The Phoenix Flyer

Repeal of in-state tuition in FL for Dreamers could still happen – though not in immigration bill

By: - March 15, 2023 6:50 pm

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18, 2020, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Lawmakers in the Senate Rules Committee approved a major immigration bill on Wednesday, requiring public and private businesses to use E-Verify to determine the immigration status of their workforce and making the transporting or harboring of an undocumented immigrant a third-degree felony, among other measures.

But the legislation did not include a repeal of a 2014 state law that gives in-state tuition fee waivers for undocumented immigrant students, or “Dreamers,” at Florida’s public colleges and universities.

Gov. Ron DeSantis had listed that measure in his proposals on immigration last month, but prominent Florida Republicans such as U.S. Sen. Rick Scott (who signed that measure into law) and former Republican Party of Florida Chair Al Cardenas have criticized the idea of repealing the law.

However, West Central Florida Republican Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, the sponsor of the bill in the Senate, says the provision may possibly be added to another measure working its way through the legislative process.

“It still may show up as a subject in an education bill,” Ingoglia told the Phoenix immediately after the bill passed along party lines.

“I’m for repealing that section,” he insisted about the idea of repealing the 2014 law, but added “it’s an education-based issue.”

Approximately 40,000 students enrolled in higher education classes in Florida are considered undocumented, with about 12,000 eligible for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and 28,000 ineligible, according to the Higher Ed Immigration Portal.

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Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has covered politics and government in Florida for more than two decades. Most recently he is the former politics reporter for Bay News 9. He has also worked at Florida Politics, Creative Loafing and WMNF Radio in Tampa. He was also part of the original staff when the Florida Phoenix was created in 2018.