Court rules in SPLC suit that Florida tuition policy discriminates against children of undocumented immigrants

Children of undocumented immigrants who live in Florida will no longer be forced to pay out-of-state tuition rates as the result of a court ruling in an SPLC lawsuit challenging the state’s tuition policy.

“It’s a great day for young people across the state of Florida who simply wanted the opportunity to get an education and, with that, a chance for the American dream,” said SPLC Deputy Legal Director Jerri Katzerman. “This policy, which was blatantly unconstitutional, will no longer be a roadblock for young students who may very well be the state’s leaders of tomorrow.”

The SPLC filed a federal class action lawsuit in October 2011 to challenge tuition policies that treat Florida students who are U.S. citizens and residents of Florida as non-residents solely because their parents are undocumented residents. 

Those policies clearly violate the U.S. Constitution, wrote U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore in an Aug. 31 decision.

As a result of the ruling, students like Wendy Ruiz, Noel Saucedo and countless other promising young American citizens – who have lived in Florida most, if not all, of their lives – will no longer be forced to pay triple the college tuition rates paid by their fellow Florida classmates.