The Arizona Dream Act Coalition was founded by undocumented students. The “Dreamers” were seeking positive and constructive ways to respond to a harsh 2006 law that required undocumented students to pay prohibitively expensive out-of-state tuition and exempted them from receiving merit-based publicly funded scholarships. Instead of wringing their hands and disappearing into the shadows, the impressive students told the world about their “undocumented and unafraid” status. (The original student founders all attended college by competing for private scholarships. They include a recent graduate of Arizona State University’s College of Law and a graduate of Stanford University’s graduate school of engineering. Dulce Matuz, another founder, is widely recognized across the nation as a Latina leader.)
These days, the highly regarded ADAC advocates for lower tuition rates, education rights, and immigrant and human rights. The ADAC is the plaintiff in a federal lawsuit that claims Arizona’s governor singled Dreamers out from immigrant groups when she refused to grant them driver’s licenses after they’d been granted permission from the Department of Homeland Security to stay in the United States.