Published: Thu, April 12, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Arizona Supreme Court Blocks In-State Tuition For 'DREAMers'

Arizona Supreme Court Blocks In-State Tuition For 'DREAMers'

The Arizona high court handed down a unanimous ruling barring Maricopa County Community Colleges from offering in-state tuition benefits to illegal aliens, including DACA recipients.

Arizona's three state universities and its largest community college district say they will raise tuition immediately for young immigrants with deferred deportation status under the DACA program in the wake of a court ruling.

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. 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. A "full opinion further explaining the court's ruling" will reportedly be released by May 14. In-state tuition for the next school year at Arizona State University, for example, is $9,834, while nonresident tuition is $27,618, according to the Arizona Republic.

The press conference was mostly focused on the stories of the DACA recipients rather than the next steps they're taking in the fight for in-state tuition.

A subsequent decision by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge said that all Arizona public colleges must offer in-state tuition to Dreamers, but past year the Arizona Court of Appeals sided with the attorney general.

"It's going to be harder to continue with this journey", she said.

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. They aimed to end a powerful incentive for people to bring their kids to the United States illegally; alleviate a substantial burden on taxpayers; and ensure that illegal aliens did not receive preferential treatment over citizens and legal residents. But this ruling by the Arizona Supreme Court doubles the tuition cost for DACA recipients.

"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.

Still, according to Karina Ruiz, the president of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition maintains that fundraising will begin soon to help students pay for tuition.

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.

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

The state has been at the center of similar legal issues surrounding DACA.

DACA allows certain immigrants who came to the country undocumented as children to stay, and those protected by it are known as Dreamers.

President Donald Trump has tweeted about DACA frequently after announcing previous year he would end the program.

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