Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

Arizona Dreamers No Longer Granted in-State Tuition

AZ Ends In-State Tuition for DACA Recipients After Unanimous State Sup. Ct. Ruling Arizona Supreme Court Blocks In-State Tuition For 'DREAMers'
Glenn Montgomery | 12 April, 2018, 00:46

In a brief order Monday morning the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that it violates both state and federal law to offer those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program the same tuition as paid by other state residents.

Arizona's three state universities and its largest community college district say they will raise tuition immediately for young immigrants with deferred deportation status under the DACA program in the wake of a court ruling. In a 7-0 decision, the Court agreed with a previous 3-0 Court of Appeals decision that existing federal and state law do not allow Maricopa County Community College District to grant in-state tuition benefits to DACA recipients.

The 7-0 ruling upheld an earlier decision in the Court of Appeals previous year that said DACA recipients, often called DREAMers, who have been granted "lawful status" but not "legal status" do not qualify to pay resident rates. Arizona Board of Regents Chair Bill Ridenour said that in compliance with the ruling, DACA recipients will no longer receive in-state tuition at public colleges.

DACA recipients will have to pay a far greater amount for tuition to continue attending those schools after the ruling, according to the Republic.

The Maricopa County Community Colleges District and state universities said they would raise tuition for the coming school year.

"These Dreamers grew up attending Arizona schools, and want to pursue careers that will give back to Arizona's communities and boost our economy", he continued. "Our universities will work with now enrolled DACA students to help them understand the implications for tuition", he said in a statement.

Like most students, when Carlos Yanez was applying to college, he faced the question of how to pay for it.

"I was really sad and I was really depressed because I didn't think I was going to go to college", Yanez said.

The Show's Lauren Gilger spoke with her, and asked what her reaction was Tuesday when she found out about the Arizona Supreme Court's decision.

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".

Where it all fell apart was the attempt by O'Grady, in defending in-state tuition for dreamers, to convince the Supreme Court that "lawful presence" means the same thing as "lawful immigration status", the language used in the 2006 law to deny in-state tuition to dreamers.

"This is exactly why we need a permanent solution", Karina Ruiz, president of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, told NPR.

DACA allows certain immigrants who came to the country undocumented as children to stay, and those protected by it are known as Dreamers. 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. "In conjunction with the Arizona Board of Regents, we will comply with the ruling and support our DACA students to continue their education at the UA", Robbins said.

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