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Arizona universities, community colleges join to support Dreamers

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PHOENIX — The three public universities and two largest community college districts in Arizona are teaming up to raise funds for young immigrants who want to get a college degree.

Chicanos Por La Causa launched a fundraising campaign Tuesday with Arizona State University, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, Pima Community College and Maricopa Community Colleges.

The campaign, called Keep the Dream Alive, will raise the money for the more than 1,600 recipients of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals who are enrolled at these institutions.

“We know it is possible to and ask for the support of the public to help level the playing field for the 1,600 young people affected by this unfair policy,” President and CEO David Adame said in a statement.

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that the recipients, also called Dreamers, were ineligible for in-state tuition and, because they are not citizens, are not eligible for federal aid, student loans or state scholarships.

“Arizona State University is committed to making quality higher education accessible to all qualified learners,” President Michael Crow said in a statement.

“Our engagement in the ‘Keep the Dream Alive’ campaign is the latest demonstration of ASU’s longstanding leadership in empowering DACA learners and their dreams.”

University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins said, “The value of a college education lies in its capacity to transform a student’s life, putting them on a course for lifetime learning, fulfillment, and vital contributions to our future as a society.”

“Providing access to an affordable college education is very important to Northern Arizona University and to me personally,” said Rita Cheng, president of Northern Arizona University.

“Understanding that higher education can transform lives and open the door to unexpected possibilities, NAU is proud to be a partner in this fundraising initiative.”

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