State of Florida Senate Bill Would Offer Undocumented Immigrants In-State Tuition Fees

Undocumented students will probably now be able to go to school in Florida and pay in-state college tuition rates if the state legislation goes through that the college officials and immigrants are pushing for. For example, at Valencia College, the in-state tuition costs roughly $1,200.00 per semester. For undocumented students, the tuition increases to around $5,000.00 each semester. Some students from Osceola County, Florida will never be able to make it to college due to the fact that they are undocumented residents.

One of the undocumented residents from Osceola County named Abastida said that, “Paying for college is an uphill battle, the American dream is possible but it’s very hard”. The undocumented student has worked in side jobs with his parents, car washes and landscaping jobs. It took Abastida a year to be able to pay for the out of state college fees but he said that it was all worth it. These undocumented students have a dream to one day be able to attend college where they will be able to afford it and they just can’t with the outrages prices that they charge for out of state students. This student has lived in Florida since he was the age of 12 but because he is an undocumented immigrant, he is ineligible for the in-state tuition rates, many different scholarships and financial aid.

Abastida plans to speak up for thousands of students that are in the same situation as him by testifying for a senate committee that will consider to pass a bill that will offer in-state tuition to undocumented students. The state representative John Tobia said that his main concern about the bill is the cost. The state of Texas passed a similar legislation about 10 or 11 years ago and there was an immediate impact on the budget of $25 million a year said the state representative Tobia. Abastida will go to Tallahassee with the support of some of his fellow students.

Most of these undocumented students are scholars, athletes from their high schools and valedictorians. A lot of supporters say that it is wrong to deny any help to the students who were brought to Florida when they were children. The legislation faces opposition in the state senate. Some of the republicans say that Florida should not give benefits to someone whose family broke the law.



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