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Will lawmakers change tuition policy for undocumented immigrants?

Over the last couple of years we have followed the plight of undocumented immigrants who are unable to afford the out-of-state tuition that they have been forced to pay to attended colleges and university located throughout the state. This tuition policy applies despite the fact that many have lived in Florida, the majority of their lives. In some cases individuals identified as undocumented immigrants are not in that position by choice. Often they were brought to the United States as children by their parents.

The difference between the two prices is staggering. While residents of Florida pay an average of $6,336 per year in tuition, those who pay out-of-state tuition pay an average of $20,390 a year. Over the course of a four year degree, this results in an average difference of $56,226. It is easy to see why undocumented immigrants are so eager to be recognized as residents of the state for college tuition purposes.

These individuals were likely interested in the opinion Governor Rick Scott recently shared regarding the matter. He told the Hispanic caucus of the state legislature that he would like college tuition for everyone to stop growing and that he would consider making in-state tuition available to undocumented immigrants who live in the state.

Whether anything will come of the governor’s statement is unclear. Lawmakers in the state have previously considered legislation regarding the matter but have not chosen to follow the lead of 16 other states in the nation. There is another bill currently being considered.

Because the laws regarding immigration change so rapidly, it can be hard to know what one’s options are. Depending on the immigration issue someone is facing, it is possible an immigration attorney could be of assistance. They are generally the best place to start.

Source: Fox News Latino, “Florida Governor Will Now 'Consider' In-State Tuition For Undocumented Immigrants,” Feb. 7, 2014

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