AG Brnovich Letter on In-State Tuition for Undocumented Students



March 9, 2015
Hon. Raul Grijalva
Hon. Ann Kirkpatrick
Hon. Ruben Gallego
1218 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
To Raul Grijalva, Ann Kirkpatrick, and Ruben Gallego, members of congress:
Thank you for your letter dated March 3rd, 2015, concerning in-state tuition for those without lawful status in the United States. In November of 2006, Proposition 300 was approved with more than 70% of the vote, reserving cetiain taxpayer funded benefits to citizens, legal residents, and persons who otherwise have lawful immigration status. The voters were clear on this subject:
“A person who is not a citizen of the United States, who is without lawful immigration status and who is enrolled as a student at any university under the jurisdiction of the Arizona board of regents or at any community college under the jurisdiction of a community college district in this state is not entitled to tuition waivers, fee waivers, grants, scholarship assistance, financial aid, tuition assistance or any other type of financial assistance that is subsidized or paid in whole or in patt with state monies.” (A.R.S. § 15-1825(A)).
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, which you cite with authority, makes clear that “[D]eferred Action does not confer lawful status upon an individual.” In Arizona
Dream Act Coalition v. Brewer the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that “DACA recipients enjoy no formal immigration status.” Indeed, the Constitution reserves this power for Congress.
(“The Congress shall have the power to … establish a uniform rule of naturalization.” Article I, Section 8, Clause 4).
As the Attorney General I have taken an oath to uphold and enforce the law and to defend the Constitutions of Arizona and of the United States. Here, the people of Arizona have spoken
unambiguously and their elected and appointed representatives, including the community colleges and my office, are bound to follow.
Mark Brnovich
Attorney General of Arizona