Florida Senate rejects in-state tuition immigration bill
United States, 2nd February: An immigration bill that would have provided in-state university and college tuition for children of some undocumented immigrants has been voted down in the Senate Higher Education Committee in Florida.
The bill, if approved, would have been helpful to undocumented immigrants’ children who have lived in Florida for a period of two years. It might have saved them from paying out-of-state tuition which is almost three-to-four times higher.
Bill for equal privileges to students in the US--According to Senator Rene Garcia, the man who sponsored the bill, said the bill is aimed to help rectify a mistake. The bill is meant to offer students same privileges as enjoyed by other students in the US irrespective of the immigration status of their parents, Senator Garcia added.
As of now, a large number of students in the US are required to pay out-of-state tuition fee despite the fact that they are residents of Florida and also hold US citizenship. Their only fault is that their parents are not US citizens, a fact that is considered vital in Florida.
No wonder, failure of the bill in Florida Senate is affecting thousands of children of undocumented immigrant parents. Consider, for instance, a student of Miami Dade College, Renato Lherisson. He is here to finish his high school studies and then get a college degree after an earthquake in Haiti forced him to move to the US, his birthplace.
He says he is finding it almost impossible to afford his studies. So, he is thinking of dropping a class. He is among several children of non-US citizens who are passing through the same phase. If approved, the bill would have enabled several students including Lherisson to continue his studies and work in the US.
Opponents find a loophole in the bill--According to Senator Steve Oelrich, R-Gainesville, committee chairman, the bill has the potential to become a big loophole for students whose parents are living in other states of the US and have afford paying out-of-state tuition fees.
He said it does not seem appropriate to favor to children of undocumented immigrants over those who are children of legal US citizens. Hence, the bill failed to win required votes in the Senate.