/ Modified sep 16, 2012 5:14 p.m.

Tuition Change for 'Dreamers' Uncertain At PCC

Deferred deportation status could lead to in-state tuition

Earlier this week the Obama administration approved the first group of young illegal immigrants who will avoid deportation for up to two years and get a work permit as part of the Deferred Action executive order. In Tucson, Pima Community College officials are trying to figure out what the change in immigration status will mean for tuition rates.

Currently undocumented immigrants in Arizona are paying out-of-state tuition no matter how long they have resided in the state. Under the Deferred Action executive order there could be a change in the immigration status of those who are here illegally, were brought into the U-S as children, and meet several requirements including being enrolled in high school or having a high school diploma.

At Pima Community College, officials are still working out a policy that would address the change in tuition status. Meanwhile Maricopa Community Colleges will accept the two-year work permit given to those who qualify for Deferred Action status as proof of residency for in-state tuition.

“The issue is very complex, it involves the intersection of state and federal law as well as Pima Community College’s long-standing goal of providing access to learning,” said C. J. Karamargin, a PCC spokesman.

PCC officials are reviewing the law with legal council before making any policy changes, Karamargin said.

Eligibility requirements for Deferred Action include coming to the country illegally or living in the country with expired permits before June 15. Applicants must also have entered the country before they were 16, be between 16 and 31 years old, have no criminal record, have lived in the U.S. for the past five years, be currently enrolled or have graduated from high school, or served in the armed forces.

At the University of Arizona any policy change would come from the Arizona Board of Regents. Officials at ABOR could not be reached for this story Friday.

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