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Latino Daily News

Saturday August 18, 2012

Arizona Mayors: Undocumented Students Should Get In-State Tuition Rates

Arizona Mayors: Undocumented Students Should Get In-State Tuition Rates

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The mayors of Tucson and Phoenix said Friday that they want young undocumented students who apply for Deferred Action to pay in-state tuition at Arizona community colleges.

The Deferred Action program offers protection against deportation for young people who would benefit from the DREAM Act, which remains stalled in the U.S. Congress.

“I support in-state tuition at our Maricopa Community Colleges for students who have successfully applied for deferred action. It is in economic imperative for our city,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said in a statement.

“Our economic future is dependent on increasing the college attainment rate for our young people. We must invest in our city’s future, and when it comes to education, we need all hands on deck, including community colleges,” he said.

For his part, Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild spoke out against any effort to “displace the young and the promising in our cities.”

“Arizona benefits as a whole if we can find a common-sense solution for DREAMers in legal limbo through no fault of their own,” he said in a joint statement with Stanton.

Current Arizona law obliges undocumented students to pay their tuition at the much higher foreign-student rate in community colleges and public universities, no matter how many years they have been living in the state.

On Wednesday, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer issued an order barring DREAMers who apply for Deferred Action from obtaining driver’s licenses, public benefits or official state IDs.