Beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are now facing a whole new battle. DACA recipients who live in Arizona will now have to pay out-of-state tuition in their home state, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled on April 9.
According to The Washington Post, 2,000 DACA recipients in Arizona — who either go to a state school or community in college — will now have to pay three times the amount. For example, The Post reports that tuition at Arizona State University is $9,834 for in-state students. For out-of-state students, tuition is $27,618. At Maricopa Community Colleges credit for Arizona residents is $86, for out-of-state students, it is $241.
Chief Justice Scott Bales said he made the ruling now to give Dreamers “as much time as possible for planning.” The full ruling will be made in mid-May, The Post reports.
Advocates are stunned by the decision to hinder the access to education for DACA recipients.
— AZ Democratic Party (@azdemparty) April 9, 2018
According to the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), 20 states and Washington D.C. offer “tuition equality” for undocumented people. Those states are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, and Washington.
For some people, the decision is a rallying cry to fight for a permanent solution for the undocumented community.
Today, Monday 04/09/2018, Arizona's Supreme Court ruled that #undocumented students cannot benefit from In-State tuition.
This is why we need a permanent solution for undocumented immigrants. Tired of the displacement of my community. Their lives are constantly displaced.
— Karla Estrada (@karla_estrada22) April 10, 2018
And many are very disappointed that the rights of DACA students are now in jeopardy.
DACA beneficiaries attending public universities in Arizona will now be charged non-resident tuition because of today’s Supreme Court ruling. This is appalling. It will have a severe impact on the socioeconomic and cultural diversity on campuses state-wide.
— Eduardo Perez (@eperezpreciado) April 10, 2018
DACA recipients are in large numbers students or in the workforce. They have no criminal records in order to qualify for DACA. Yet, DACA has been in the news as political figures have tried to muddy the water around DACA to tarnish the importance of the program.
Karina Ruiz, executive director of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, gave a news conference following the announcement.
— azcentral (@azcentral) April 10, 2018
Ruiz said that the ruling “shows that the politicians are going to continue their attacks on our community.” She said the higher tuition is now going to hinder students from going to college. However, she added that her organization is going to raise money to help with the additional cost. “We’re going to find help for you.”