Are you following the lawsuit recently filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center over US citizens and Florida residents who are children of undocumented immigrants being charged out-of-state tuition fees at Florida universities?
This may be one of the more stupider actions taken up in Tally in recent memory:
Born and raised in Miami, Ruiz is a U.S. citizen. But in the eyes of Florida’s higher education system, she’s a dependent student whose parents are undocumented immigrants — and not considered legal Florida residents.Here's an excerpt from the lawsuit, now before Judge Moore:
As such, Ruiz is charged higher-priced out-of-state tuition, even though she has a Florida birth certificate, Florida driver’s license and is a registered Florida voter. One semester of in-state tuition at Miami Dade College costs about $1,200, while out-of-state students pay roughly $4,500.
Many students are simply unable to absorb the increased cost. Ruiz has been attending Miami Dade College and, so far, has a 3.7 GPA but must work multiple part-time jobs just to pay for one class. Other similarly-affected students have completely given up on college.
“As an American, and a lifelong Florida resident, I deserve the same opportunities,” Ruiz said. “I know that I will be successful because I have never wanted something so bad in my life like I want this.”
Florida’s public colleges and universities classify applicants and students who are unable to show that their parents have lawful immigration status as “non-residents,” even though the applicants are United States citizens who reside in Florida. Being classified as a non-resident more than triples the cost of tuition. As a result, many talented American students must either forego higher education or incur extraordinary costs, in both money and time, in order to obtain the same education made available to other Florida residents at a small fraction of the cost.Forcing children to carry the status or non-status of their parents seems inherently un-American, or is that too quaint a notion nowadays?
The individuals who bring this action were born in the United States, graduated from Florida high schools, and have lived in Florida for many years. Some have lived in Florida all of their lives. They went to the same high schools, held down the same part-time jobs, and participated in the same after-school activities as their counterparts who are granted in-state tuition status. The only difference between the plaintiffs and the students granted in-state tuition is that the plaintiffs cannot prove that their parents have lawful immigration status.