The Fulton County Superior Court ruled today that Georgia residents who have been shielded from deportation by the Obama Administration shall be granted in-state tuition at Georgia public universities.
The Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program allowed millions of young immigrants to obtain legal status if they illegally entered the United States as a child. Yet the Board of Regents, following a 2008 law passed by the General Assembly, only offers in-state tuition to Georgia residents “legally in this state.”
Fulton County Superior Court Chief Judge Gail Tusan sided with the 10 Georgia DACA recipients who sued, with the assistance of rumored CD6 candidate Charles Kuck, for in-state tuition. Chief Judge Tusan’s decision cited “the federal definition of lawful presence,” indicating that the change will only be extended to those who qualify for the DACA program.
The long-awaited decision could be thrown into further disarray by the incoming Trump Administration, which has taken a hard line on immigration legalization and the prior president’s executive orders. President Trump could overturn DACA with the stroke of a pen, though there’s no clear indication what he’ll do yet. Immigration advocates are advising young illegal immigrants not to apply for DACA, lest the Department of Homeland Security receive their residential information.
The judge did not rule if residents of Alabama are to be granted in-state tuition, despite the widespread belief among Georgians that it is another country entirely.