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Arizona regents to continue offering in-state tuition to DACA students

Posted at 10:52 AM, Jun 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-29 20:08:02-04

Arizona's state universities announced Thursday that they will continue to offer in-state tuition to DACA students.

The announcement came amid turmoil in courts.

The Maricopa County Community College District board is asking the Arizona Supreme Court to overturn an appeals court ruling last week that says young immigrants granted deferred deportation status aren't eligible for lower in-state college tuition.

The Court of Appeals decision overruled a judge's 2015 decision that said students in the program created by former President Barack Obama were considered legally present in the U.S. and qualify for in-state tuition.

The decision instead said the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program known as DACA didn't confer that status and Arizona law bars in-state tuition.

About 2,200 students attending the district's 10 colleges or other facilities are affected.

Here is the statement released by the regents:

At a special board meeting today, the Arizona Board of Regents announced it will continue to offer in-state tuition for eligible Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students while the decision of the Arizona Court of Appeals regarding the State of Arizona v. Maricopa County Community College District is under review by the courts. Until a decision is reached by the Arizona Supreme Court, the board will continue to provide in-state tuition to these students. Background information: In May, 2015, Maricopa County Superior Court ruled that a DACA recipient who presents an Employment Authorization Document and who meets Arizona law residency requirements was eligible for resident tuition. (State of Arizona v. Maricopa County Community College District). At that time, in accordance with the law, DACA students with an EAD who met the statutory and policy requirements for residency were able to establish in-state residency for tuition purposes at Arizona’s public universities. In 2015, the board enacted a new policy to provide non-resident tuition at 150 percent of base tuition for graduates of Arizona high schools. Last December, the board sent a letter to then President-elect Donald Trump, citing the board’s concern for DACA students, requesting he and his administration work with Congress to design and provide relief for these students within the overall approach to immigration enforcement and reform.