Debating Prop 308: In-state tuition for Dreamers

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Proposition 308 would allow all students, including Arizona Dreamers, to receive in-state college tuition if they have attended school for a minimum of two years and graduated from a public school, private school or were homeschooled.

Founder and CEO of Aliento Reyna Montoya and Arizona State Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita debate over whether Prop 308 is beneficial for Arizona.

Why is this Needed for Arizona?

There are about 2,000 dreamers who have graduated from Arizona elementary and high schools who embrace the state and want to give back. Implementing this proposition is a great opportunity to gain a more educated workforce, according to Montoya.

“At the end of the day, it comes down to the basics. It’s about fairness and giving a pathway for education to ensure that Dreamers, just like any other kids where we went to the same schools, have an opportunity to get educated,” Montoya said.

Should these Students Not Qualify for In-State Tuition?

“No, not at all,” Ugenti-Rita said. “They’re here illegally. And while I very much sympathize with so-called Dreamers or individuals who no fault of their own have been brought to this country, the reality is their immigration status does not qualify them for in-state tuition.”

This proposition does not address the issue, which is the immigration status of Dreamers, and will not fix the problem, according to Ugenti-Rita.

It’s not certain that these individuals would not attend college without the benefit of in-state tuition, so it is unclear whether a more educated workforce would be present.

“I think at the end of the day, we have to answer the fundamental question. These are Arizona kids who grew up in the same schools– who went to Little League and played the same sports. We have been paying taxes, our parents have been paying taxes, so it’s about a location and opportunities,” Montoya said.

Reyna Montoya, Founder and CEO of Aliento; Michelle Ugenti-Rita, Arizona State Senator

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