Juan Escalante is an undocumented immigrant who is pursuing a Master's Degree in Public Administration and Policy.

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Where do Florida’s public universities stand on the in-state tuition for undocumented debate.

As Florida continues to debate whether or not to allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates, several universities have taken a stance, or made public comments, on the issue.

  • Florida International University: FIU was the first university in the state of Florida to declare its support for in-state for undocumented students. The University has even opened up channels that allow DACA eligible students to pay in-state tuition via a tuition waiver. FIU presses that legislation is not needed to allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition, as state law already permits it. It remains the only university in Florida to extend in-state tuition rates to undocumented students.

  • University of South Florida: USF students have pressed their Student Government and school administration to support measures that would allow undocumented students to enroll and pay in-state tuition. However, during a recent board of trustees meeting, students were told that while USF supports the initiative there must be legislative action.

“Until the legislative body acts and changes the law,” trustees are stymied, Steve Prevaux, USF’s general counsel, told the board. 

  • University of Florida: UF students also took their case up to the board of trustees. The board, while supportive of the issue, declared that they had received outside counsel from Foley & Lardner of Miami stating that UF would violate federal law if it made moves to extend in-state tuition rates to undocumented students. UF’s Faculty Senate and university president Bernie Machen have expressed support on the issue.

  • Florida State University: FSU’s Student Government Association has consistently passed resolutions supporting in-state tuition for undocumented students. It wasn’t until last week’s board of trustees meeting that FSU trustees discussed the University’s stance on the issue. 

“The university has taken a position that we should be educating, and the doors open to, any of the students that are graduating,” Barron during parting comments to the FSU Board of Trustees. “Nothing is better for the state of Florida than to see truly bright students have an opportunity and succeed.” 

Outside of the University system, only Miami Dade College has followed the steps of FIU and has begun offering tuition waivers for undocumented students. However, Broward College President David Armstrong has been vocal on the issue via Twitter.

Click here to learn more about the efforts for in-state tuition in Florida.

UPDATE: Florida Atlantic University’s President John Kelly has expressed his support of measures that would allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition in Florida.

Let’s continue to build our rich diversity by leveling the playing field for Florida resident children of undocumented immigrants who have the desire and the ability to earn university degrees. It’s the fair thing to do, and it will pay dividends in the future by expanding Florida’s college-educated workforce.

Today was a good day.

Got myDrivers License renewed for the 5th time! The trifecta is back, active, and valid: Social Security (Never Expired), Drivers License (Expired in 2009), Employment Authorization Card (Expired in 2006).

I haven’t discussed my timeline or experiences on this DACA subject as of late. Expect more posts soon.

Call ICE – John Morton @ 202-732-3000

Sample Script: "Hi, I am calling to urge ICE to stop the deportation of Amado Hernandez Ordonez (A# 
200024671). Amado came to the U.S. when he was only 17 years old. He never received a notice to appear, and now faces deportation despite being a low priority for deportation. Amado is the sole provider for his 1-year old daughter. Stop Amado’s deportation now!”