Dreamers headed to Tallahassee to ask legislators to keep in-state tuition
MIAMI -Student leaders are on their way to Tallahassee where they hope to meet with legislators to ask them to reject Gov. Ron DeSantis' proposal to rescind in-state tuition to "dreamers" living in Florida.
"Being in this country is such a blessing," says Bella, a "Dreamer" and FIU student. "I have lived in Florida for most of my life, and I never want to leave."
Bella and her family left Colombia when she was 13 years old— searching for a better life.
Now at FIU, she is studying to become a clinical psychologist.
"All I want to do is serve my community," she says
Dreamers were brought to the US as children. They live and go to school in the US. They are called dreamers after the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which was introduced in 2001.
Florida Dreamers currently benefit from a 2014 law that allows them to qualify as residents at the rates of public universities and colleges.
"If I have to pay for out of state tuition, I wouldn't be able to go to school at all," says Bella. "The thought of getting a masters degree would be so out of reach."
During the Obama administration, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy was established to shield unauthorized immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors from deportation if they met certain requirements, including arriving in the country by age 16 and before June 2007, studying in a U.S. school or serving in the military and lacking any serious criminal record.
While Obama called it a "stopgap measure" when it was created in 2012, DACA has remained in place for a decade, outliving the Trump administration, which unsuccessfully sought to dismantle the program as part of its broader crackdown on legal and unlawful immigration.
"I'm not trying to take anything from the government," says Bella. "I just want to go to school, and pay what anyone else would pay if they lived in Florida, too."
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