PHOENIX — The Arizona Court of Appeals says young immigrants granted deferred deportation status under a program started by former President Barack Obama are not eligible for lower in-state college tuition.
Tuesday’s ruling says a judge’s 2015 decision that deferred action recipients were considered legally present in the U.S. and therefore qualify for state benefits was incorrect.
Instead, presiding Judge Kenton Jones wrote for the court that the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program known as DACA did not confer that status. He says federal immigration law allows each state to decide on optional benefits for DACA recipients — known as DREAMers — and Arizona law bars in-state tuition.
The decision affects at least several hundred current state university students and an unknown number attending community colleges. There are nearly 28,000 DACA recipients in Arizona.