FL SENATE COMMITTEE DENIES ACCESS TO EDUCATION TO U.S. CITIZENS
Today, the Florida Senate committee on Higher Education, led by Senator Oelrich, voted 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.
As part of an existing flaw in the legislature, when students register for higher education under financial dependence to their parents, they are required to submit tax and residency documentation for their parents in order to qualify for the in-state tuition rate. This has created a problem for thousands of students who are U.S. born citizens or legal permanent residents, who were raised in the sunshine state and graduated from one of our high schools.
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.
As Floridians, we believe that equal access to education is not only a human right but also paramount to the prosperity of our state. 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 our Florida legislature is veering towards denying basic human rights and equal treatment to US Citizens just because they are second generation immigrants.