130+ Business, Faith, and Civic Leaders Urge Speaker Bowers to Support In-State Tuition for Dreamers in Open Letter
PHOENIX, ARIZONA — More than 130 business, faith and civic leaders signed a letter urging the Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, Russell “Rusty” Bowers, to bring SCR 1044 to the floor. SCR 1044 has received strong support from both sides of the aisle, and would provide all students who attend and graduate from an Arizona high school access to the standard in-state tuition rate. You can read the letter here.
This legislation was introduced on February 1, 2021 by Republican State Sen. Paul Boyer (R. LD20) and is co-sponsored by Representative Michelle Udall (R. LD25). SCR 1044 would provide in-state tuition to all students who attend and graduate from a high school in Arizona, regardless of immigration status. It passed the Senate with broad bipartisan support and is now on Speaker Bower’s desk.
There are approximately 2,000 Dreamers who graduate from Arizona high schools each year. This legislation enables these students to pay their own way through college at the in-state tuition rate, preparing themselves to be self-sufficient, productive, contributors to our economy. For every college graduate earning a four-year university degree, the state averages a $660,000 return on its investment (College Success Arizona).
In the letter, Representative Joel John (R. LD4) writes that “an educated workforce is essential to the future of our state. It is a win for our economy when we create another college graduate.”
Meanwhile, Representative Diego Espinoza (D. LD19) writes that “we have already invested so much into these students. They are our Arizona kids, and should have the opportunity to learn, study, and contribute to our state.”
Dallin Adams, ABIC’s Intermountain Coalition Director, said: “We are grateful for the outpouring of support from our business and faith community. Every Arizona student deserves an opportunity to succeed, and business and faith leaders alike recognize that this type of commonsense, economically smart policy is crucial to the success of our communities, our economy, and our state.”
Reyna Montoya, founder & CEO of Aliento and DACA recipient, said: “Arizonans overwhelming support in-state tuition for dreamers. Time after time I see students leaving our state due to the lack of opportunities in Arizona. Yet, this can change and it is up to House Representatives to give voters a chance to support dreamers.”
The Intermountain American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) represents a growing group of business, faith, and immigrant advocates from Arizona, Utah, Colorado and Nevada. Home to over 2 million immigrants, our Intermountain region benefits by almost $100 billion annually from the economic contributions and talents of these individuals, and we believe that with the right legislative solutions, they will continue to play a key role in our economy and our region’s future.
ALIENTO is a nonprofit leadership organization based in Arizona with a national reach that transforms trauma into hope and action with the dreamers, immigrant community, and allies through arts & healing programs, leadership development opportunities, and advocacy.