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DACA Field Report


  1. DREAMers, DACA grantees return to Maricopa County Community Colleges with In-State-tuition

    The following DACA field report comes from Carmen Cornejo of Dream Act Arizona:
    In what is considered one of the most
    important milestones for DREAMers in Arizona and across the nation, the Arizona
    DREAM Act Coalition will be celebrating Monday, January the 7th the return of
    immigrant youth, DACA grantees, to Maricopa County Community Colleges (MCCCD)
    with In-State-Tuition. 
    This situation comes as a reversal of
    bad policy on the immigration-education landscape of Arizona and it is a sign
    of hope for the economic future in the State and the nation, thanks to DACA.
     After the passage of prop.300
    and implementation of anti-education, anti-immigrant laws in Arizona, the
    enrollment of undocumented immigrant youth, DREAMers, to higher education
    institutions collapsed.   There was no ban in place but the cost of
    education, which tripled by out-of-state fees, was put out of the reach of immigrant
    With the announcement by president
    Obama on June 15th granting Deferred Action for persons who arrived
    as children to the USA (DACA), a door was open for those who apply for this
    process, get a work permit, to request In-State-Tuition at Maricopa Community
    Maricopa Community Colleges is the
    largest Community Colleges System in the nation.
    Since 2007, when Arizona's Prop
    300 took effect and the state began to keep track of undocumented students, it
    has come evident the number of undocumented students attending  state's
    universities and community colleges has fallen dramatically. Read
    this article by journalist Griselda Nevarez.  1,524 students who were
    attending one of the three public universities in 2007  were not able to
    prove a legal status. The number of students in this situation had dropped to
    13 by the spring 2012 semester.
    There were 1,470 students who
    couldn't prove a legal status and were attending the state's community colleges
    in spring 2007. By 2012 that number had dropped to 882. Most of these students
    were only taking one or two classes at a time.
    "In the past years we saw a
    collapse  participation of immigrant youth population in community
    colleges and Universities, in spite of the talent dreamers had demonstrated
    when they graduate from high schools, being top of the class and
    valedictorians.  It is an absolute waste of human resources and talent",
    said Dulce Matuz, president of the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition. "We are not
    seeking special treatment; we are only striving for a leveled plain
    field.  We are taxpayers too and we support education through our taxes,
    some of us for decades", said Matuz.
    To be granted In-State-Tuition at
    MCCCD is necessary for the DACA grantees to present the work authorization card
    (I-766) and another document that demonstrates their residence in Maricopa
    County.  This
    is the set of documents that may be presented (scroll down to County
    The move from MCCCD granting
    In-State-tuitions came, in great part, to the pressure dreamers and advocates
    had put to MCCCD when all venues for affordable education were closed during
    the spring of 2011.  Dreamers had been able to access classes with
    in-state-tuition when taking one or two classes due to a special administrative
    classification in place for many years back.  ADAC members protested MCCCD
    and held many private meetings into the reasoning behind closing the last
    administrative venue for affordable tuition. Read
    this article on the series of protests.
    So far in State-Tuition in
    Arizona is only attainable at Maricopa County Community Colleges District
    (MCCCD).  We advocates are encouraging Arizona Board of Regents and other Community
    Colleges in Arizona to find legal tools and grant IST to DACA grantees. 

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