Diaz: Blame Gov. Doug Ducey - not the Supreme Court - for Arizona's DACA tuition ruling
The Arizona Supreme Court released its unanimous decision Monday ending in-state college tuition to approximately 2,000 Arizona students protected under the Obama-era DACA program.
The court will explain its order in May, giving the colleges and universities time to plan for those affected by the ruling. As if a few more weeks will help the students, who are under attack from all fronts.
The justices agreed with the lower court’s ruling that existing federal and state law doesn’t allow Maricopa Community Colleges to grant in-state tuition. That means these students will now have to pay hundreds more to remain at the community colleges and up to $26,000 annually – or nearly triple – to stay at Arizona State University, for instance.
Ducey doesn't see dreamers as an asset
It's hard to blame the justices for looking strictly at the law. Their job is to interpret it, not to bend it to fit a particular political view.
But how did the case get to them in the first place? Through politicians like Gov. Doug Ducey, who failed to work to change the law that prohibits undocumented students from paying in-state tuition.
The governor has gotten kudos for his relentless work on repairing Arizona's relationship with Mexico. But he has done nothing for the immigrants already living in Arizona.
At best, Ducey has remained silent on immigration-related matters. He wants Mexico's tourism and economic trade, but he won't lift a finger to help those who live here.
Ducey is a conservative Republican who has made a choice when it comes to illegal immigration. But he's wrong to not fight for dreamers – the only immigrants with broad public support.
Does he realize how much Arizona loses?
Ultimately, Arizona is the real loser here, and it's surprising that the economic-minded Ducey doesn't see that. These young immigrants are highly motivated to pursue a college education, and we say no to them? Arizona needs a trained, educated work force, but our elected leaders clip their wings.
Dreamers are fearless, resilient and a force to be reckoned with. I've no doubt they’ll find a way to succeed. And when they do, I hope they remember who was there fighting for them and who fought against them.
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