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North Carolina immigrants protest state tuition costs

Any college-age resident in the state of North Carolina knows how expensive it can be to go to college. For students living in North Carolina and attending college, tuition is manageable and oftentimes easily affordable. But for those paying out-of-state tuition, this is a very different story. At many colleges and universities this means paying nearly three times as much as their in-state-tuition classmates, which is becoming a deterrent for many students.

This is where the topic of immigration enters the conversation. As an estimated 40 protestors explained recently during a protest in Raleigh, North Carolina lawmakers have been slow to decide on whether those offered a temporary reprieve from deportation because of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will be allowed to pay in-state tuition costs just like other students. Currently, DACA students are charged out-of-state rates for their education, which is something one protestor contended was unfair, especially to those who have lived in North Carolina their entire lives.

Although a spokeswoman for Attorney General Roy Cooper says that a legal opinion about the issue is currently being drafted, she did not indicate whether any concessions will be made or when students can expect a resolution to the issue. For many DACA students, a lack of a timeline is frustrating because their applications for deferred deportation are only good for two years, meaning if they do not get the education they want within that time frame, then they might face deportation and lose the opportunity until a student visa can be obtained.

As many of our readers can imagine, this issue is incredibly complex because it involves state as well as federal laws. State officials might be hesitant to make any final decisions for fear of legal ramifications while DACA students simply want what they feel they have the right to. All the while, the issue continues to affect people’s lives, holding them back from their dreams and goals all across North Carolina.

Source: The News Observer, “Immigrants march to Raleigh, demand in-state tuition rates,” T. Keung Hui, Jan. 11, 2014

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