Phoenix, AZ- Today, January Contreras applauded the education and student leaders who stepped forward to fight for in-state tuition for DREAMers with DACA. Oral arguments for the lawsuit began this morning. Current Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is arguing that DACA students do not qualify for in-state tuition, despite the fact that they have been granted the legal right to live and work here by the federal government.
“It's not just that I believe in opportunity for all. In this case, the law is on the side of the students. I would not have appealed the court's original decision because its ruling was sound - students who are Arizona residents and have earned a lawful path to live and work here are eligible for in-state tuition. Brnovich is following in the footsteps of Tom Horne and Russell Pearce - two partisan politicians who have been removed from office by the voters - to advance a political agenda at the expense of taxpayers.”
Background: A voter-approved 2006 ballot proposition prohibited a wide range of benefits, including in-state tuition, for undocumented immigrants. As a result, students without immigration status could not attend college under in-state tuition rates for years.
This changed in June of 2013, when President Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program. DACA provides a work visa to approved young people who were brought to the U.S. as children, and who obtained their education here.
Eventually, the Maricopa County Community College District granted in-state tuition to qualified students with DACA as an acknowledgement that people with DACA are no longer undocumented because they have the legal right to live and work here. Tom Horne sued against the decision, and lost in Maricopa County Superior Court. The Court had recognized that students with DACA are not subject to the ballot initiative ban on in-state tuition because they now have federal authorization to live and work here. Mark Brnovich appealed the decision to again take away in-state tuition. Oral arguments in his appeal are taking place today.