Student gov prez asks UA to provide financial aid for illegals

The University of Arizona’s student body president has pledged to pursue an initiative to provide scholarships to illegal immigrant students, which are prohibited under state law.

Matt Lubisich, the president of Associated Students of the University of Arizona, reportedly told The Daily Wildcat in May that he is “trying to find ways to work around” state law to provide financial aid to students who qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

[RELATED: DePaul hikes student fees to fund scholarships for illegals]

“There are some state laws that kind of prohibit this, and we’re trying to find ways to work around it, because we know that ASU does it,” he told the publication, noting that illegal immigrant students “have no access to federal aid, grants...anything like that,” and have asked him to “carry the torch with them to make this possible.”

An Arizona state law was passed in 2006 that prohibits students who are not legal U.S. residents or lack “lawful immigration status” from qualifying as in-state students, precluding them from taking advantage of discounted tuition rates or any other form of financial aid “that is subsidized or paid in whole or in part with state monies.”

[RELATED: CA budget guts middle-class aid, keeps scholarships for illegals]

When asked to elaborate on how he would “work around” state law, however, Lubisich told Campus Reform that The Daily Wildcat misquoted him, saying he has no idea where the newspaper got that quote and claiming that he did not say anything about working around the state statute.

Neither the editor-in-chief nor the news editor of the Daily Wildcat responded to requests for comment about the alleged misquote, which had not been removed as of press time.

The Arizona State University Scholarship office declined to provide comment on whether DACA students receive state-funded scholarships, as Lubisich reportedly claimed, but according to The Arizona Republic, ASU was forced to rescind a full-ride scholarship from at least one DACA student last year after discovering that his immigration status rendered him ineligible for the award.

UPDATE: Lubisch contacted Campus Reform to further clarify that his goal is to find "legal ways such as private donations" to fund scholarships for illegal immigrant students, reiterating that he has no intention of pursuing any approach that would violate state law.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @shannadnelson