On Tuesday, Maricopa County Superior Court Arthur Anderson ruled that undocumented immigrants living in Arizona, while their deportations are deferred, are eligible to pay in-state tuition to attend state colleges, as they are lawfully residing in the state. Tom Horne, a former Republican state attorney, sued Maricopa County Community College in 2013 for charging Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient’s in-state tuition. Horne claimed this was a violation of a 2006 law passed by referendum which prohibits immigrants from receiving in-state tuition, which is cheaper, rather than out-of-state tuition. Under President Obama’s deportation relief program- which applies to 20,000 recipients residing in Arizona- DACA, defers deportation and grants work authorization for undocumented immigrants who were brought into the United States as children. According to Federal law, DACA recipients have the right to reside in the state; Judge Anderson ruled that the state law should not interfere with that.
Students are very excited with the ruling and are currently waiting to hear a decision from the Arizona Board of Regents on whether the state’s university system is put in the same path as the colleges. After the ruling of Maricopa County Superior Court, Eileen Klein, president of the Arizona Board of Regents, stated, “The Arizona Board of Regents is committed to broadening access and affordability for all students in Arizona and, as part of that mission, supports lawful opportunities to increase access for DACA students.”
Read more about Judge Anderson’s ruling here and tell us what you think about clearing the pathway for Dreamers to continuing chasing their educational goals and become full members of society.