PHOENIX — Dreamers are here legally and entitled to the same lower tuition as other Arizona residents, an attorney for the state’s largest community college system is arguing.
Mary O’Grady is asking the state Court of Appeals to dismiss a claim by Attorney General Mark Brnovich that the Maricopa Community College District is violating a voter-approved last which says only legal residents get in-state tuition. She told the judges that the decision by the Obama administration to allow them to say — and even to work — means they qualify.
While this case involves only the Maricopa system, what the courts ultimately decide will affect the policies of community colleges statewide. And it also will determine the legality of what the Board of Regents has done in offering in-state tuition to dreamers.
Central to the fight is a 2006 ballot measure that limits in-state tuition to citizens and legal residents. It also denies waivers of tuition or fees, grants, scholarships, financial aid, tuition assistance “or any other type of financial assistance that is subsidized or paid in whole or in part with state monies’’ to those who are in the country “without lawful immigration status.’’