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Arizona Supreme Court Blocks In-State Tuition For 'DREAMers'

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled on Monday that young immigrants granted deferred deportation status by a program started by former President Barack Obama are not eligible for in-state college tuition.

The unanimous ruling from the seven-member court stems from a lawsuit brought by the Maricopa Community Colleges District, which wanted to give in-state tuition to students who had been brought to the country illegally as children.

In a five-paragraph order signed by Chief Justice Scott Bales, the court indicates all of its members agree that existing state and federal laws do not allow the community college district to grant in-state tuition to recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The court said it issued its brief order in order to allow colleges and students affected as much time as possible to plan. The court will issue a full ruling May 14, the order said.

More than 2,000 DACA recipients are enrolled in Arizona public colleges and universities, according to the lawsuit. As a result of the ruling, those students’ tuition will more than double.

EDITOR'S NOTE: KJZZ is licensed to the the Maricopa County Community College District.

Jorge Valencia joined KJZZ in August 2016 as the station's first senior field correspondent based in Mexico City. His reporting focuses on the business and economics between Arizona and Mexico.Valencia previously covered the North Carolina statehouse in Raleigh for North Carolina Public Radio. He reported on a controversial law that curtailed protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people, and on voting rights and environmental policy issues. He also reported on the shooting of three Arab-American students, traveling to Turkey's border with Syria to report on a project the students had started to help Syrian refugees.Valencia began his journalism career covering crime for the Roanoke Times of Virginia and in internships with newspapers including the Wall Street Journal. He has been the recipient of multiple journalism awards for his work in radio and in newspapers. Valencia studied journalism at the University of Maryland and grew up in Bogotá, Colombia, and the suburbs of Washington, D.C.