Sunday, 15 July, 2018

Arizona Supreme Court strikes down in-state tuition for DACA students

DACA UA Protest 2 AZ Ends In-State Tuition for DACA Recipients After Unanimous State Sup. Ct. Ruling
Jay Anderson | 12 April, 2018, 00:46

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Monday that recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are not eligible to receive in-state tuition rates at Arizona 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".

A full opinion further explaining the court's ruling will be released by May 14, but the order was released Monday to allow students in the Maricopa Community Colleges system and other state universities as much time as possible to plan for those affected by the decision.

In an age when many judges have decided their role is to make laws rather than rule on the constitutionality of law enacted by the legislative and executive branches of government, the Arizona Supreme Court did something entirely novel on April 9: they conscientiously attended to the business that falls under their job description. Four-year universities will charge DACA students who graduated from a state high school 150 percent of in-state tuition.

Arizona State University's in-state rate for undergraduate students is $10, 640 compared to $26,470 for non-resident students, while Maricopa Community Colleges offer an in-state rate of $6 per credit hour versus $241 for non-residents. Yet the academic future of 18-year-old Yanez and thousands of other Dreamers in Arizona is in doubt.

Edder Diaz Martinez, a DACA recipient and the communications director for Undocumented Students for Education Equity, said the group was created to have tough conversations and find a permanent solution for DACA recipients.

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




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

Arizonans have been hostile to the idea of giving undocumented immigrants state services, including in-state tuition. In that sense, defenders of the in-state tuition policy argue that DACA was meant to provide lawful status to young undocumented immigrants.

"Without a doubt, the Arizona Supreme Court's decision today is a setback for DACA students", Arizona Board of Regents Chair Bill Ridenour wrote in a statement.

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

And despite the best efforts of immigrant-rights activists, Congress has yet to hold a vote on a Dream Act that would allow a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the U.S. In an Easter tweet, Trump declared that "DACA is dead". 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.

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