Young undocumented immigrants who received temporary reprieve from deportation under a federal deferred-action plan aren’t entitled to in-state tuition for North Carolina’s universities and community colleges, lawyers for N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper wrote in an advisory letter yesterday.
Assistant attorney generals Alexander Peters and Kimberly Potter were responding to an inquiry from state Rep. Marcus Brandon, a High Point Democrat. Deferred-action, called DACA, was granted to immigrants in 2012 who came to the country as children and are now able to apply to reside and work in the country provided they have a clear criminal records and have pursued an education or served honorably in the military.
In the letter, Peters and Potter wrote that immigrants that fall under the deferred-action plan (DACA) don’t meet the residency requirement that North Carolina uses.
That could change if the N.C. General Assembly changes the residency requirement. The letter noted that Brandon had sponsored legislation that did not pass last year that would have done that.
“In order for students who have been granted DACA status to be eligible for the benefit of in-state tuition, the North Carolina General Assembly would have to amend (the law) to make an exception for such individuals, change the residency requirements, or otherwise proved by law that individuals with DACA classification are, under such circustances as may be set by statute, eligible for in-state tuition,” Cooper wrote.
Fifteen states do offer in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants, according to the National Council for State Legislatures.