Putting Education Reform To The Test

Students Stage a Sit-In to Fight for College Tuition Equity

Florida Immigrant Coalition

Students and immigrant rights activists wear graduation caps during a sit-in at Rep. Carlos Lopez Cantera's office in Tallahassee. They're asking the House Majority Leader to push forward a bill in the Florida Legislature that would grant college tuition equity for all Florida students.

Students with the activist group We Are Florida have staged a quiet sit-in at Rep. Carlos Lopez Cantera’s office in Tallahassee today, asking him to support HB 81, a bill that would grant in-state tuition for all youth living in Florida regardless of their immigration status or the immigration status of their parents.

As StateImpact Florida has reported, Florida-born U.S. citizens have to pay the out-of-state college tuition rate if they have undocumented parents, or if their Florida-born parents decide to leave the state. Until a Florida college student is 25 years old, or financially dependent according to tax forms, the state looks at the residency of a students’ parents to determine tuition costs. The out-of-state tuition rate is up to three times higher than the in-state tuition rate.

We Are Florida said this about Rep. Cantera:

As member of the Hispanic Caucus we depend on him to be the voice for immigrants across Florida. As House Majority Leader he has the power to move HB 81. The future of Florida is in his hands!

The delegations will stay in his office until 5pm or until he agrees to support.

Natalia Jaramillo with the activist group said Rep. Cantera has refused to meet with the students and immigrant activists so far.

Members of the Youth and Young Adults Network of the National Farm Worker Ministry and youths from Hope CommUnity Center in Apopka, Fla. are also among the crowd.


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