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Bills seek to extend in-state tuition to immigrants

Last month we wrote a post regarding the push for legislators in the state of Florida to pass a bill that would allow immigrants without documentation, who reside in the state of Florida, to pay the same amount in tuition as other residents of the state. Currently they may attend colleges in the state of Florida but must pay the amount charged to students who live out-of-state. Since that post there have been developments regarding the matter. This past week bills providing those individuals in-state tuition were passed by the Senate Education Committee and the Florida House.

These successes do not guarantee the bill will become law. Over the course of the last decade similar bills have been introduced, but failed.

If passed, an immigrant must reside in the state of Florida for four years before he or she would qualify for the reduced rate. Other individuals need only live in the state for a year before they are eligible for in-state tuition.

There are undeniably many individuals in South Florida who would benefit from this bill should it pass. As throughout the nation education is touted as the best way to get ahead, it is not surprising that individuals, whose family members brought them to this country so that they could lead a better life, would seek to continue on after high school. It is also not surprising that these individuals might someday want to become citizens of the United States. Because there are multiple ways in which this might be accomplished, it is usually beneficial to consult with an immigration lawyer regarding the matter.

Source: WFSU, “After Immigrant Tuition Bill Passes Florida House, Fate Uncertain In Senate,” Jessica Palombo, March 21, 2014

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