Florida Senate approves in-state tuition for undocumented Caribbean students
TALLAHASSEE, Florida, May 4, CMC – The Florida Senate has voted to allow undocumented Caribbean and other immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities, bringing to an end a fight that spanned more than a decade.
“The eyes of America are on us,” said Republican Senator Jack Latvala, co-sponsor of the bill after the 26-13 vote. “I think we’re setting an example. I think we’re doing the right thing.”
However, the bill must return to the house for final passage, due to slight changes. But both House Speaker Will Weatherford and Florida Governor Rick Scott said the new language wouldn’t hurt the controversial bill’s chances of becoming law.
“I look forward to signing this bill,” Scott said. “This is a historic day. Just think children that grew up in our state will now get the same tuition as their peers.”
The measure would make Florida the 21st state in the United States to offer in-state tuition rates to undocumented students, but only young adults who attended a Florida high school for at least three years would qualify.
The Senate estimates about 1,300 students would be eligible annually, according to the Herald, noting that undocumented Caribbean and other students currently pay the out-of-state rate, which is three to four times the rate offered to Florida residents.
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