College attorney argues for in-state tuition for ‘dreamers’

Protesters marched at UA in 2012 to fight higher tuition fees./Ron Medvescek / Arizona Daily Star 2012

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Pinal Central

The Arizona Court of Appeals got it wrong in concluding “dreamers” are not entitled to in-state tuition, the lawyer for the state’s second-largest community college system contends.

In a new legal brief, Eileen GilBride, attorney for the Pima community colleges, told the Arizona Supreme Court that the only thing required under both Arizona and federal law is that students be “lawfully present” in the country to qualify for the lower tuition.

More to the point, she said state statutes spell out that an “Employer Authorization Document” issued by federal immigration officials is sufficient to prove “lawful presence.” And GilBride said that’s precisely the document that is given to those who qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

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