ACLU of Florida Cheers Signing of Tuition Equity Bill for Immigrant Students
Bill ends policy of requiring Florida DREAMers to pay out-of-state tuition rates 3 to 4 times higher than their classmates; Over 18,000 supporters signed petition calling for passage of bill
June 9, 2014
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TALLAHASSEE, FL – This morning, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law a tuition equity bill, HB 851, which ends the practice of requiring thousands of Florida students to pay out-of-state tuition – rates three to four times higher than in-state tuition rates – simply because of their immigration status.
ACLU of Florida Director of Public Policy Michelle Richardson said the following the signing of the bill:
“Today, we celebrate the signing of a law which means that all Florida students will have more fair access to an affordable college education. After years of effort, fairness in college tuition is finally a reality for the thousands of Florida students for whom the dream of a college education has been inaccessible simply because of an unfair law.”
“A few years ago, we were fighting back against the Legislature’s efforts to pass an ‘Arizona copycat’ law that would have criminalized the presence of undocumented people in our state. Today, with the signing of HB 851 into law, our state’s leaders have finally recognized that open hostility to our state’s immigrant communities is not a winning solution for Florida. Starting now, our state will reap the benefits of a diverse immigrant community, a more fair higher education system, and a smarter Florida workforce.”
The ACLU of Florida and multiple groups including Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC), Students Working for Equal Rights (SWER), and Reform Immigration for America (RI4A) worked in partnership for passage of the bill. Ultimately, over 18,000 people from across the state and throughout the US signed a petition created by the ACLU and delivered to Florida Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera urging passage of the bill.
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