Shamir Ali of Bangladesh made national headlines after StateImpact Florida and others described his plight: He was being deported, even though the Obama Administration’s policy was to allow college students like him to stay in the U.S.
Now, he’s been released from a Florida immigration detention center and given temporary legal standing in the country. But he says college officials are calling him an out-of-state resident for college tuition purposes.
That’s put a wrench into his plans to enroll in college full-time. Here’s an update from Shamir:
“I’m trying to sign up for full-time spring 2011 classes at Miami Dade College.
They acknowledged that I’m legal but want evidence that I’ve been in Florida for at least 12 months, which I have. This has nothing to do with ICE. It has to do with the State of Florida requiring strict evidence of residency to qualify for in state tuition.
I want so badly to enroll as a full-time student but out-of-state tuition is three-and-a-half times more expensive.
The Department of Motor Vehicles granted me a Florida driver’s license with two proofs of address. But sadly Miami Dade College isn’t accepting it. So even with a work permit and a Florida license, I can’t pay in state tuition until I’ve had both for at least a year.
That’s what they told me [yesterday]. They’re very strict on what they want. I need to have one of the following, but it has to be for 12 consecutive months prior to the day I’m claiming Florida residency:
- License or ID (valid for the last 12 months)
- Voter registration card
- Florida vehicle registration
- Proof of purchase of a permanent home in last 12 months.
- Transcript from a high school but must have graduated in the last 12 months
- Proof of homestead exemption
I’m trying so hard to go to school full time… I’d really hate to take part time classes only because they denied me in-state tuition even though I have a Florida drivers license.
The Department of Motor Vehicles considers me a Florida resident, I wish the colleges would too.
Florida resident students pay $1,265.76 per term. A student classified as “out of state” pays $4,523.64 per term for the same classes.
I’m still trying though… I have an appointment with the supervisor of admissions so maybe things can still change. I’ll let you know if they do.