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DREAMers, Immigration Advocates Celebrate In-State Tuition Victory In Arizona

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Arizona DREAMers celebrated a second victory this week, after the Arizona Board of Regents unanimously voted to grant DACA recipients in-state tuition at Arizona’s public universities.

Just two days ago, a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge ruled that DACA recipients were indeed eligible to pay in-state tuition at Maricopa County community colleges.

As Juan Escalante noted yesterday, the ruling stemmed from a 2013 lawsuit filed “by former Attorney General Tom Horne arguing that undocumented students should not be allowed to pay in-state tuition at Arizona colleges and universities.”

While the Judge’s ruling affected only Maricopa County community college students, yesterday’s decision from the Arizona Board of Regents affects all of Arizona’s public universities, amounting to thousands of DACA students.

In a statement, the Board of Regents noted the Judge’s ruling ultimately influenced their decision:

“The Maricopa County Superior Court has ruled that a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient who presents an Employment Authorization Document and who meets Arizona law residency requirements is eligible for resident tuition. (State of Arizona v. Maricopa County Community College District).

“The Arizona Board of Regents will interpret its policies in accordance with this ruling. This will allow DACA students with an Employment Authorization Document who meet the statutory and policy requirements for residency to establish in-state residency for tuition purposes at our Arizona universities.”

Arizona DREAMers and immigration advocates jubilantly reacted to the news, with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas of Define American tweeting, “make no mistake: undocumented youth in Arizona made in-state tuition possible.”

“We fricken won!” tweeted DREAMer Erika Andiola (and chaser of Republican Presidential candidates).

Congratulations to all Arizona DREAMers for their win!

See a Storify of the DREAMer victory and reactions below.