Arizona court rejects in-state tuition for 'Dreamers'

12 April, 2018, 00:46 | Author: Jason Torres
  • 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

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Monday immigrant students protected from deportation through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program must pay out-of-state tuition at state universities and colleges.

The Arizona Supreme Court said Monday that the ruling does not "foreclose any measures taken by the State, in compliance with federal law, to extend resident tuition rates to in-state high school graduates not lawfully residing here".

The court said it issued its brief order in order to allow colleges and students affected as much time as possible to plan. The ruling came just a week after the state's high court heard arguments in the case against Dreamers brought by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

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.

President of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition Karina Ruiz told the Arizona Republic a lack of access to federal or state financial aid made it hard for DACA recipients to pay in-state rates and the ruling will make pursuing higher education "almost impossible" for them. Arizona residents pay $86 per credit hour at the Maricopa Community Colleges, while non-residents pay $241.

Petra Falcon, executive director of Promise Arizona, said in a statement the ruling "basically declares that the future of thousands of Arizona Dreamers simply doesn't matter".

"The university is now looking into all options to assist Arizona high school graduates who are qualified to be in the US under DACA with an uninterrupted educational journey beyond high school", Crow said in the statement. "In other words, it's okay for them and their families to pay state taxes but they can't receive in-state tuition to attend college?"

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Sisa said she feels "incredibly disappointed in the state of Arizona" after the decision.

"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.

The president of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, Karina Ruiz, told the outlet that her group will start raising money to fund emergency scholarships because this is a "state of crisis". And that, he said, means the state and its taxpayers would not be subsidizing the cost of education for Dreamers who, the way the court has read the law, are not here legally.

Arizona DACA students are also ineligible for federal or state financial aid.

However, the Arizona Board of Regents approved a lower tuition rate in 2015 for non-residents who have graduated from a high school in the state, which would be about 150% of a state tuition ($14,751) as AZ Central continues.

Carlos Yanez, a student at ASU studying biomedical sciences, said in a news conference that he is "really scared" about the decision. "Unfortunately, today, a decision was made to block access to education for deserving Arizona students", she said. Egurrola, who is 24, said that after a moment of disbelief, she urged her friends that this fight had been a long one, and they would find a solution.

President Trump signed an order to end the Obama-era DACA program in September.

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