AZ Ends In-State Tuition for DACA Recipients After Unanimous State Sup. Ct. Ruling

The ruling could affect upward of 2,000 DACA recipients who now attend community colleges or state universities in Arizona and pay in-state rates, the Republic reported.

Arizona's Supreme Court ruled Monday that college students covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program must pay out-of-state tuition rates.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said he wasn't surprised by the ruling, as he had previously maintained state colleges and universities were violating state and federal laws by granting in-state tuition to DACA recipients.

Until Monday, these young DACA beneficiaries were able to "receive lower in-state tuition rates at Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University since 2015", explained NBC News.

Ridenour also mentioned that DACA students who graduate from an Arizona high school can take advantage of a slightly more affordable tuition rate that is 150 percent of the in-state fee. During a court hearing last week the justices had a series of pointed questions for Mary O'Grady, who was defending the policy enacted by the Maricopa Community Colleges of permitting dreamers to pay in-state tuition.


"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 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".

"The university is now looking into all options to assist Arizona high school graduates who are qualified to be in the USA under DACA with an uninterrupted educational journey beyond high school", Crow said in the statement.

Rates are substantially less than what non-resident students pay. "I can't afford that", Yanez told reporters at the Capitol on Monday evening. Existing state and federal law for in-state tuition eligibility does not extend to students without permanent legal status, according to the ruling.

"What this decision means is that the education of these students are on hold", Martinez said. She said that when she heard about the verdict, she immediately thought of her younger brother, who is a sophomore at ASU.


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".

The AZ Supreme Court's decision to block Dreamers from in-state tuition is a bad blow to AZ students who want nothing more than to pursue their American dreams.

The Dream Act is a bipartisan bill first introduced in 2001 (and known then as DREAM) that would create a path to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children.

President Trump signed an order to end the Obama-era DACA program in September. "Unfortunately, today, a decision was made to block access to education for deserving Arizona students", she said.


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