Published: Thu, April 12, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Arizona High Court Strikes Down Tuition Break for Dreamers

Arizona High Court Strikes Down Tuition Break for Dreamers

The Arizona Supreme Court on Monday unanimously ruled that DACA recipients no longer will be eligible for in-state tuition, saying state and federal laws prohibit it.

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. He said that does not run afoul of the 2006 voter-approved law at issue in the case before the Supreme Court which spells out that any person who is not a USA citizen or "legal resident" or is "without lawful immigration status" is ineligible to be charged the same tuition at state colleges and universities available to residents.

ASU President Michael Crow issued a statement to The State Press emphasizing that the court decision "does nothing to alter (the University's) steadfast commitment to making higher education a reality for all Arizona high school graduates, including those who have DACA status".

In 2015, a Maricopa County Superior Court ruled that a DACA recipient was eligible for in-state tuition rates, but the Arizona Court of Appeals court overturned that decision in 2017. 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. The Maricopa colleges governing board, depending on those employment authorization documents, voted to allow DACA recipients to attend paying in-state tuition. "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?"

"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". My parents can't afford that.

"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", said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. And that, he said, means the state and its taxpayers would not be illegally subsidizing the cost of education for dreamers.

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DACA recipients have remained protected because of a court injunction suspending Trump's decision to end the program, but so-called Dreamers outside the program - other immigrants who arrived in the country as minors and live here without legal status - are subject to deportation.

This is not the first time that the state of Arizona has attacked undocumented young immigrants.

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". Although the news is "very stressful" for her, she said she is more concerned about all those students who haven't even had a chance to start college.

The Arizona Supreme Court has made a decision to put an additional obstacle to around 2,000 undocumented young students who arrived in the country as children (Dreamers), in their struggle to lead a normal American life.

President Donald Trump has tweeted about DACA frequently after announcing past year he would end the program. "Unfortunately, today, a decision was made to block access to education for deserving Arizona students", she said.

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