Most in Miami probably already know that there a number of advantages that those immigrants who’ve either attained U.S. citizenship or been granted permanent residency enjoy over undocumented immigrants. Yet with the number of undocumented immigrants growing every year, federal and state lawmakers are beginning to realize the need to extend certain benefits to this demographic, as well. While proposed federal legislation has continually stalemated in Washington, many states have been able to pass their own laws to offer assistance to undocumented immigrants.
Florida recently joined the ranks of these states when the State Senate recently voted to offer in-state tuition at the state’s universities to undocumented immigrants. Should this legislation pass, Florida would become the 20th state to offer such a benefit. The bill is currently headed to the desk of the Governor, who is expected to OK the measure given that he’s been a staunch supporter of it. Once it has his signature, the bill will then return to the House for final approval.
Not to be overlooked in the passage of this new law is the heavy influence that the growing Hispanic voting base in Florida had on its creation. In fact, many believe that to be among the chief factors that kept this legislation alive while having been debated back forth by state lawmakers for the last several years.
Of course, the right to vote is yet another privilege granted to those who’ve followed federal guidelines in earning their own citizenship. Those looking to help members of their communities dealing with immigration issues may wish to speak with a local immigration attorney about initiating the process to earn these rights for themselves.
Source: The Wall Street Journal “Florida’s Senate Votes to Let Illegal Immigrants Pay In-State College Tuition” Miriam Jordan, May 01, 2014