House OK’s instate tuition for immigrants, sending it to Scottby John Kennedy | May 2nd, 2014
Children of undocumented immigrants would be eligible for instate tuition in Florida under legislation that sailed Friday through the House on an 84-32 vote.
The legislation cleared the Senate a day earlier. It now goes to Gov. Rick Scott, who promised to sign it into law this election year.
House Republicans noted the legislation will reduce tuition for all students.
The measure (CS/HB 851) eliminates a provision in law that allowed Florida’s 12 public universities to hike tuition by as much as 15 percent annually. Instead, only Florida State University and the University of Florida will be able to seek tuition boosts higher than what’s granted by the Legislature — and then only as much as 6 percent-a-year.
But the instate provision for immigrants has been the chief focus of the legislation.
“I hope this signals an end to the anti-immigrant extremism that has prevailed in both of these houses for over a decade,” said Rep. Jose Rodriguez, D-Miami.
The legislation allows children of undocumented immigrants to qualify for instate tuition if they attended high school for three years in Florida. Average non-resident tuition costs $21,434 annually, compared with the average $6,318