MIAMI – The Florida Senate Committee on Higher Education voted Tuesday afternoon against passing SB 1018, a bill that would guarantee in-state tuition eligibility for U.S. born citizens and legal permanent residents regardless of the immigration status of their parents.
Because of a flaw in the existing law, when students who are still financially dependent on their parents register for college, they are required to submit tax and residency documentation for their parents in order to qualify for the in-state tuition rate.
This creates a problem for thousands of students who are U.S. born citizens or legal permanent residents, who were raised in Florida and graduated from a Florida high school.
“In the Senate Higher Education Committee we clearly heard some legislators setting a second class standard for Florida’s youth only because of the immigration struggles of their parents,” said Juan Rodriguez, Youth Organizer for the Florida Immigrant Coalition.
“As Floridians, we believe that equal access to education is not only a human right, but also paramount to the prosperity of our state,” Rodriguez said. “This decision is closing the door to thousands of Florida residents that are willing to become skilled professionals and contribute to our economy.”
The course of action taken by the Senate Committee on Higher Education poses an alarming question about whether the Florida legislature is veering towards denying basic human rights and equal treatment to U.S. Citizens just because they are second generation immigrants.