What do these bills do?
- These bills expand access to higher education for undocumented students in Florida
- These bills grant students currently enrolled in DACA equal rights to state financial aid and provide that certain students may not be denied classification as a resident based on his or her immigration status if certain criteria are met
As Social Workers we advocate for policies that provide access and opportunity to immigrant communities. Extending in-state tuition rates and access to state financial aid or scholarships to undocumented students open up college opportunities.
Florida has one of the highest populations of undocumented immigrant students in the country. The students enrolled in DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals - an Executive Order that benefits those who immigrated as children and meet established guidelines), can get a Social Security Number and in most cases, a driver’s license. They are eligible for a work permit in Florida and are required to file US tax returns. They are legally obligated to pay the same taxes as other Florida residents, but ineligible to receive Federal or State financial aid (including Machen Florida Opportunity Scholarship, Bright Futures, National Merit, and federal loans and grants).
This current gap in higher education access furthers the racial divide in Florida. A little less than half (46 percent) of all undocumented students in higher education are Hispanic/Latinx, 25 percent are Asian American and Pacific Islander, 15 percent are black, 12 percent are white, and 2 percent are classified as “other.” Among DACA-eligible students, 65 percent are Latinx, 17 percent are Asian American and Pacific Islander, 7 percent are black, 10 percent are white, and 1 percent are classified as “other
Almost all individuals immediately eligible to apply for DACA are students or workers, with ¼ of them juggling college studies and work.
Vote YES on SB 300 / HB 923 and expand access to higher education.