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Supreme Court Rules Arizona Dreamers No Longer Eligible for In-State Tuition

Supreme Court Rules Arizona Dreamers No Longer Eligible for In-State Tuition

 College students part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will no longer be eligible for affordable in-state tuition in Arizona, according to a ruling made by the Supreme Court this week.

“Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced today that the Arizona Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in favor of the State in the Maricopa County Community College in-state tuition case. In a 7-0 decision, the Court agreed with a previous 3-0 Court of Appeals decision that existing federal and state law do not allow Maricopa County Community College District to grant in-state tuition benefits to DACA recipients,” writes Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich in a statement.

About 2,000 students enrolled in the DACA will no longer be able to qualify with the in-state tuition pricing, which evidently will cause a lot of these dreamers to drop out of their college programs.

“The fee changes will take effect immediately and in some cases more than triple the annual cost of attendance. The Associated Press estimated community college students who currently pay $2,580 a year will now pay $8,900. Four-year universities will charge DACA students who graduated from a state high school 150 percent of in-state tuition. That will increase annual costs from about $10,000 to $15,000. Those who do not meet the requirement could pay up to $27,618, according to AZ Central,” writes NPR.

The court announced the ruling to give those impacted as much time to plan for the change, but will release a full written explanation by May 14.

“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 Brnovich. “As Attorney General, my duty is to uphold the law and the will of more than one million voters who passed Proposition 300 in 2006.” 

In 2006, Arizona voters approved Proposition 300, which grants state-funded services and benefits like in-state tuition to individuals only with legal status.

DACA advocates are disappointed in Congress’ lack of progress to pass new legislation. 

“This is exactly why we need a permanent solution,” said Karina Ruiz, president of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition to NPR. “Congress needs to pass the Dream Act and give us a permanent pathway to citizenship, otherwise DACA recipients will continue to be under attack,”

“The Trump administration rescinded DACA in September 2017 and the Department of Homeland Security had planned for a six-month phase-out ending March 5, 2018. But in January a U.S. district judge ordered that DACA recipients be allowed to continue submitting renewal applications pending final decision on the litigation. Homeland Security has since resumed processing renewal applications; however, new DACA applications are not permitted,” writes NPR.

Trump has made it clear that he is willing to negotiate when it comes to the dreamers and backed a recent proposal from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that introduced stricter immigration policies, while also giving DACA recipients a path to citizenship. But, the democrats would not compromise. 

“It’s March 5th and the Democrats are nowhere to be found on DACA. Gave them 6 months, they just don’t care. Where are they? We are ready to make a deal!” tweeted Trump.

Author’s note: It looks like the democrats have abandoned the DACA children. Now that the “band-aid laws from the Obama Era have expired, it was the lawmakers chance to come up with a solution. The deal was on the table, but the democrats walked away. The DACA children will now lose status and will ultimately be the ones to suffer.

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