by Phil Kellerman, Migrant/Immigrant Advocate, Founder, Harvest of Hope Foundation
In February, approximately 30 University of Florida students of Gators for Tuition Equity lobbied legislators at the State Capitol for in-state tuition for foreign-born (undocumented) Florida high school graduates.
The students explained that foreign-born high school graduates meet Florida residency requirements and a large number have graduated with honors. Many of them have obtained DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) cards allowing them to work and pay taxes to the federal government and state.
They should not be charged out of state tuition rates of up to 300 percent more simply because they were born in another country.
Legislators were told that 16 other states now allow in-state tuition for their foreign-born student population.
The students were informed that an in-state tuition bill was passed by the House last year but got stuck in the State Senate. For the upcoming legislative session starting March 4, they were advised to focus communication on state senators, in particular the Senate Education Committee — starting with committee republicans. For a list of Senators visit: http://www.flsenate.gov.
Two key Senate legislators to be contacted are:
Senator Don Gaetz, Senate President 404 South Monroe Street, The Capitol – 409 Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1100 Tel: 850-487-5229
Senator John Legg, Chairman, Senate Education Committee 404 South Monroe Street 316 Senate Office Building, Tallahassee FL 32399 Tel: 850-487-5017
If you have questions or you want additional information please feel free to contact me via email at philkellerman77@ gmail.com or at 352-262-5421.