In light of a court decision this week that allows Maricopa County's community colleges to offer in-state tuition rates to certain immigrants that have been granted relief from deportation, the state's public universities are following suit.
The Arizona Board of Regents yesterday voted to allow Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients to pay in-state tuition rates.
"The Arizona Board of Regents will interpret its policies in accordance with this ruling," the board says in a statement. "This will allow DACA students with an Employment Authorization Document who meet the statutory and policy requirements for residency to establish in-state residency for tuition purposes at our Arizona universities."
Former Attorney General Tom Horne had filed a lawsuit several years ago to prevent the Maricopa Community College system from offering in-state tuition rates for the so-called "dreamers," arguing the immigrants were not lawfully present in the country, thus ineligible under state law to get the lower tuition rate.
Current AG Mark Brnovich continued to pursue the lawsuit, but a county judge sided with the "dreamers" earlier this week, saying that the federal government has indeed granted these people the lawful presence to get the tuition benefits.
The regents' change of heart is the direct result of that ruling.
Even earlier this week, before the court ruling, ABOR had been discussing a tuition rate between in-state and out-of-state rates for these "dreamers," if they graduated an Arizona high school and had gone to an Arizona high school for at least three years.
Now, the universities will see the DACA paperwork as suitable for obtaining in-state tuition, granted the student meets the rest of the residency requirements.
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