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Arizona Public Program Eligibility, Proposition 300 (2006)

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Arizona Proposition 300, also known as the Public Program Eligibility Act was on the November 7, 2006 election ballot in Arizona as a legislatively-referred state statute. It was approved.[1] The enacted measure requires verification of immigration status of persons who are applying for state-funded services such as child care and adult education. This also includes in-state tuition and financial aid for college students.

Election results

Public Program Eligibility
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 1,060,444 71.4%
No423,99428.6%
Election results from Arizona Elections Department.

Aftermath

On February 16, 2011, a State House Committee approved legislation that would make the measure retroactive to January 1, 2004. The legislature proposed this law due to a particular case in which a state rancher, Roger Barnett, lost a lawsuit pertaining to 16 illegal immigrants. The immigrants accused Barnett of illegally imprisoning them and eventually won the case in 2004.[2]

Text of measure

Ballot language

The language that appeared on the ballot:

Analysis by Legislative Council:

Proposition 300 would make the following changes related to eligibility, enforcement and reporting for certain state funded services:

1. Provides that only United States citizens, legal residents or persons otherwise lawfully present in this country are eligible to participate in adult education classes offered by the Arizona Department of Education.

2. Provides that in accordance with the federal Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, a person who is not a United States citizen or legal resident and who does not otherwise possess lawful immigration status in this country may not be classified as an in-state student or county resident for community college or state university tuition purposes.

3. Provides that a state university or community college student who is not a United States citizen and who does not otherwise possess lawful immigration status in this country is not entitled to waivers, grants or any other financial assistance paid in whole or part with state funds.

4. Restricts eligibility for child care assistance from the Arizona Department of Economic Security to parents, guardians and caretakers who are United States citizens, legal residents or persons otherwise lawfully present in this country.

5. Requires that the family literacy program, the adult education class requirements, the state university and community college financial assistance requirements and the child care assistance program be enforced without regard to race, religion, gender, ethnicity or national origin.

6. Requires that the state agencies administering the provisions of Proposition 300 report statistics regarding the number of persons denied participation in the above described programs due to citizenship or immigration status.[3][4]

Full text

The full text of the legislation approved by Proposition 300 is available here.

Support

  • However, State Treasurer Dean Martin has stated that the measure has saved millions of dollars, which has allowed programs for legal residents to prosper. Martin sponsored the measure when he was a state senator in 2006. Martin argued that the state is eventually paid back from legal students because of the higher income taxes that they obtain after college. He stated that illegal immigrants who don’t legally work in the United States cannot pay the state back as a result.
  • According to Martin: "When we're talking about college students, we're not talking about children anymore. “At this point, you are responsible for following the law yourself."[5]

Opposition

  • Connie Anderson, member of the Valley Interfaith Project, is opposed to the measure and the effects that it has had over the years since it was enacted. She states that the measure leaves high school graduates with no future. She argues that most of them were brought to the United States when they were very young, Arizona in particular, and don’t know any other home.
  • Other arguments against the measure claim that illegal residents pay more for their tuition and other services, therefore leaving colleges and university with a considerable profit. According to Anderson: "We're sidelining the best of our kids and wasting human talent.”

Campaign finance

Donors to the campaign against the measure:[6]

  • Campaign for Community Change Oppose Props 100 HCR 2028 102 HCR 2001 103 & 300 SCR 1033: $61,300
  • No on Prop 300: $7,200
  • Total: $68,500

See also

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