Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Hopes of “Dreamers” Rise in Two States

This week, the spirits of undocumented immigrant students were lifted in two large states: Virginia and Florida. 

In Virginia, Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring announced on Tuesday that students raised in the state but brought into the country illegally as young children could qualify for in-state tuition.

“These ‘Dreamers’ are already Virginians in some very important ways,” he said in a statement. “Instead of punishing and placing limits on these smart, talented, hard-working young people, Virginia should extend them an opportunity for an affordable education.”

The New York Times noted that 18 states now have policies allowing such students to pay in-state tuition. Undocumented students who were granted “deferred action” by the federal government would qualify.

In Florida, the state Senate voted late Thursday to allow such Dreamers to quality for in-state tuition. The Times reported that the vote was 26 to 13. It must go to the state House for approval and then on to the governor.

The newspaper reported that Republican state Senator Jack Latvala became emotional when looking at a crowd of students attending the vote, saying that “hopeful eyes cast down on us today that are thinking about their future, about how they are going to get an education and provide for their families just as we all have tried to do.”