In-state Tuition for Illegal Aliens

This post points to a case that may be considered by the Supreme Court regarding in-state tuition for illegal aliens at colleges and universities. It seems to me that the Kansas law (and similar laws in other states) is intended to allow for lower tuition for all residents of Kansas, without regard to their immigrant status. Thus they grant in-state tuition to illegal aliens who graduated from Kansas high schools, but not to US citizens who graduate from, say, Missouri high schools. This doesn't seem unreasonable to me, Kansas may want to encourage the education of its residents, illegal or not. I don't see why I should care if Kansas wants to spend its tax dollars that way. The Kansas statute, according to what I could find on the web, requires illegal aliens to apply for legal status before this benefit is granted.

However, this also seems to be in violation of a federal law enacted during the Clinton administration:

Section 1623. Limitation on eligibility for preferential treatment
of aliens not lawfully present on basis of residence for higher education benefits

(a) In general
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the basis of residence within a State (or a political subdivision) for any post secondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of the United States is eligible for such a benefit (in no less an amount, duration, and scope) without regard to whether the citizen or national is such a resident.
(b) Effective date
This section shall apply to benefits provided on or after July 1, 1998.

It looks to me that this law was specifically written to prevent tuition benefits such as the one in Kansas, especially that bit about "without regard to whether the citizen or national is such a resident." So, whether or not one agrees with the law in Kansas, there is another issue, which is the enforcement of federal law. For some reason, immigration laws don't seem to carry the same weight as other federal laws. It has gotten to the point where towns, cities, and states feel free to flaunt (standard usage now!?
) them.

This, I think, is a serious problem. Government is not going to work if people feel free to ignore laws they don't agree with, with the understanding that the executive branch is not interested in enforcement. If congress passes a law, and the executive branch ignores it while the court chooses not to hear the case, it amounts to an extra-constitutional veto.

Addendum- Thinking about this a bit more, it may be that Kansas is ok with this federal law, if it actually makes sure that illegal aliens apply for resident status before they get the benefit. Just applying may give the alien legal status while his or her application is being processed.