A contingent of illegal students — warmly referred to simply as “dreamers” in the pro-amnesty Periódico de la República de Arizona (Arizona Republic) — hammered Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, demanding he drop a lawsuit against the Maricopa County Community College District. Horne graciously agreed to meet with them and their supporters at his office on Thursday. At issue is the executive order allowing illegals who received federal work permits under Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to pay in-state tuition.
In the state of Arizona, that order, which bypassed Congress, was predated by Proposition 300, passed by a stunning majority of 71.4 percent of Arizona voters in November 2006. It stipulated that college students who are not legal U.S. citizens or are without lawful immigration status must pay out-of-state tuition, and that such individuals are not eligible for financial assistance using taxpayer funding.
Horne told the students that he intends to proceed with the lawsuit. “As the Attorney General, I am obligated to enforce the law,” he said. In response, one of the activists called Attorney General Horne, “anti-immigrant and anti-education.”
They should have done a bit more research before hurling the insults at the Harvard educated lawyer. Horne was twice elected Arizona State Superintendent of Public Instruction, serving from 2003 to 2011. Previously, he served on the school board of Arizona’s third largest school district for 24 years, ten as its president. During his tenure in the state legislature, he chaired the Academic Accountability Committee. Horne is hardly a piker in the education arena.
The verbal assault provided the soft-spoken Horne a teachable moment to respond that he was neither anti-education nor anti-immigrant. “You may not know this,” he told them, but as one who was born in Canada, he is also an immigrant.
Tom Horne illustrates going about the citizenship process the legal way or illegally and making demands.
But these vocal opponents of the legal route aren’t ones to let facts get in the way of bullying. Following the meeting, they and their supporters continued their protests outside Horne’s office.
After Obama’s executive order went into effect, the Maricopa County Community College District unilaterally decided to allow illegal students who receive work permits through the program to pay in-state tuition. That policy was in opposition to an order issued by Gov. Jan Brewer saying illegals approved for deferred action under Obama’s program were ineligible for any public benefits.
The state Board of Regents, following that decree, deemed deferred action recipients ineligible for in-state tuition at the state’s three universities.
Horne filed a lawsuit in Superior Court seeking to require the Maricopa County Community College District to end the policy of charging in-state tuition to deferred action recipients — arguing in the lawsuit that the policy violates federal and state laws that prohibit those in the state illegally from receiving public benefits.
The substantial difference in-state and out-of-state tuition and fee schedules can be seen here.