Georgia judge’s order on in-state tuition for DACA immigrants on hold

A Fulton County judge’s order that says young immigrants who are being temporarily shielded from deportation may pay in-state tuition in Georgia will remain on hold while the Georgia Court of Appeals considers the case.

The Appeals Court granted the stay — called a supersedeas — at the Board of Regents’ request Friday. Months could pass before the court issues its final ruling.

“Having read and considered the motions and responses of all parties referenced above, this court finds a grant of supersedeas is necessary to protect the rights of the appellants during the appeals process,” the court said in its two-page decision. The court added that however it ultimately rules “will have significant consequences for the appellants extending beyond its impact on the parties to this particular litigation.”

An Obama administration program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is at the heart of the legal dispute. The program grants work permits and temporary protection from deportation in two-year increments. President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to cancel that program.

About 28,000 people living in Georgia have been approved for DACA so far. Some of them are suing the Board of Regents, arguing they are legally present in the U.S. through DACA and should therefore be allowed to pay in-state tuition. Fulton Superior Chief Judge Gail Tusan agreed with them in her recent ruling. The Board of Regents is appealing.

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