TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – On Friday, the House approved a bill that would guarantee in-state tuition rates for children who are U.S. citizens but whose parents are undocumented immigrants.
The measure (HB 7051), sponsored by Rep. Jeanette Nunez, R-Miami, follows a federal-court ruling on the issue. Nunez said the bill takes additional steps beyond that ruling.
Rep. Hazelle Rogers, D-Lauderdale Lakes, said lawmakers are “doing the right thing” by children who are U.S. citizens.
“If you’re an American citizen, you’ll be treated like an American citizen in our education system,” said House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, after the measure passed.
But some lawmakers said they wished the bill would also grant in-state tuition rates to children who are undocumented immigrants because they were brought to Florida by their parents — children who have become widely known as “dreamers.”
Republicans blocked efforts to include those children.
The bill was approved 111-4. The dissenters were Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala; Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach; Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-Panama City; and Rep. John Tobia, R-Melbourne Beach.