“Self-Defeating for Florida” – Presidents’ Alliance Reacts to Proposed Rescission of In-State Tuition Access for Dreamers

“Self-Defeating for Florida” – Presidents’ Alliance Reacts to Proposed Rescission of In-State Tuition Access for Dreamers 


February 28, 2023

Contact: Diego Sánchez,

Washington, D.C.— Last week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis unveiled a range of restrictive state immigration proposals he will push the state legislature to enact. Included was a measure to rescind Florida’s popular and successful in-state tuition waiver law allowing undocumented “Dreamers” who graduated from Florida high schools to afford and attend state colleges and universities.

Dreamers have grown up in our schools, serve our communities, and stand ready to bridge workforce gaps that face our nation. As Republican Senator Rick Scott, who signed into law the current in-state tuition policy when Governor in 2014, stated last week, “When I think about that bill I think about little two, or five year-old girls … They lived in this country. They went to school. Maybe they were an honor roll student … So for them we cannot put this thing out of reach for them to live their dream. It was a bill I was proud to sign, I believe in it. I believe these individuals ought to have the opportunity to live the dream of this country. It’s a bill I would sign again today.”

The following is a statement from Diego Sánchez, Director of Policy and Strategy at the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration and a former undocumented student and DACA recipient in Florida:

“It would be self-defeating for Florida to rescind the popular and successful in-state tuition waiver law that provides more Florida Dreamers the opportunity to pursue a degree, a meaningful career and, ultimately, opportunities to give back to the communities and state they call home.

At the Presidents’ Alliance, we hear from higher education leaders across the country who have seen first-hand how Dreamers make immense contributions to classrooms, campuses and their broader communities. Many Florida Dreamers have relied on the opportunities provided by the in-state tuition law to become college graduates and are now highly valued employees and entrepreneurs throughout the state. It would limit the future economic competitiveness of Florida to make these college and career dreams harder to achieve.

Beyond dampening the economic vitality of Florida, stripping in-state tuition access would also inflict needless harm on Dreamers who have grown up in Florida – our frequent partners at TheDream.US report that the average age of arrival to the U.S. among their more than 1,150 Florida Scholars and alums is just four years old.

Rescinding in-state tuition access would harm Florida Dreamers and the state’s economy. State lawmakers should reject this self-defeating proposal.”

Additional Resources

In Florida, there are more than 40,000 undocumented students enrolled in higher education who are set to play an essential role in the state workforce. Already, Florida Dreamers are filling critical labor needs in the state – for example, first-generation immigrants in Florida comprise approximately 25% of current nurses and STEM workers in Florida, a share of the workforce that is only projected to grow in the future. Read more at the Florida state page on the Higher Ed Immigration Portal here.


The nonpartisan, nonprofit Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration brings college and university presidents and chancellors together on the immigration issues that impact higher education, our students, campuses, communities, and nation. We work to advance just, forward-looking immigration policies and practices at the federal, state, and campus levels that are consistent with our heritage as a nation of immigrants and the academic values of equity and openness. The Alliance is composed of over 550 presidents and chancellors of public and private colleges and universities, enrolling over five million students in 43 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico.