“Dreamers are Arizona kids. We have educated them in our schools since they were children and they now have a lot to offer our great state.” – Kate Gallego, Phoenix mayor
PHOENIX, AZ – Today, the Yes On 308 campaign – a bipartisan coalition comprised of the American Business Immigration Coalition Action (ABIC Action), City of Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and City of Mesa Mayor John Giles, Dreamers, and business leaders from across the state – hosted a press conference to urge Arizona voters to support Proposition 308.
“All of us are committed to a tuition system that is fair for all of Arizona’s children, and when Proposition 308 passes this November, it will ensure any person who has lived in Arizona for two or more years and graduated from an Arizona high school will be allowed to pay the same tuition rates to attend Arizona state colleges and universities,” said Carlos Alfaro, Arizona director, American Business Immigration Coalition.
Hazel Villatoro, a freshman at Grand Canyon University, said: “Undocumented students like me just want to be treated like everyone else. We want a fair shot at a good education. We want the chance to contribute to our communities, including as doctors, nurses, teachers and other professions that Arizona needs.”
City of Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said: “Dreamers are Arizona kids. We have educated them in our schools since they were children and they now have a lot to offer to our great state.”
“Prop 308 reduces one of the many challenges already instilled for being a undocumented student,” said Delia Rodriguez, a sophomore at Grand Canyon University. “Our future generations deserve the same access to college and education. I am fortunate to have had a chance to further my education however many other students do not. Prop. 308 will allow us to give back to our communities and this great state!”
John Giles, City of Mesa Mayor, said: “I’m the Republican mayor of one of the largest conservative cities in America and as someone who believes that hard work, determination and sacrifice are how you get ahead, I think it’s just a smart policy to remove unfair obstacles standing in the way of these kids’ dreams. Their success is Arizona’s success. They’ve been educated in our schools, raised in our churches. They’ve played on our kids’ little league teams, and they’ve given back to our communities and helped build our state’s economy in countless ways. These are Arizona kids, our kids, and their success is Arizona’s success.”
Kimber Lanning, CEO, Local First Arizona said: “This ballot referendum is one of the most important votes on the ballot this November. In Arizona alone, there are more than 36,000 DACA-eligible residents, 95% of whom are employed. Prop. 308 will help fortify our state’s future economic growth by encouraging all of our talented students to build their careers here, and that begins with fair in-state college tuition rates.”
Monica Villalobos, President & CEO, Arizona Hispanic Chamber, said: “Keeping talented student Dreamers in Arizona will greatly benefit our state economy. This is one of the most important things on the ballot this November!”
She continued: “Earning a college degree by paying in-state tuition would boost the earnings of Arizona’s Dreamers by more than $28 million annually. Adding to the overall spending power of at least $617.9 million for all of Arizona’s DACA eligible population. Additionally, the state’s budget review committee noted that this proposal would have ZERO impact on the state budget; that means it will cost taxpayers nothing extra to do this and the state’s economy will benefit greatly.”
Statements of Support:
Jim Mapstead, President & CEO, Accurate Signs & Engraving, Inc.: “Arizona is grappling with growing demand in healthcare, K-12 education, and the skilled trades. Immigrants are already helping Arizona meet its growing workforce needs; removing barriers for Dreamers could help the state shore up critical industries. This proposition will grow Arizona’s economy by keeping the skilled workforce that I need, right here in Arizona, with NO tax increase. As an Arizona business owner, I ask you all to vote YES for 308!”
Carlos Velasco, CEO, Novle Community Activators: “Because of the unaffordability of college, many students have had to keep putting things off, delaying their education and putting their aspirations on hold. Today in Arizona attending a state school is just too expensive for Dreamers to be able to afford. It’s time for Arizona to allow in-state tuition for Dreamers. Please vote YES on 308.”
Irayda Flores, El Heroico Guaymas Restaurant: ‘The children in Arizona who would benefit from Prop. 308 demonstrate exceptional talent and character. They represent an important opportunity for Arizona and this nation. We must allow each one of them to fulfill their potential for their own lives, and for the betterment of us all.”
Ryan Oberholtzer, Owner at Barcoa Agaveria: “These are kids who love our country and want to go to college so they can provide for themselves. It makes Arizona better to support them. Children can do without many things; they can do without a cellphone and they can do without a car. But they can’t do without hope. Prop 308 is the right business thing to do, but also the moral thing to do. It is the hope these kids need to go out and build amazing careers and lives for themselves.”
David Carrizosa, CEO Accesso Capital: “Having in-state tuition would mean finishing their degree faster, entering the workforce faster, buying a home faster, raising a family faster and giving back to the state we all call home faster. Prop. 308 gives equal access to all Arizona students! I urge all Arizonans to vote YES on Prop 308 this November!”
What would Prop. 308 do? Prop. 308 would enable any person who has lived in Arizona for two or more years and graduated from an Arizona high school to attend Arizona colleges regardless of their immigration status. Dreamers—Arizona high school graduates who came to our state as children without documentation—are our students. They deserve the same opportunities as other high school graduates.
Prop. 308 is fairness for all high school students. Each year, college is much less affordable for more than 3,600 Arizona high school graduates who do not qualify for in-state tuition at Arizona state schools. College-bound Dreamers who came to Arizona as children without documentation are currently treated as out-of-state students who must pay up to triple the in-state tuition rate, even though they graduated from our high schools. Prop. 308 would let Dreamers pay the in-state tuition rate. There is no “cutting in line” and they must pay the same as other Arizona students.
Who qualifies? Anyone who has lived in Arizona for at least two years and graduated from an Arizona high school would be charged the same in-state tuition rates at the state’s public colleges and universities as their fellow Arizona high school graduates. More than 3,600 Arizona students would benefit from an in-state tuition policy every year.
Economic benefits for Arizona: Keeping Arizona’s prospective college graduates in Arizona can only help grow our state’s economy, granting access to in-state tuition to all Arizona graduates is an important step toward meeting critical workforce needs and would greatly benefit the state’s economy.
Research highlights the crucial role that student Dreamers play in Arizona’s economy, including in some of the state’s fastest-growing and most in-demand fields, like healthcare, education, and the skilled trades. Still, the state is facing critical workforce shortages across the skills and education spectrum.
No new taxes: The conservative state budget review committee noted that this proposal would have ZERO impact on the state budget; that means it will cost taxpayers nothing extra to do this and the state’s economy will benefit.
Economic growth: $617.9 Million Overall spending power for all of Arizona’s DACA eligible population. Earning a college degree by paying in-state tuition would boost the earnings of Arizona’s Dreamers by more than $28 million annually.
Twenty states have passed in-state tuition for Dreamers: Conservative-led states like Florida, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas are among 20 states that have passed in-state tuition for Dreamers and have an advantage over Arizona in the search for top-notch employees.
Prop. 308 reflects Arizona values: Arizonans want to work hard, follow the rules, get a good job and reach their potential. Together, we can ensure all of our high school graduates have a fair shot at becoming productive, tax-paying members of society, no matter what they look like or where they were born. By setting in-state tuition fees for Dreamers, we can keep them in Arizona, the only home they’ve known.
Yes On 308 is a bipartisan campaign led by education, business, faith, and civic leaders seeking to provide all Arizona high school graduates, regardless of their immigration status, the opportunity to pay their own way through college at the in-state tuition rate. Ending the unfair treatment of Arizona’s undocumented high school graduates by allowing equal access to in-state tuition rates at the state colleges and universities will allow them to reach their educational goals, become self-sufficient, and give back to our community.