Help us pass in-state tuition for AZ Dreamers
17th May 2021
CPLC Action Fund and Chicanos Por La Causa joined a cadre of community activists and leaders to push for Arizona Senate Concurrent Resolution 1044, which would allow in-state college tuition for all students regardless of immigration status.
The countless calls, letters, texts and conversations with elected officials paid off. SCR 1044 passed last week, meaning Arizona voters in 2022 will have final say on the referendum, which was introduced by District 20 Sen. Paul Boyer.
Early on, this particular legislative item was deemed a top priority for CPLC Action Fund, as directed by its board chairman David Adame and fellow board officers Max Gonzales, John Ramirez and Alicia Nunez. We never lost sight of the goal or gave up the fight. So, when the Arizona House passed the measure on May 10 in bipartisan fashion, there was plenty reason to celebrate.
This photo shows some of those leaders commemorating the victory on the grounds of the state Capitol (from left): Stephanie Parra, executive director of ALL In Education and governing board member at Phoenix Union High School District; District 19 Rep. Diego Espinoza; Reyna Montoya, founder and director of Aliento and a member of the CPLC Governing Board; David Adame, who also is president & CEO of Chicanos Por La Causa; District 30 Sen. Tony Navarrete.
It should be pointed out that Montoya also is a Dreamer, which is what SCR 1044 is all about. Every year, about 2,000 Dreamers graduate from Arizona high schools, and although as a state we have invested educational tax dollars in their future – and, of course, in ours – we make their post-secondary education inaccessible, if not unaffordable. This makes no sense in either economic or equity terms.
Due to Proposition 300, which was passed in 2006, undocumented residents cannot receive publicly funded services, including college tuition and financial aid. As a result, Dreamers are charged 150% of in-state tuition, which amounts to about $6,000 more a year at one of our state universities, and must pay $326 per credit hour at Maricopa Community College, instead of $85 for in-state students.
Dreamers are an important part of our state’s economic future, with Arizona increasingly relying on a skilled and educated workforce to compete regionally, nationally and internationally. A College Success Arizona report found that for every college graduate earning a four-year university degree, the state averages a $660,000 return on its investment. In other words, their dreams and our reality are tethered.
Arizona is one of just six states that presently prohibits in-state tuition for Dreamers, meaning we are at a distinct disadvantage by not keeping locally educated talent at home. We are exporting innovation and knowledge but getting nothing in return.
We can change that in 2022. Last week’s victory represents a big step in that direction, but it is only a step. CPLC Action Fund needs your help in getting this measure across the finish line. In addition to your vote, we hope you can contribute to help us register more people to vote and to get more of those potential voters to the polls to ensure SCR 1044 passes at the ballot box.
CPLC Action Fund also will working on voter education messaging so Arizona voters know the true facts and the real impact of the ballot measure, since opponents no doubt will be trying to drive home what they see as “a wedge issue” by spreading misinformation, untruths, bigotry and fear.
We see this as an education issue, as an equity issue and as an economic issue. We hope you see the same.
You can DONATE here.
As always, thank you for your continued support.
CPLC Action Fund