On April 26, 2016, ten students in Georgia filed a lawsuit seeking in-state tuition rates based on their status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Georgia’s university system requires those seeking in-state tuition rates to demonstrate “lawful presence” in the United States. The governing body of the university system has determined that DACA recipients do not meet the “lawful presence” requirement.
This is the second time that the group has filed a lawsuit seeking in-state tuition rates. In February, the students’ lawsuit stalled before the Georgia Supreme Court due to sovereign immunity. This time around, the students are individually suing the 20 members of the Board of Regents, the board that controls Georgia’s university system, in an attempt to avoid the sovereign immunity issues.
The students argue that they are lawfully present in the United States because they are recipients of DACA, the program implemented by President Obama in 2012 that allows certain individuals who entered the United States before their 16th birthday to receive a work permit and be exempt from deportation. The outcome of the lawsuit is important, because in-state tuition is generally much cheaper than tuition for non-residents. If the court finds in favor of the students, Georgia will join the nearly 20 states that have policies allowing undocumented immigrants to receive in-state tuition rates, including Colorado. Such a policy increases access to higher education, positively affecting not only the individual students, but also their communities.
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Effective March 25, 2020, in response to “Stay at Home” orders Joseph & Hall PC is closed to the public and is now conducting nearly all of its operations remotely during the COVID-19 health crisis through April 18th.
We continue to have a limited number of staff in our office to perform basic operations such as assembling and filing petitions, receiving and distributing mail and issuing checks. We are grateful to be in a business that is conducive to remote work and for all of your patience and support. Our lawyers and paralegals are here to answer the array of questions that continue to arise daily and will keep you informed during these rapidly changing times. We will hold telephonic or video meetings rather than in-person meetings. These meetings can be done by SKYPE or Zoom Conference call so that you can continue to interact with your legal team, face-to-face.
We remain committed to delivering outstanding client services. We do have one important request – please do not come into the office in person for your health and safety and that of our employees. Please mail or email all documents to our office. Also, you can make any required payments online at https://vpspay.com/p/3 or make them over the phone by calling 303-297-9171 or by mail. Please stay healthy!