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tuition equity for immigrants

Opportunity for tuition equity moves to Arizona voters

Arizonans want real solutions, and they want an immigration system that works and creates opportunities for all Arizonans to fully participate in the economy. SCR 1044 establishes an equal pathway for young adults, regardless of immigration status, to attend college in the state they call home.

For the past two decades, anti-immigrant fervor and false rhetoric in Arizona’s legislature spawned some of the most punitive anti-immigration laws affecting both undocumented young adults and mixed-status households. In 2006, Proposition 300 outlawed state financial aid and in-state tuition for undocumented youth. In addition, the proposition prohibits the state from using state dollars to subsidize adult education classes and literacy programs, and access to state childcare assistance for thousands of mixed-status families and immigrants.

Yesterday, SCR 1044 passed through the Arizona legislature, placing the issue on the November 2022 ballot and providing Arizona voters the opportunity to affirm our state’s commitment to equal opportunity for all Arizona high school graduates. SCR 1044 is the culmination of years of grassroots organizing, support from the business community, and bipartisan leadership. It is estimated that more than 2,000 undocumented students graduate from Arizona’s high schools each year with profoundly limited in-state opportunities for postsecondary education and training. SCR 1044 is one step in the right direction as it reverses flawed policies that have excluded an essential workforce and community.

The passage of SCR 1044 will give Arizona voters the opportunity to join more than 20 states in the adoption of “tuition equity” laws or policies which permit students who have attended and graduated from high schools in their state to pay the same tuition as their “in-state” classmates at public colleges and universities in the state.

Arizonans across the state see education as a priority for our state’s economic future. Having an educated workforce is a key driver of economic growth and success. Expanding postsecondary opportunities and attainment for Arizona’s high school graduates will lead to increased job opportunities, higher wages, and financial security. SCR 1044 has the potential to be a profound victory in undoing a generation of anti-immigrant policies that have left Arizona’s children and young adults behind.

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