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Greensboro City Council considers in-state tuition for DACA students

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Greensboro City Council is considering supporting tuition equity for certain undocumented students in their legislative agenda for 2017.

Saul is a Guilford County Schools student who hopes the council will decide to support it.

His single mother brought him to North Carolina from their hometown in Mexico when he was 5 years old. Two years ago, he received the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Saul is now 18, a senior in high school, has a 4.9 grade point average and is at the top of his class.

"I live a pretty average high school life, the only difference was when I found out that in-state tuition was not an option for me," he said.

Because he is undocumented, he is ineligible for in-state tuition.

Council had tuition equity on the agenda for it's last session, but some members of counsel were concerned about creating tension between the city and lawmakers in Raleigh.

"I understand from several council members that we wanted to not create friction with our state legislators," said City Council Member At-Large Marikay Abuzuaiter.

Abuzuaiter says she believes students like Saul should be able to go to public universities and pay in-state tuition.

"One of these children who want to go to college and make themselves better and want to go into the world could be the doctor who finds the cure for cancer," Abuzuaiter said.

Ironically, Saul wants to be a doctor and he hopes to one day give back to his community.

"Hopefully start a clinic that helps people that can't afford proper health care," he said.

The city council voted to delay putting the item on its legislative agenda at the last meeting. The majority of members said they believed the wording in the proposal should be changed.