In-State Tuition Bill Passes the Senate




On behalf of the Campaign for Citizenship, a project of PICO United Florida and PICO National Network, youth leader Martha Rosales released the following statement: 

“DREAMers, clergy, leaders and families in the Florida Campaign for Citizenship are thankful that Florida legislators passed the bipartisan bill (HB 851) that will allow undocumented students who have grown up in the state to qualify for in-state tuition rates at Florida colleges and universities.

I graduated high school in 2011, and for nearly three years, I have been working tirelessly to find a college that accepts undocumented students as Florida residents.  The tuition for international students is three to four times the amount a resident pays, and many students give up their dreams because they can’t afford to pay those higher rates. Some of Florida’s best and brightest students are forced into low-wage jobs instead of going to college—jobs in construction, agriculture, and housekeeping—that kept me and my fellow immigrant students in the shadows instead of giving  us the opportunity to contribute our best to our communities and our state.

For me, the passage of the bill is the answer to my prayers and the prayers of all the undocumented youth in Florida. I can finally attend Valencia Community College and study Political Science to achieve my dream of becoming an attorney.  Ever since I was little, I have wanted to help people defend their rights and work for justice.  PICO Florida leaders have fought with me to make this bill a reality, so that all young people in Florida can further their education and fulfill God’s potential in their lives. 

I am an American and want to make my parents proud and my community a better place.  We stand ready to work with legislators and their staff to ensure the implementation of the bill.”