Not all immigration issues in the United States are being addressed at the federal level. There are some matters that individual states are in control of. One matter that is currently on the radar for the Florida Legislature is whether undocumented immigrants should be eligible for in-state tuition. Currently, individuals who fit that description can attend colleges in the state but pay four times the amount of other residents.
A college education is not cheap. At the same time, it is a requirement for many who hope to create a lucrative career path. At least two colleges in the state of Florida have made changes to the tuition policy for certain undocumented immigrants. Individuals who are a part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program have been granted partial tuition waivers. While this is certainly a positive move for those to whom it applies, there are still many others who either attend other schools or do not qualify for deferred action, and are forced to pay the much higher rate. In the alternative, they may have to forego the pursuit of a higher degree.
Legislation backing in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants has been proposed in the past. Despite the interest in such a change being made statewide by certain Florida college students, it has not succeeded. It is possible that a bill in favor of one of these changes could fare better this year. At least one member of the house, who was against the previous legislation, has indicated that he might support it in 2014.
Whether this change will in fact come to fruition remains to be seen. There are undoubtedly many in the Miami area hoping that it does.
Source: Miami Herald, “Florida Legislature may back in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants,” Kathleen McGrory, Jan. 18, 2014