Arizona's DACA Recipients May No Longer Qualify For In-State Tuition

AZ Ends In State Tuition for DACA Recipients After Unanimous State Sup. Ct. Ruling					by Tony Lee9 Apr 20180		9 Apr 2018		9 Apr 2018

A new ruling from the Arizona Supreme Court mandated that those who benefit from the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals program are no longer eligible for in-state tuition, AZ Central reports.

Arizona schools and community colleges started offering the cheaper fees in 2015 after a Maricopa County Superior Court determined DACA students had legal immigration status in the country.

The Arizona Supreme Court said it was making its decision known quickly to give the district and its students, as well as the state, as much time as possible for planning.

The Court of Appeals, however, said the 2006 ballot measure is limited exclusively to those with "lawful immigration status".

The unanimous ruling Monday will affect at least 2,000 students attending the state's largest community college district and hundreds more at other colleges and the state's three public universities. The judge in the case - between the state of Arizona and Maricopa Community Colleges, which was charging Dreamers in-state rates - ruled that Arizona Dreamers no longer get to pay in-state rates.

EDITOR'S NOTE: KJZZ is licensed to the the Maricopa County Community College District. There are almost 28,000 dreamers residing in Arizona.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said it is "about time someone held" the state's colleges and universities that were providing in-state tuition rates to DACA recipients accountable.

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Martinez said he would not be graduating ASU this May if not for his eligibility to pay in-state tuition.

"Our Dreams don't depend on a court ruling", she wrote in another post, "we have put ourselves through school and we are going to continue to do so". But this ruling by the Arizona Supreme Court doubles the tuition cost for DACA recipients.

"While people can disagree what the law should be, I hope we all can agree that the attorney general must enforce the law as it is, not as we want it to be", Brnovich said in a statement on Monday.

In 2006, Arizona voters approved Proposition 300 with 71.4% of the vote.

Karina Ruiz, executive director of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, said in a news conference the decision "again shows that the politicians are going to continue their attacks on our community", preventing students "from going to college, from contributing to society, from bettering themselves". In the meantime, undocumented students will start to come to terms with what the ruling means for their education.

Sec. 505 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996 states explicitly that, "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 postsecondary 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". She said that when she heard about the verdict, she immediately thought of her younger brother, who is a sophomore at ASU. As President Obama forthrightly acknowledged when he established the program in 2012 (after repeatedly saying he did not have the authority to do so), DACA does not bestow legal status on beneficiaries.

Abril Gallardo, an undocumented student at Phoenix College, said it was "unfortunate" Arizona officials were "amplifying anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies" spread by Trump.

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