State tuition for 'Dreamers' violates state, federal law, Arizona Supreme Court rules

12 April, 2018, 00:47 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • AZ Ends In-State Tuition for DACA Recipients After Unanimous State Sup. Ct. Ruling

The Arizona Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday that students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status can not receive in-state tuition.

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". 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 US 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.

The Arizona Supreme Court mentioned that a full opinion with an explanation of the Court's ruling should be issued by May 14, 2018.

Monday's decision will affect more than 2,000 students enrolled in Arizona's community colleges and three public universities. And in-state residents at Arizona State University pay less than $10,000 per year, compared to nonresidents who pay more than $27,000.

Regent Jay Heiler, who came up with the concept, said that eliminates any conflict with a 2006 voter-approved law 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.

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".

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.

Rates are substantially less than what non-resident students pay.

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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.

"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 law provides that state-funded services and benefits, including in-state tuition and financial aid, can only be provided to individuals who have legal status".

Arizona's state appellate court's 2017 ruling overturned a lower court judge's 2015 decision that "dreamers" should be legally present in the U.S. The DACA program, which former President Barack Obama signed in 2012, did not confer legal status to young illegal immigrants, presiding Judge Kenton Jones wrote.

Carlos Yanez, a student at ASU studying biomedical sciences, said in a news conference that he is "really scared" about the decision.

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". She said that when she heard about the verdict, she immediately thought of her younger brother, who is a sophomore at ASU.

Trump has repeatedly tweeted about DACA.

Instituted by the Obama administration, it allows those who arrived in this country illegally as children to remain if they meet certain other conditions.

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