Deferred action work permits could help immigrants get in-state community college tuition

September 13, 2012

Undocumented immigrants accepted into the Obama administration’s deferred deportation program may be eligible for in-state tuition at the Maricopa Community Colleges. 

Under a 2007 voter-approved law, undocumented immigrants have had to pay out-of-state tuition rates in Arizona. The new deferred action gives some immigrants brought here illegally as children relief from deportation and a two-year work permit...and they can use that work permit to prove legal presence in the U.S., one step toward establishing residency with the Maricopa Community Colleges. Tom Gariepy, a community college spokesman, said they’ve long accepted work permits.

“So if a person who receives deferred action status from the federal government comes to us with a work document, that allows them to establish legal presence," Gariepy said. "They can then go on to try to establish residency for purposes of getting the in-state tuition.”

Gariepy says additional documents are required to prove residency and that a work permit alone doesn’t make one eligible for in-state tuition.

KJZZ is licensed by the Maricopa Community Colleges.

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