“We continue to believe this is an illegal policy and it just doesn’t make sense to turn down some of your best and brightest,” said Burth Lopez of the Mexico-US Legal Protection and Education Fund.
“It’s a tragedy,” said co-counsel Nathaneal Horsley, an Atlanta attorney. “The efforts that DACA receivers have made to stay here are impressive – they jump through every hoop and overcome every hurdle. Now they cannot go to our best universities. I thought we would be better than that as a society in Georgia. “
In a statement, University System of Georgia spokeswoman Jen Ryan said that with the 11th Circuit decision, the policy of the system “follows state law and will continue to do so.”
In Georgia, some DACA recipients may visit facilities that have not enrolled all academically qualified applicants in the past two years. Such students must pay extra-state tuition fees.
In their lawsuit, the three students challenged the state’s policies to prevent individuals “illegally residing in the United States” from attending the three non-exempt universities. They claimed the policy was unconstitutional for reasons of equal protection.
However, Judge Gerald Tjoflat, who wrote for a unanimous panel of three judges, suggested that the three schools, which cannot accept all qualified applicants, must prioritize which schools they can attend.
“The regents could have chosen to prioritize those students who are more likely to stay in Georgia after graduation, and the regents might have decided that DACA recipients are less likely to do so because they are removable at any time,” the ruling said. “That is, the regents could reasonably have concluded that it would be unwise to invest government funds in DACA recipients.”
President Donald Trump grabs the 11th US Court of Appeals with conservative lawyers. The Atlanta-based court has 12 judges and serves Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. Trump has already put two new judges on trial – Elizabeth Branch and Kevin Newsom. A third candidate, Britt Grant, is expected to be confirmed. An argument with Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) Holds up their confirmation. Observers expect the new appointments will cement the court as one of the most conservative in the Na
The three students, who all graduated from high schools in Georgia, also claimed that their status as DACA recipients had been postponed, thereby giving them a “legal presence” in the United States and qualifying for admission.
However, Tjoflat noted that these students are still subject to deportation proceedings. “As a DACA recipient, they were only given a deadline of a possible distance. That doesn’t mean they are “lawfully present” in any way under the law, “he said.