I was listening to NPR this morning as I was completely stopped on a 65mph highway on my way to work, and I learned about a very curious case happening in Florida. Apparently, there are many students who are being charged out-of-state tuition, even at community colleges, despite the fact that they were born and raised in Florida. Why, you might ask? Because their parents are illegal immigrants.
I understand that the whole debate on illegal immigrants is touchy and steeped in controversy, however, this was shocking to me. As one who never lived in the US until college, I am astounded that these students were denied in-state status while I was granted in-state status after attending a state institution for a semester. Yes, I am a US citizen and there were many many questions that I had to answer and give proof of, but I was still given the rank of "in-state," and all the privileges afforded that label, not the least of which was lower (much lower) tuition rates.
I agree with what one of the guests on the radio show said. She said (paraphrase) that these students are US citizens, and in America, we do not rank our citizens. Regardless of their parent's immigration status, these students should be regarded on the same level as any other American citizen. These students have worked much harder and longer to get even to where they are (at least harder and longer than I have)--how can we inhibit them further when they are much a citizen as any other person born in Florida. Or Massachusetts. Or Oregon. Or any other state? Similar cases have occurred in California and Colorado.
Now these students are suing the state for a chance at their education. Hopefully this will be a matter quickly made right. To read more about it, here is the article and radio program. A local public media source has some information on the case here.
This article from Tampa Bay Online says surprisingly little about the case.
Interestingly, MSNBC.com. CNN.com and NYTimes.com did not have their own news story about the case.
What do you think?
Because I am loathe to post without a photo, here is one I took last year. Today is Halloween, and while I'm not a big Halloween celebrator, I do enjoy carving pumpkins. This year has gone by without the fun of gutting a pumpkin, though not without some degree of wistfulness. I thought about carving something this weekend, but really, after Halloween, the time has passed for pumpkin carving. Oh well. Now I have 365 days to plan for next year! To those of you celebrating it, Happy Halloween!