Arizona Voters to Have Final Say on State Tuition Fees | New

A voting measure in favor of non-citizen residents receiving tuition and financial assistance in the state will be presented to voters in Arizona in the November 8, 2022 election.

Senator Paul Boyer (R-20) introduced the voting measure known as Senate Resolution 1044 to the Arizona State Senate. In March, the ballot measure was passed by 17-13 in favor of including SCR 1044 on the ballot.

SCR 1044 can revoke Arizona Proposition 300, which prohibited non-citizens and people without legal residential status from receiving tuition fees in the state.

About 71% of voters approved Proposition 300 in the 2006 ballot.

Tuition fees in the state have more than doubled for DACA recipients and dreamers. At ASU, the average in-state tuition fee is $ 11,338, and out-of-state tuition is $ 29,428.

Lidia Kimberly Parra, Nursing Assistant at Glendale, is considered a ‘dreamer’ because she is part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protects them from deportation.

“I’ve been here since I was 2 months old. I don’t know of anything different. I don’t know anything other than Arizona, ”Parra said.

Parra said that every two years she had to reapply for DACA, living in “constant anxiety” about whether she could continue working to support her child or be deported. For Parra, the reinstatement of the DACA took place in May, four months after his candidacy.

“I was fortunate to be in a position at work where they held my place during those four months of waiting,” Parra said. “And when I got my DACA back, they said, ‘OK, you start at 6 am tomorrow. I was blessed like that. But not everyone has it like that.

Parra “always wanted to go to school” and the DACA program paved the way for her to attend Brookline College school without fear of expulsion. Paying most of her tuition “out of pocket”, Parra graduated as a certified nursing assistant and works as a post-operative and recovering nursing assistant.

Parra added that Arizona Proposition 300 “puts people in a box” and “limits” them with financial barriers. The help others get to earn degrees should be “equal to everyone,” Parra said.

“These are just basic needs that everyone should be entitled to, regardless of what status we find ourselves in,” Parra said.

Jose Patino is the director of education and external affairs at Aliento, which is a community organization run by undocumented youth and based in Phoenix. Aliento was among the community leaders and activists who pushed for the adoption of SCR 1044.

“In terms of tuition fees in the state, it’s been years of advocacy that groups like us, Aliento, have done on Capitol Hill. We have been working with lawmakers since 2018 to move the bill forward, ”Patino said.

According to Patino, Aliento and the American Business Immigration Coalition ran a campaign in Arizona called Become Arizona with a bipartisan coalition of about 130+ organizations that strongly supported Bill SCR 1044.

A public letter signed by more than 130 Become Arizona organizations called on House Speaker Russell Bowers to introduce SCR 1044. The Arizona House of Representatives then passed proposed voting measure 33-27 , ultimately leaving the voting measure to the people in the next elections in 2022.

“A lot of it comes from student voices, because as a legislator it’s much easier to say no to lobbyists or organizations, but it’s harder to say no to what impacts students and to say no. tell them, “Hey, I can’t support that and the reason is that basically I don’t want you to get an education,” Patino said.

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