Arizona Immigration Law Facts
Under this law passed in 2009, MCCCD, in administering any "federal public benefit" or "state or local public benefit," must require each natural person who applies for the benefit to submit one of 12 specific types of documents to demonstrate lawful presence in the United States (see Acceptable Documents to Establish Lawful Presence). That person must also sign a sworn affidavit stating that the documents are true. Failure of an MCCCD employee who administers that MCCCD benefit to report "discovered violations of federal immigration law" is a class 2 misdemeanor. The employee's supervisor is also guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor if he or she knew of the failure to report, and failed to direct the employee to do so.
Only those with a lawful presence in the U.S. may qualify for MCCCD scholarships or federal financial aid. Any information you provide about your legal status when you apply for financial aid or scholarships may be subject to mandatory reporting to federal immigration authorities under Arizona law. This does not apply to applications for the private scholarship funds held in and distributed by the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation.
This law, passed by the Arizona State Legislature in 2010, was effective on July 29, 2010. However, due to lawsuits, many of the provisions of the law have been put on hold for the time being, and thus are not enforceable until further notice. The only portions of the law currently in effect provide for the following:
- Prohibits public entities like MCCCD from limiting enforcement of federal immigration laws;
- Permits any legal resident to sue a public entity like MCCCD for adopting a policy restricting enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the fullest extent permitted by federal law;
- Makes it a crime for a person who is violating some other criminal offense to transport or habor an unlawfully present alien or encourage or induce an unlawfully present alien to come to or live in Arizona;
- Amends existing law permitting removal or impoundment of a vehicle to permit impoundment of vehicles used in transporting or harboring unlawfully present aliens;
- Makes it a crime to stop a motor vehicle to pick up day laborers and for day laborers to get into a vehicle if it impedes the normal movement of traffic;
- Amends existing law that requires every employer to verify the employment eligibility of a hired employee through e-verify to require that the employer keep a record of the verification for the duration of the employee’s employment or at least three years, whichever is longer.
Citizenship/Legal Status (formerly Prop 300) Compliance
Proposition 300, passed by Arizona voters in November 2006, stipulated that college students who are not legal United States citizens or are without lawful immigration status must pay out-of-state tuition, and that persons who are not United States citizens and who are without lawful immigration status are not eligible for financial assistance using state money. The law requires that those who are not citizens or legal residents pay out-of-state tuition. For academic year 2011-2012 tuition is $317 per credit hour. The in-state tuition rate is $76 per credit hour. [Tuition and fees are subject to change—for the most current rates, refer to Appendix S-4.]
Students are asked to provide information about their citizenship or legal status when they enroll at any Maricopa Community College or Skill Center. To qualify for in-state tuition and state financial assistance, students must provide documentation as proof of lawful presence in the United States. Acceptable documents include a birth certificate, an Arizona driver license or ID card issued after 1996, and official immigration papers. Students who successfully complete the federal Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will not need to show additional proof of citizenship. (A comprehensive list of acceptable documents can be accessed in the menu to the left.)
In a letter sent to students in 2006, the Colleges said that "The new law does not prevent anyone from enrolling in the Maricopa Community Colleges."
College administration assures that "We are complying with the law while maintaining our goal of educating all students who wish to attend the Maricopa Community Colleges. We will continue to provide assistance to students within the framework of the law."
Further information can be obtained on the website or by calling the Admissions and Records Office/Office of Student Enrollment Services at any of the 10 Maricopa colleges. This site includes a list of their phone numbers.
Residency and Citizenship or Lawful Status and Compliance at MCCCD
For students new to the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD), establishing residency and citizenship or lawful status is vital because students are charged a different tuition rate depending on what classification they fall under. A student new to the Maricopa Community Colleges who enrolls via my.maricopa.edu is considered out-of-state until proof of residency and citizenship or lawful status is established with the Admissions and Records Office/Office of Student Enrollment Services at the college he/she is planning to attend.
For the Maricopa Community Colleges, tuition is based on three residency classifications. The following categories were determined in accordance with state law (ARS §§15-1801, 15-1802, 15-1802.01, 15-1803) and regulations of the Maricopa Community Colleges Governing Board (AR 2.2):
- Maricopa County Resident—an individual who has lived in Maricopa County for 50 days AND lived in the State of Arizona for at least one year prior to class start who is a U.S. Citizen or in a lawful status.
- Out-of-County Resident—an individual who does not live in Maricopa County or has not lived in Maricopa County for 50 days prior to the start of the semester, BUT has lived in any county in Arizona, except Apache or Greenlee, AND in the State of Arizona for at least one year prior to class start who is a U.S. Citizen or in a lawful status. According to ARS §15-1469, if the County Superintendent of Schools certifies that you are a resident of a county in Arizona which is not a part of an established community college district, Apache or Greenlee counties will pay the tuition for you to attend one of the state community colleges. The student must complete and submit the Arizona Out-of-County Residence Affidavit form.
- Out-of-State Resident (including F-1 non-immigrant students)—any individual who has not lived in the State of Arizona for at least one year prior to class start or who is not eligible to establish residency.
It is up to the student to establish his/her residency and citizenship or lawful status prior to registration and register under the correct status. Proof of residency and citizenship or lawful status must be provided to each college of attendance. Documentation must be provided prior to the end of the term in which residency classification is being requested. Documentation received after the end of the term will be used for residency determination in subsequent terms.