ARIZONA NEWS

Prop 308, measure to give Arizona ‘dreamers’ in-state tuition, passes

Nov 14, 2022, 8:19 PM | Updated: Nov 15, 2022, 7:23 am
(ASU News Photo/Charlie Leight)...
(ASU News Photo/Charlie Leight)
(ASU News Photo/Charlie Leight)

PHOENIX — Students in Arizona will again be able to pay in-state tuition and qualify for state financial aid regardless of their immigration status.

Proposition 308 was projected to pass Monday evening, according to The Associated Press.

In doing so, Arizona will join at least 19 other states that already offer in-state tuition to undocumented students. Arizona used to do the same until voters passed a ballot measure in 2006 to prohibit that.

Prop 308 had an advantage of more than 60,000 votes in favor at last count, according to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office.

Supporters said the passage of Prop 308 would make college more attainable for tens of thousands of undocumented students who grew up in Arizona.

Opponents argued in-state tuition and state financial aid are benefits that should only be made available to students with a legal status.

Prop 308 was referred to the Nov. 8 ballot by the Arizona State Legislature. State Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita was among the Republicans who voted against it. She believed it was unfair to provide benefits to undocumented students.

“This is a population that is here obviously illegally,” Ugenti-Rita said. “To grant them a consideration, special treatment, a discount flies in the face of our rule of law and order.”

Reyna Montoya, founder and CEO of the community organization Aliento, lobbied for legislation to get Prop 308 on the ballot.

She pointed out about 2,000 undocumented students graduate from Arizona high schools every year, and the state has already invested in their K-12 education.

“It’s really smart from an Arizona perspective to allow them to pay it forward,” she said. “When they graduate with a four-year-degree from one of our state universities, they will be able to do a return of investment of over $600,000.”

Supporters held a virtual press conference Monday morning and touted the bipartisan coalition of supporters who rallied behind Prop 308.

Tyler Montague, a Republican and chair of the Yes on 308 campaign, noted the initiative was backed by a number of Democrats and Republicans, including former President Barck Obama and Mesa Mayor John Giles.

Montague specifically thanked the GOP leaders whom he said put their reputations on the line and were “viciously attacked for helping us.”

“They staked it with us, and I’m unbelievably happy about this,” he said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

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Prop 308, measure to give Arizona ‘dreamers’ in-state tuition, passes