Illegal Immigrants Set To Fill Up Arizona Colleges In 2023

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Alexa Schwerha Contributor
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Arizona colleges are preparing to enroll more illegal immigrants this spring after voters approved a ballot measure to allow undocumented students to qualify for in-state tuition, Arizona Public Media reported.

Voters approved Proposition 308 during the midterm elections with 51.7% of the vote to allow all students to receive in-state tuition regardless of immigration status so long as they graduated from an Arizona high school which they attended for a minimum of two years. Undocumented students will be eligible for in-state tuition prices beginning in January, Arizona Board of Regents Chair Lyndell Manson told APM. (RELATED: Millions Of Illegal Immigrants Could Get Amnesty, College Tuition Help And More Under Democrats’ Reconciliation Bill)

Approximately 3,600 high school graduates are expected to benefit from the proposition per year, according to Education Forward Arizona, and will now be eligible to pay a lower cost of tuition by claiming in-state status. On average, Arizona in-state tuition for the 2021-2022 academic year cost $4,715, while out-of-state tuition was tagged at $17,234, according to College Tuition Compare.

“Proposition 308 is an incredible investment not only for Arizona’s students but Arizona’s workforce,” Chuck Coolidge, executive vice president of marketing and communications at the Maricopa County Community Colleges told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “It’s great step forward for us to help resolve our current serious labor shortage. These eligible students will be able to access Maricopa’s extensive workforce development options, quick starts, and even our new bachelor degree programs.  We are excited to welcome new and returning students back to our Maricopa Community Colleges.”

Arizona is the 23rd state to provide illegal migrants in-state tuition, according to AZ Central. There are approximately 273,000 illegal immigrants in Arizona, the Migration Policy Institute reports.

“I think this is a good step in the right direction to educating more people in our state,” Manson said.

Activists carry signs as they listen to speakers at a news conference to mark the 10th anniversary of the "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" (DACA) at the U.S. Capitol on June 15, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Activists carry signs as they listen to speakers at a news conference to mark the 10th anniversary of the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) at the U.S. Capitol on June 15, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Republican state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, however, told the APM that the provision doesn’t “solve anything” and that there are larger immigration issues to tackle.

“Giving undocumented students in-state tuition has nothing to do with the realities of what this country faces when it is trying to manage this border and deal with illegal immigration,” she said.

Prop 308’s victory in November reversed a 2006 decision by Arizona voters to prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving in-state tuition. The previous measure, Proposition 300, had passed with 71% of the vote.

The Arizona Board of Regents, Manson, and Ugenti-Rita did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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