • Gremlin

      I hope they pick me to be on that jury!!! The Communist…, er, I mean the Southern Poverty Law Center would be soundly defeated!!!

    • Me

      Good idea! Deport all of them! None of them are legally here! Wonder how many food stamps, welfare and etc this group as received during their illegal years here.

    • bp

      Currently they are allowed to be considered American citizens, but children of foreign nationals (illegals or otherwise) are just that foreign nationals and should not be afforded citizenship just because they were born here. Foreign nationals should not have access to any services funded by tax dollars (federal or otherwise). If our representatives in Washington would listen to the majority of their constituents this would be the case now, but neither the Republicans nor the Democrats even bother to listen to the majority any longer. They only listen to their party and its wants. These so called representatives need to be told in no uncertain terms that we are mad as hell and aren’t going to allow them to continue to ignore our wants and needs.

      • krp

        The rulings could not have excluded illegal aliens because the concept of illegal immigratrion did not exist at the time of this ruling with the exception of the Chinese Exclusion Actr.

        There only exemptions are to children of diplomats, born on foreign ships, children born to armed occupying forces and non-Tax baying indians. There was no such thing as entry visas at the time.
        Those persons that are in the United States under the employ of foreign counties on official business with the United States Government are the only ones not subject to the jurisdiction thereof. II illegal aliens were part of a diplomatic detail, then they would not be illegal

      • drljr

        Based upon Amendment 14 she is not a citizen as implied by the article. People ignore “and subject to the jurisdiction ” which limits birth based citizenship to people who are born to what we called immigrants today. Illegal aliens are not immigrants but invaders. This was also codified in the Ark, Elk and Elg Supreme Court rulings. This is why children born to real immigrants are citizens under Amendment 14. Children born to visitors, diplomats and illegal aliens are not “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”.

        And to my knowledge no law or Supreme Court case has changed any of this. You can not just enter a country and give birth to a citizen. Not even in England or most of the European countries was this done to my knowledge. You always had to petition the Crown/Government to become a subject. To my knowledge Germany has no soil based citizenship by example.

    • mw

      quick question: how does one determine the residency of a minor? their parents residency status, right? well, these students’ parents are not residents of florida. hence out of state tuition

      • krp

        The residency is based on the home address. which is in Florida

  • Jay

    Any rational judge who cares one iota about the rule of law would dismiss this case at the outset for lack of standing

    • Blank

      Lack of standing? Really? How so genius? She is a US CITIZEN. She was BORN in the United States. Her parents are illegal, she isn’t.

      People need to actually read the article instead of reading the Drudge headline and posting.

      • Dan

        Blank if your parents rob a bank and give you the money its still illeagl money. comming here and haveing a baby doesnt make them Americain. It two Americian people have a child in Japan it’s not Japeneze

      • krp

        That’s the Japanese. Japanese are racist and a closed society. The 14th Amendment was never ratified by Japan.

      • drljr

        Actually she is an illegal alien. Illegal aliens can not create citizens. You should read the Supreme Court ruling “Elk v Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884)”.

      • krp

        What was Elk vs Wilkins have to do with this?
        Elk was born on a reservation of a foreign nation, that did no pay taxes to the United States. Therefore he was not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States because the United States could not invade the reservation and arrest for some crime he commits on the reservation. He was BORN a citizen of his tribe on the reservation., which is essentally forerign soil wtihin the limits of the United sates. They have diplmatic immunity.

        Wendy Ruiz was BORN a US Citizen, Her parents did no have diplomatic immunity and therefore are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
        She IS a US CITIZEN.

  • Bob

    after a lengthy prison sentence, she should be deported along with the rest of the criminals that have been allowed to flood into the US in order to destroy the unions (middle class)

    • Mark


      Where do you deport an American Citizen to? She was born here and is an American Citizen. As of now that is the law and has been for over 200 years.


      • Rich

        You need to get the facts before you comment. The 14th ammendment was passed in 1868 as one of the reconstruction ammendments. so that would be 143 years to be exact. Its intent was to allow blacks at the time to be considered citizens and over rule the Dred Scott decision. It should have been restricted to blacks of the period and their descendents only. As it is, it has allowed this type of situation to occur. Anyone, legal or illegal that is is not a citizen to have a child here and become a citizen. This was not the original intent and it is wrong.

      • kp

        Sure need to get rid of that law as all other nations that hqad it did.

      • Sick ofit

        It’s REAL simple, children of illegals should NOT be granted citizenship. PERIOD!!! And when they stand up for their rights, catch on the courthouse steps and send them back home…

      • Dennis

        It appears Mark you don’t know your law, over 200 years…..maybe you should do some research!!!!!

      • siylence

        That’s not the law.

        From VDARE.

        “The first sentence of the 14th Amendment says:

        All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. [emphasis added]

        To hold that the Citizenship Clause confers birthright citizenship on anyone born in the United States is to ignore the phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”: a selective misreading of plain English. No argument rooted in the Constitution can support automatic birthright citizenship.”

      • krp


        May 30 1866

        Mr Howard: The first amendment is to section one, delclaring that “all persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the States wherein they reside.” I do not propose to say anything on that subject except that the question of citizenship has been so fully discussed in this body as not to need any further elucidation, in my opinion. This amendment which I have offered is simply declaratory of what I read as THE LAW OF THE LAND ALREADY, that EVERY PERSON BORN WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foriegners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors of foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but WILL INCLUDE EVERY OTHER CLASS OF PERSONS. It settles the great question of citizenship and REMOVES ALL DOUBT AS TO WHAT PERSONS ARE OR ARE NOT CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES. This has long been a great desideration in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country.

      • George

        then at least kick her parents out! Start somewhere!

      • The Basics

        Rich is correct.

        That is when the current law was changed and the intent of the law has nothing to do with illegal aliens.

      • Daniel

        The people in the US *not* subject to the laws of the US are those with diplomatic immunity. Illegal immigrants are subject to the laws, and hence their children born here are citizens.

      • Republic over Democracy


        First off the 14th Amendment was ratified on July 9,1868 so not quite 200 years and it was created to give ex slaves after the civil war citizenship. It was only created to affect those generations not those who break immigration laws 133 years later. Any other country in the world would deport both child and parents. Immigration for those who come legally should rightfully be granted all protection under law. If you travel to any other country you fall under there laws…period. Now that said. this is not a Federal issue; this is a state issue. Last I read the Constitution does not cover price scales for college tuition, which it should not. America has become a socialist entitlement state. It needs to change. The power to tax and give is the power to corrupt.

      • Daniel

        Agaiin: Appeals to intent (as opposed to solid textualism) are unworkable because each of the authors may have differing intents, and each of the ratifying legislators may have different intents. What counts are exactly the actual words with the prevailing definitions at the time of passage.

        The Fourteenth Amendment excludes the children born to those with diplomatic immunity; whether accidentally or otherwise, it confers citizenship on all other children born here.

      • lala

        How about to her parents and her parents back to Mexico where they belong.

      • krp

        @lala What makes you think that her parents are from Mexico? That is a very ignorant assumption.
        The woman lives in Miami, Having lived in Dade Country close to 18 years, I can assure you that there are very few people from Mexico in Miami.

        @Republic over Democracy
        The concept of “nationality of place of birth” comes from English common law, so your assumption that any other country would deport the parents and the child, is just again from pure ignorance.
        While the 14th amendment deal with the citizenship of former slaves, all it did was just add former slaves to be included with what was already the status quo.

        The stupid thing is, that as she is a U.S. Citizen once she turns 21, she will be able to sponsor her parents for green cards and then they WOULD be legal. So to deny a U.S. citizen her in-state residency. based on her parent’s immigration status, is just plain stupid, especially since the 14th amendment says that the person is a resident of the state they are born in, so this decision is a CLEAR violation of the Constitution.

      • abbey

        A resounding YES! Another one who should go is Bill Richardson. Momm came over the border to give birth to him and she STILL lives in Mexico.

      • Gremlin

        Mark, don’t give up your day job shining shoes!

  • Stan

    She should be allowed in State tuition, she is American. Then, deport her parents back to their own country.

    • Luke

      Easily fixed with a simple ex post facto law. The US Gov’t doesn’t follow the Constitution any more anyway, they might as well do some good for once. This woman, child of Mexicans (NOT Mexican immigrants, but Mexicans) sees the US as only a source of handouts. Let her take that attitude home with her, to Mexico.

      • Newbern W Johnson

        Unconstitutional. Congress shall pass no ex post facto law.
        Look it up.

      • 1 HOSPITAL + 2 ILLEGALS = $3,000,000

      • Seth

        “The US Gov’t doesn’t follow the Constitution any more anyway, they might as well do some good for once.”

        That’s how I feel about those pesky gun laws and freedom of speech. Or shall we just nix ones you personally dislike?

    • Ted

      If she can prove citizenship … give a tuition break.
      If NOT …deport her.

    • Kurt

      Exactly. Let her have in-state tuition. But gain the address of the parents, from the lawsuit details.

    • SSchreff

      The reason students are charged in-state rates for a university that they and their parents are the residents of is because by paying state taxes they contribute to the state colleges. Those who do not ie: out of state residence pay the higher amount. Since this students parents are illegal immigrants it is very unlikely they contribute to the education system in form of taxes paid. Based on this simple fact the school and the state should be charging her out-of-state rates. I have 1 daughter going to college in-state and another out-of-state. If she gets in-state tuition, does that mean I can sue my younger daughters school and DEMAND in-state rates?

      • Newbern W Johnson

        When I went to UF, my parents were residents of NC. However, I was a Florida resident and so qualified for in-state tuition. I lived and worked in the state and paid taxes there.

      • krp

        Tell your other daughter to drop out of school and work at McDonalds or Wal-Mart for a years and then she would be a resident of that state and would pay in-state tuition.
        The student mentioned in the article was born in Miami and lived there all her life. Why would she be paying out=– of state tuition when your daughter would be paying in-state tuition after only one year?

      • SSchreff

        krp: The reason she would be paying out of state tuition is that she did not pay taxes in the state of florida nor did those she is a dependant to. To prrof residency tax filings are required by all universities. If she had those I am certain she would have been considered a resident and paying in-state tuition. If she wants to pay in-state tuition she can declare herself independant (from her parents) follow whatever rules it takes to become a legal resident such as register to vote, work and pay state taxes (and unfortunately for her, just living there does not qualify, at least not legally). A person does not need to be a citizen of the United States to pay in-state tuition but rather be a resident of a state. Children of green card holders who work in a particular state and pays taxes to that state are considered state residents. Residency requirements vary from state to state. In the state my daughter chose to go to school she can become a resident if she is married and lives and works in the state for 1 yr or she is active duty military living in that state or if unmarried she is older than 24 and changes her voter registration and lives and works in the state for 1 year. While she is under the age of 24 she can not claim independancy without being married. Go figure. I work 2 jobs, our daughter works part time and we have taken out loans to ensure a good education for our daughter she is excited about. This may sound irrational to some and ok to others. To each their own.

      • Sterling

        Question. How does one file state income taxes in a state that has no state income tax? I live in South GA, less than 11 miles from the Florida line. I’ve had many friends and my brother go to Florida State. Some even went to Florida. Most had to live in the state for a year before they could get in-state tuition. All it required was that their drivers license gave a date of a year or more on it. To get the Florida DL, one just needed a utility bill or rental agreement at an address in FL. That shows residency, not taxes. What if I moved to Florida and was on SSI? I wouldn’t pay taxes on that. The whole tax thing is a none issue. She is NOT a citizen, being born to illegal aliens, thus why she can’t really prove residency.

    • Sander4Gingrich

      Makes too much sense. It will never happen sadly.

    • bd

      Technically, she gets full citizenship after 18 (or could be 16). This was done so that illegals do not get citizenship by just being pregnant and crossing the border. Until that time, the girl belongs with her parents elsewhere. And after she becomes of age, she can start the legal petition process for her illegal parents.

      • Dino

        These are called anchor babies and it’s a stupid concept.

      • Bill

        Not true, the parents can be deported but the children are still U.S. citizens. There is a business that helps Rich Chinese women do it legally, the obtain a VISA, give birth in the U.S., and their child leaves with a U.S. passport and citizenship.

      • SSchreff

        She is a US citizen and can live in the US without restriction (age or otehrwise)but her parents can not. Once she turns 18 she can petition for green cards for her parents. This is a lengthy process and can take up to 2-3 years for them to get a green card. The same process is even longer for siblings who are not citizens. I know people who have been in process for 5 years now for their siblings.

    • Daniel

      I’m a US citizen, but I’d be charged out-of-state tuition. What entitles her to in-state tuition? She’s being asked to pay the same rate that most US citizens would have to pay if they went to school in Florida.

      • krp

        This is a Tampa station and the only student mentioned is in Miami, I have dealt with the same school. The Cuban in admission does not understand the underlying concept of in-state status. Plus Cubans in Miami discriminate against non-Cubans such as ms Ruiz. The admissions officer is probably interpreting the rules in a way to discriminate against non-Cubans

      • krp

        No state college that I have ever attended had an “international student” tuition rate. And I have just recently checked their websites to verify. They have rates for state residents and non-residents. There are no rates for international students at any state colleges that I have been to.

        There may be different application processes for international students because they have to apply far enough in advance to obtain student visas, but since the students are already in the United States, and they are U.S. Citizens, they have no need for F-1 visas.

      • krp

        If her parents lived in Georgia then they could say “you are a Georgia resident”, but if she lives with her parents and their address is in Miami, they cannot say that she is a resident of any other state other than Florida.
        This is probably a clerical error on the part of the admissions office of MDC, I have dealt with them before myself , and they are not very sharp. The state will lose this lawsuit and it sill cost a lot of money in legal fees because of the incompetence of a handful of government employees.

      • Moquegua

        Exactly! Just as when you apply for school grants or scholarshiips, some loans, they look at your parents income until the age of 25 at least. She lives with her parent and they do not have standing in this country. She is lucky she is not charged out of country fees. Not fair? Of course, it is not fair that my kids owe huge loans while scholarships go to illegals and their children and US grants. It used to be the USA did not acknowledge dual citizenship and at the age of 18 had to declare you loyalty to the USA, even if you were born here but of parents who were not citizens 0r born in another country and your parents were citizens of the US. Thank you President Clinton for muddying the water

      • krp

        Obviously you are ignorant and probably never went to college yourself. If you lived in Florida for a year, you would be paying in-state tuition. She is a US Citizen too and has been living in Florida all her life. Why should you be paying in-state tuition after only one year, and she, as a U. S. Citizen has to pay out-of-state after 19 years?

      • krp


        Are you ignorant or what? Out of country tuition? Obviously you have never been to college because there is no such thing as an “out of country tuition” It negates any logic of the matter. Either you are a state resident, – which means you have been living in the state for a year, or you are not. There is no distinction whether you come from another state or another country.

        Private schools such as Rice, Princeton, Mercer, Stanford, Notre Dame etc, are not state sponsored and so in-state tuition does not apply. There is only one tuition rate for all students.

      • Daniel


        Calling me ignorant and insisting that I never went to college are a poor substitute for getting your logic straight.

        Yes, most US citizens could jump through the hoops to become legal residents of Florida; but they haven’t, and would therefore be charged out-of-state fees. Likewise, Ms Ruiz’s parents could have jumped through the hoops to become legal residents, but they didn’t. And Ms Ruiz could be financially independent for a time, while remaining in Florida, and thereby become eligible in her own right, but she hasn’t.

        Ms Ruiz is not subject to any greater hardship than would be a US citizen of her same age newly arrived in Florida.

      • krp

        Then which state is she a resident of, if not Florida?

      • Daniel


        I have repeatedly noted that US citizenship and residency are not jointly sufficient in various cases. Ignoring that point doesn’t do you much good.

        Ms Ruiz’s residency was as a dependent of parents who, in turn, are not legally entitled to pass on to their daughter an educational discount. She could get an equivalent discount by dropping-out and being self-sufficient (while in Florida) for some period, but she is not wiling to do that.

        There’s simply no clerical error here, and the matter would be in state court were it just an issue of a clerical error.

      • SSchreff

        krp: there is a different tuition rate of international students. In fact there are 3 different rate types in state schools while there is a standart fee for private universities. State University tuitions are : In-state tuition for state residents, out-of state tuition for legal residents of the USA who are residents of another state than that of the school they are attending and of course international students. So, Moquegua might not have the terminology right but he is right on substance!!

    • krp

      She is an American citizen, She is a sophmore in college. she is 19 or 20 years old. On her 21st birthday, she can petition for her parents’ green cards. Why should we go to the trouble of deporting them?

  • Richard Henkle

    “This policy violates the federal constitution.” – Your parents being here also violates the Constitution. I’ll make you a deal: Your parents go back to their country and you can have in-state tuition.

    • NY9Solyndra

      She still shouldn’t get in-state tuition.

      All other students must prove that their parents reside in the state in order to get that rate. Her parents can’t prove that because they are here illegally. I don’t think we should bend the rules just because we’ll get rid of one pair if illegals. The ultimate result is that it rewards illegals.

      • krp

        Not so, Anyone can move to another state and live there for a year and be considered in state and pay in-state tuition. At least that’s the way it was 25 years ago when I was in college.

      • Daniel


        No, that is not how it was 25 years ago. Instead, qualification rules varied by state then, and they vary by state now. One could qualify for in-state fees while going to school in Indiana, but in California one had not merely to be resident but not to be the financial dependent of someone from out-of-state.

    • Seth

      So Richard, in your opinion, children should be responsible for the illegal actions of their parents? You’d feel the same if your folks broke the law?

  • JOeb

    Give those bast*rds a plane ticket back to the old country.

    • Dino

      Plane ticket? We can’t afford to be giving away plane tickets. If they are here illegally, bus them to the border and they can walk across, just like they did to get here. Please make sure that there are no empty seats, I hate waste. If I come home and I find someone there that I didn’t invite, I don’t embrace them, feed them, or charge them rent. I kick them out (by force if necessary.) We should be doing the same to illegals. They have no rights to due process, they have no rights to legal counsel, medical care, etc… they are not citizens…and as such have no right to be here, much less any other right. Well, I take that back…they do have a right -the right to go home! :-)

      • NY9Solyndra

        We probably are supposed to return them to the country of origin. Mexico has no obligation to accept them from us unless they are Mexican citizens or legal residents.

    • lala

      I say a bullet would be better and it would send a great example.

      • Seth

        Just so we understand your “thought” process, you would actually look forward to the day when five US citizens are rounded up and shot?

        Great example, you’re right.

  • America

    5 dollars she already has a grant for being a minority.

  • Joeb

    What!! Don’t they have any schools in Mexico????

  • Rick

    They shouldn’t be going to college in the US. Arrest them and deport them along with their parents. Then arrest those that allowed the illegals to go to school.

  • Lance burton

    Boo Hoo! Go to school in the country of your criminal parents.

  • bob

    If you’re illegal, get the f*ck out of our country!

  • Tom Nikolaidis

    so glad I moved out of Florida, in five years it will be a only spanish speaking state with all the illegals and offsprings.

  • John Jackson

    Richard Henkle beat me to it…

  • Bella

    A college education is not guaranteed by the constitution. She does have access to it, and has not been denied the opportunity. Why are so many young people such cry babies? I’m so worried for our future it’s scary.

    • taxpayer

      Agreed, her beef and lawsuit isn’t about the schoolroom door being barred to her entry, it’s about who pays for her subsidized education and why. Now if they banned children of illegals (born here) from attending, I’d be standing with her.

      So access to education is increasing being defined as making it cheaper.

    • Mark


      She is a Florida resident, why shouldn’t she get in state tuition? Her parents status isn’t her issue as an American.

      • moquegua

        Mark it is based on her parents income taxes and they show NONE in florida sssooo she must be from OUT of STATE. Bet if she tries she will qualify for grants and scholarships. And your taxes will pay for it

      • Daniel

        It is not clear why US citizenship and in-state residency should now be jointly sufficient in Florida for in-state rates.

        US citizenship and in-state residency were not jointly sufficient in California when I was going to school there. One was further required to show that, during a minimum time of residency before one began going to school, one were not a financial independent of some out-of-state persons. (One did not ever qualify for in-state tuition if one began going to school as soon as one got there, and did not drop out for some period.)

      • krp

        Yes you are ignorant.
        Florida has no income tax, so of course there will be no income tax shown by the parents in Florida, so by your logic, ALL students must be out-of-state

  • Legal Citizen

    When did being ILLEGAL all of a sudden entitle ILLEGALS to ALL the same rights as LEGAL citizens???? Deport ALL of them. Law is law…if you shoot someone you go to jail…if you break immigration laws you get kicked out…very simple..wondering why Washington can’t figure it out…so f***in simple people!!

    • Seth

      You’re totally right — law is law. And the law says that she’s a citizen. So that should end the discussion, right?

      • MaPe1024

        Agreed! When I tried to get tuition help, I, too, had to fill out quite a bit of paperwork. If you can’t demonstrate that you have a legit address and make a legal income in a state, you are not entitled to in-state tuition (or legal residence in this or any country!).

  • Ed R

    I am a veteran and a die-hard Republican and have attended both recent Fort Lauderdale Tea party rallies…I’m about as conservative as you can get. With that said, Wendy Ruiz, based on the information stated in the article above, is just as much an American as I am and she should not be paying out of state tuition rates. Her parents should be deported but she is 100% as American as anyone else born here.

    • PolishKnight

      Ed R, no, she’s not. The citizenship amendment refers to LEGALLY born residents of the USA. Since her parents were here without a VISA, she is essentially stateless or gains the citizenship of her parents’ country. However, since she’s been naturalized and given a passport, it’s unlikely to be taken away.

      That said, sure, give her in-state tuition and deport the parents.

      • Sterling

        Mark and Ken are both wrong. The 14th Amendment were for the children of the slaves. The US Supreme Court held this up with US v. Wong Kim Ark in 1898. If the parents were not here on visa a child born here is not a citizen. If they were here illegally then their daughter is not a citizen. Ken in order to be a “natural born citizen” BOTH parents have to be citizens. If one parent is a citizen, then the child is a citizen, but NOT “natural born”.

      • Ken

        No, you are wrong PK:

        Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declares that “All persons born … in the United States, … are citizens of the United States …” Thus, children born to non-citizens while on American soil are automatically citizens of the U.S.A.

      • Mark

        Polish Knight,

        That is not the way it reads and she is a natural born citizen. We need to fix immigration and change the law but as it is now she is 100% natural born, not naturalized

      • krp

        From the Supreme Court Ruling of US V WKA, under English common law, birthright citizenship has only 4 exemptions, 1)Birth to foreign diplomatic details and members of ruling families, 2)born on foreign owned ships and 3) Born to foreign occupying armed forces, and add the 4) Indian tribes that do not pay taxes to the US. These are the ONLY exemptions to the “subject of the jurisdiction thereof” clause.

      • krp

        Visas didn’t really exit until WWII. The idea of “unlawful presence” is a very modern concept, thus the intent of the 14th amendment could NOT have excluded “illegals” because there was no such thing that the time.

      • drljr

        It is important to remember that birth based citizenship is conditional. You have to be subject to the jurisdiction. Amendment 14 does not give unlimited soil based citizenship. While at least one individual refuses to accept what the writers of the Amendment stated it means and what Supreme Court rulings based upon words itself stated just being born on US territory does not give citizenship.

        The clause “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” has to do with the giving of allegiance and having said allegiance accepted by the sovereign/government. It is not not about criminal law. Using criminal law logic Amanda Knox is a citizen of Italy.

        Since her parents never pledge allegiance their prodigy can not receive citizenship by soil. Remember, when a immigrant is granted permission to enter and live in the country they swear an oath of allegiance to the country. This is why rulings such as Elk and Ark are so important to understand. She is not a US citizen since her parents never subjected themselves to the jurisdiction. So of the comments have indicated her parents are from Mexico. Which means she a Mexican citizen. Consider the issue of Roman Polanski and extradition as well as Mexican citizens who commit crimes here and flee to Mexico. It is all inter-related to the phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”.

        We have had immigration and illegal aliens laws for years. Remember, some of the first immigration and citizenship laws were passed in 1790. The only way she can be citizen is there is something in Title 8 of the US Code passed in accordance with Article 1, Section 8, Paragraph 4 of the US Constitution.

      • Dan

        If two Americians have a baby in Japan that child is not Japenize

      • drljr

        Depends upon the law in Japan. From one report I have read if you are born in Japan of foreign parents then at age 18 you can claim Japanese citizenship. So like here if you are an immigrant – i.e. asked for and been granted permission to live in the country – Japan may give citizenship. I just know that based upon what has been presented in the article she is not a US citizen under Amendment 14 or Article 1, Section8, Paragraph 4.

      • drljr

        Ken – cite the whole sentence if you are going to quote it. Why did you leave out “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”. She and her parents are subjects based upon the implication of the article. Which means she is an illegal alien and not a US citizen. Read the Ark, Elk and Elg rulings on citizenship.

    • Ken

      I agree with you sir, though I hope you will reconsider your blind allegiance to politicians of any “party”, since they’ve proven over and over again to merely be on the said of corporations and banking interests, with a handful of exceptions.

      That said, why anyone would want to go to college in the US, once they learn the true cost in terms of outrageous debt with low hopes of finding a high paying job, is beyond me. Wake up parents, it’s much cheaper to go to college in other countries, and the education is just as good. I know it’s hard to let go of your kids, but I leave you with this quote:

      “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
      ― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It

      • krp

        Subject to the jurisdiction, means that a person can be prosecuted for a crime. Foreign diplomats have diplomatic immunity and cannot be prosecuted for violations of US law.

        If she or her parents can be prosecuted for legal infractions in the US then they are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and the Citizenship Claus APPLIES>
        She IS a U.S> Citizen.

      • Sterling

        In Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better Environment (1998) the court said “jurisdiction is a word of many, too many, meanings.” Therefore, it is important to discover the operational meaning behind “subject to the jurisdiction” as employed under the Fourteenth Amendment rather then assuming its meaning from other usages of the word jurisdiction alone. Both Sen. Trumbull and Sen. Howard provides the answer, with Trumbull declaring:

        The provision is, that ‘all persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens.’ That means ‘subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof.’ What do we mean by ‘complete jurisdiction thereof?’ Not owing allegiance to anybody else. That is what it means.

        In other words, it isn’t local jurisdiction the Fourteenth Amendment recognizes but only the lack of owing allegiance to some other nation because the United States only recognizes those who are ‘true and faithful’ alone to the nation.

        Keep on krp, show us how smart you are. We will keep posting to show how dumb you really are.

      • krp

        Visa’s didn’t really exist at that time. The idea of “unlawful presence” is an entirely modern concept – like socialism. The “intent” of the 14th Amendment is exactly as written. It could not have excluded “illegals” because there was no such thing at the time.

      • drljr


        Wong’s parents were legal immigrants. They had been granted permission to enter and live in the US. They were actual immigrants. In this case the parents were never admitted to the US and are in the US illegally. The key is the clause “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof “. You can not make yourself a subject. You have to be accepted as a subject. It is possible to be a country and to not produce citizens children.

      • Mark

        The Sumpreme Court upheld Wong’s claim of being a US citizen by right on US birth. Did I miss your point of bringing it up? After the case two other son’s were also granted citizenship. So this girl is entitled to US citizenship under the 14th amendment which has been the law for over 144 years, not 200 as I said earlier.

      • Sterling

        Wong’s parents were here LEGALLY!!! They were here for business, which meant they had a visa, or whatever was needed to be here in the US back in the 1860s and 70s. That is the point of my post. This girl’s parents were here illegally, meaning she is not a citizen.

    • Liberal Vet

      Well said Ed. To everyone else; don’t blame the child for who her parents are. Remember you did’t pick yours. Under law she is just as American as you and I, meaning she is entitled to the same oppurutnites.
      -Liberal Vet

    • Sander4Gingrich

      Yup. You are right sir. But her should have been deported yesterday.

      • Sander4Gingrich

        But her parents I mean. How do you not have an edit button?

    • Tommy


      What needs to happen is that people like this need to go back to Mexico and wait their turn to be called for citizenship. There needs to be a 100% repeal of the laws and processes that gurantee people born here to be citizens. NOBODY born in any other country other than the USA is a citizen of that country….unless they are lawfully already citizens.

      I cannot for ex go to Switzerland and have a baby and that child is Swiss…they would throw me out. That is a stateless individual and these births happen all over the world…so why do we accpt them as ours?


      • krp

        Mexico? Where in the article was anything said that her or her parents are from Mexico? I have lived in Miami for many years and have only met 2 people from Mexico. A lot of Cubans, Puerto Ricans Dominicans, Venezeulans, Columbians and Argentines, but very few Mexicans.

        Uh.. birthright citizenship comes from English common law, so your comment that “NOBODY born in any country is a citizen of that country” is wrong.

        “But it was much later, with the independence of the English colonies in America, and the French Revolution, that laid the foundations for jus soli. With the social and economic development of the 19th and 20th centuries, and above all, the massive migrations to the Americas and Western Europe, that jus soli was established in a greater and greater number of countries.[3]”

        “Jus soli is common in developed countries that wished to increase their own citizenry. It is also recognized in some developing countries, most notably Pakistan. Some countries that observe jus soli include:
        United States

        And you say that Ed is ignorant?

      • Seth

        Tommy, the 14th Amendment has been around for almost 150 years. Are you saying that we’ve been ignorant and lazy that whole time?

        You’re right, though — our laws are very different from any other country. Switzerland also has universal health care, as do most other first-world countries. Would you like to be more like them in that regard, also?

  • JOe Dutra

    I will tutor them for free.
    American Law 101 & Economics 101.

    Then I will give them a free ride home.

    • Dave

      you obviously need to brush up on the Constitution… specifically Amendment 14

      • Todd Clemmer

        The 14th was meant to turn slaves, brought here by force, into American citizen Not so that pregnant aliens can scale a fence, and have their children here in order to grab a seat at the trough. Leave it to a leftist to accuse someone of needing to brush up on the Constitution and then totally misinterpret the mentioned amendment on purpose.

  • John Holmes

    I would say let her have her in state tuition, if she is willing to have her illegal parents deported and banished for breaking the law!!!

    • Newbern W Johnson

      Whether or not her parents are deported or not ( HIGHLY unlikely ) has zero to do with the case at hand. She was born here; she is an American Citizen
      And I’m a cranky old Conservative!

      • TxSon

        It is time the 14th ammendment was interpreted the way it was meant to be. The citizenship clause had only one purpose and that was to ensure that freed slaves had citizenship rights. It was never meant to give citzenship to children of illegal immigrants.

        That’s the hard fact. Get over it.

      • krp

        Did they have any immigration offices in 1865? Was there even such a thing as “legal immigration” in 1865? In those days, it was hard to get from one country to another, so anyone that boarded a ship to the New World, probably intended to stay. I have seen plenty of John Wayne movies where they would chase Indians into Mexico, but I have never seen any border patrol agents.

        Back then, people in the country were either citizens or immigrants, unless they were Chinese migrant workers. Either you were a naturized citizen, or you were waiting until you cold be. There were no green cards, I-94s no student visas,and no “illegals” It wasn’t until the 20th century that immigration laws restricting entry came into play. NOT at the time of the 14th Amendment.

    • Seth

      TxSon: if it’s a hard fact, surely you you won’t mind sharing your sources.

  • karl anglin

    Whatever happened to international rates being charged?

  • taxpayer

    America, cruel land with rules and restrictions, imagine having to pay for her education. The thought of working her way through school, oh the horror of it all.

    • Georgia Jeff

      Right! And how about this…Require a current tax return to clain ANY services of ANY kind.

  • stew

    I hope everyone knows “anchor baby” status was made law just so children of african-born slaves would be guaranteed US citizenship when the slaves were granted citizenship. It makes sense since slaves were brought here against their will. Modern-day illegals? not so much…

    • krp

      The slave trade was abolished after 1808. So the youngest slave brought to the US in 1865 would have been 57 years old.

      The 14th amendment just added former slaves to what was already the status quo for all other babies born to all other nationalities. There was no such thing as “illegal immigration” back then. If you were here 5 years, you were eligble for citizenship.

      Birthright citizenship came from English common law. that is older than the United State itself.

  • stace

    America is dying, dying a slow death…this is really a sad time in our history and we keep slouching toward being a 3rd world country…45 million on food stamps, illegals demanding rights and getting them, an inept government, a pathetic president…sad.

    • Texas Freedom

      Unfortunately, it’s not all that ‘slow’ of a death anymore. We’re fast-tracking . . .

    • menotyou

      woah there buddy, you should direct the majority of your blame to your elected officials who have sold us down the river to lobbies

  • cappy

    Hmmm. lets do the math,15 trillion debt and someone illegal wants to go to school at taxpayer expense, maybe cheaper to bbuy them a plane tickket!

    • Seth

      Since you’re so good at math (and spelling), maybe you’re also good at law, so you’ll understand this: she’s a US citizen.

      And where did you read that taxpayers are covering her tuition? She’s in school already and paying for it. Read the full article next time, not just the headline.

  • patmurphy1965

    The parents broke the law by having these anchor babies; and their children are being asked to take some responsibility. They should give something back for all they have received from the “system.” Our society works best when we receive and are willing to give.

  • Fidel

    Please get bent.

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