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Tuition Equity in Florida

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2014

CONTACT
Adela de la Torre, delatorre@nilc.org, 213-400-7822

Sunshine State Brightens Prospects for All Students

Florida Senate Approves Tuition Equity Measure for State Institutions of Higher Education

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Senate today approved HB 851, a bill that would allow Florida students who meet certain criteria, regardless of their immigration status, to pay in-state tuition at public colleges or universities. This move brings Florida one step closer to becoming the twentieth state with a tuition equity law or policy. Once Florida’s tuition equity bill becomes law, over 75 percent of foreign-born residents will reside in a state that has a tuition equity law or policy in place. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“The historic vote by the Florida legislature guarantees a brighter future for Floridian students, who finally will have greater equality in accessing higher education. The Sunshine State is a governor’s signature away from joining Texas, California, Oklahoma, and many other states that recognize the benefits of ensuring that all students have access to an affordable education. What a difference three years makes: Many of the same legislators who supported this commonsense bill also supported, three years ago, a draconian anti-immigrant proposal similar to Arizona’s infamous racial profiling law, SB 1070.

“This change in policy didn’t come easily. Florida’s immigrant students, the Florida Immigrant Coalition, and their allies fought long and hard to show their elected officials that inclusive legislation like the measure approved today will help all Floridians grow stronger together.

“Florida’s elected representatives in Washington, DC, should take note. Their colleagues in Tallahassee have seen that good policy is also good politics. Now it’s time for congressional representatives to do the same—to abandon anti-immigrant proposals such as the SAFE Act once and for all and adopt inclusive policies that move our nation forward.”

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