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“Dreamers” and resident tuition

“Dreamers” and resident tuition

The Arizona Star reports on the state of Arizona’s legal battle over community colleges that offer lower in-state tuition to students who qualify for the federal Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals program.

Attorney General Tom Horne says he’s just doing his job:

Horne told a group of activists who met with him he is bound by a 2006 voter-approved proposition that says those who are not citizens or legal residents are not entitled to “resident’’ tuition, regardless of how long they have lived in the state.

Horne would not answer questions on how he feels about the law, saying his views are irrelevant.

“My job is to enforce the law as it is written,’’ he told the nearly dozen people invited for the meeting.

Horne’s office sued the Maricopa Community College District after its board adopted a policy saying those in the DACA program are entitled to the lower tuition. He said he will pursue other colleges that have adopted similar policies, including Pima Community College.

This counters U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan September presentations in Tucson and Tempe, according to the Arizona Capitol Times:

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says college needs to be more affordable for “dreamers,” who currently pay higher tuition rates than in-state students at Arizona’s three state universities….

Duncan told The Arizona Republic ( that dreamers represent “an amazing talent pool” and it makes “no sense” to charge them higher rates.

He says immigration reform at the federal level would help increase access to a college education for dreamers.

Columbo & Hurd PL has a page of “Basic Facts about In-State Tuition for Undocumented Immigrant Students” as of May 2013 (edited June 2020), noting that 15 (18 in 2020) states at that time have laws permitting certain undocumented students to pay in-state tuition.


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