AG: Arizona court rejects in-state tuition for immigrants

- Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich says the state Supreme Court has ruled unanimously for the state in a case involving a community college district that backs lower in-state tuition for immigrant students.

Brnovich said on Twitter that the court's full written opinion is expected by May 14, 2018.

The high court heard arguments last week in the case affecting recipients of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA.

The hearing involved an effort by the Maricopa County Community Colleges District to overturn a 2017 state Court of Appeals ruling that found young immigrants in the program aren't eligible for lower in-state tuition.

It is estimated there are about 2,000 young people covered by the DACA program, known as Dreamers, who currently receive in-state tuition in Arziona. Many Dreamers have said they'll have to drop out of school without the lower tuition.

DACA recipients, in addition to supporters and community leaders, held a news conference outside the State Capitol Monday afternoon, expressing their frustration with the Arizona Supreme Court's decision, and worried the new cost will prevent some from attending higher education altogether.

"I'm in my SAT class, college tours, all of that, about to begin the application and scholarship applications," said Saul Rascon Salazar, who is a DACA recipient and a junior at Brophy. Now, the 17-year-old says his dream of attending Arizona State University is in jeopardy.

"To me, that means it basically became impossible to go because I come from a low income family. Two little brothers," said Salazar. "It's just not a feasible option anymore."

On Monday night, Michael Crow, President of ASU, issued a statement on the decision.

Today's decision by the Arizona Supreme Court clarifies with precision the tuition model for DACA students. This clarification does nothing to alter our steadfast commitment to making higher education a reality for all Arizona high school graduates, including those who have DACA status.

The university is currently looking into all options to assist Arizona high school graduates who are qualified to be in the U.S. under DACA with an uninterrupted educational journey beyond high school. As noted by ABOR, eligible DACA students can take advantage of the Non-Residential Tuition Rate for Arizona High School Graduates.

We will continue to communicate with our ASU students who have DACA status and the entire ASU community as more information becomes available.

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