A Fulton County judge is now deciding a lawsuit over whether Georgia public colleges should award in-state tuition to some young immigrants approved under a federal program that grants them temporary U.S. resident status.
At a hearing held Tuesday, Fulton County Superior Court Judge John Goger heard arguments from the plaintiffs and the University System of Georgias Board of Regents but postponed making a decision.
We dont know how its going to turn out, said Raymond Partolan, a Mercer University student who is a plaintiff in the lawsuit.
Partolan attended the hearing and said the judge could come back with a decision at any time.
Thirty-nine young immigrants who qualify for the federal program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals sued the Board of Regents in August. The argument made by their attorney Charles Kuck has been that the university systems own policy manual grants in-state tuition to residents with lawful presence in the country.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security classifies people who have been granted temporary legal status under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals as having lawful presence, Kuck said in December.
But attorneys for the state do not agree that the federal agencys classification affects Georgia policy and filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
Last week, the Florida state Senate passed legislation that would allow students to pay in-state tuition regardless of immigration status as long as they have attended a Florida high school for three years and enroll in college within two years of graduating.
The time is now Partolan said of Georgia following Floridas lead.
To contact writer Andres David Lopez, call 256-9751.