undocumented immigrants

Governor Ron DeSantis unveiling his fiscal year 2019-2020 budget to the media.
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is calling on state lawmakers to further crack down on undocumented immigration by mandating the use of E-Verify. The effort comes nearly a year after the legislature approved a ban on so-called sanctuary cities which requires local law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. 

E-Verify is a federal database used by employers to check an applicant's work eligibility. Currently all Florida state agencies are required to use it. DeSantis wants to expand that requirement to private business owners and employers.

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Florida business leaders are pushing back against a potential change to Florida’s constitution. It would require businesses to verify new workers are eligible to work in the U.S.


Florida State University President John Thrasher is weighing in on President Trump’s decision to end a program that protects undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as kids from deportation.

Rep. Dane Eagle (R-Cape Coral)
Florida House of Representatives

A House panel faced stiff opposition as it passed a measure assigning heightened punishments to undocumented immigrants.

The Florida House preparing to begin its floor session.
The Florida Channel

It’s not a criminal violation to be in the U.S. illegally. That’s why undocumented immigrants are deported rather than jailed.

jvoves/ flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jvoves/

Florida State University President John Thrasher is joining more than five hundred other college administrators in defending undocumented immigrants.

jvoves/ flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jvoves/

Earlier last month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a tied ruling on President Obama’s immigration reforms. The justices’ deadlock means 3.8 million undocumented immigrants nationwide are once again in danger of deportation. Here's a look into what the ruling means for Florida.

Naoki Takano/ Flickr

A longstanding dispute over emergency medical care for undocumented immigrants is back in the courts. The First District Court of Appeal heard oral arguments Tuesday.

Michael Coghlan/ flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/8035396680/

At the heart of modern political debates is the role and size of government: to expand or regulate, support or restrict. And for many, the crux of the issue is how government should handle the disadvantaged. This week, Florida lawmakers considered two sides of the same coin: public assistance.

Elvert Barnes/ flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/perspective/

Wednesday evening the Florida House passed a bill that would prohibit sanctuary cities in the state. The bill may stall out in the Senate.

One Year After HB 851, There is Still Work to Be Done

Jul 24, 2015

It’s been over a year since HB 851 was signed into law, letting undocumented students pay in-state tuition at Florida public universities. Two undocumented brothers, one a student, the other an activist, speak on how it’s working and what’s expected in the future. 

The Florida Immigration Coalition gathers at the Florida Capitol to push back against a measure that would require local governments to cooperate with Immigration Customs Enforcement (2019).
Florida Immigrant Coalition / twitter

Governor Rick Scott recently signed the so-called Immigrant Tuition bill into law that would grant in-state tuition rates to undocumented immigrants. Since near the end of Session, Scott has been touting the legislation and even did a week-long tour this week. While it’s publicized more as a Hispanic win, other segments of the immigrant population who will also be affected by the new law are also weighing in.

MGN Online

Governor Rick Scott has signed the so-called Immigrant Tuition bill, the first of the 105 bills sent to his desk last week. But, some say it’s all just a re-election ploy.

Florida Democratic Party Vice Chairwoman Annette Taddeo-Goldstein says while she’d like to see the measure do more, she’s happy Scott signed the bill granting in-state tuition rates to undocumented students.

Huffington Post

Governor Rick Scott has about two weeks to act on more than a 100 bills delivered to his desk Thursday. They include a bill granting in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants as well as a bill legalizing a mild strain of marijuana for medical purposes—a couple controversial measures Scott has already said he’ll sign.

Charlotte's Web

Capital Report: 05-09-2014

May 9, 2014

Nearly a million Floridians have gained insurance though federal exchanges as part of the Affordable Care Act. Many of those people are seeing big savings on their insurance costs, courtesy of subsidies they’ve received from the federal government, but as Lynn Hatter reports, hundreds of thousands more Floridians are still left with nothing.

Stan Jastrzebski

The children of undocumented immigrants in Florida will soon get to attend college for the same price as their cohorts. A bill to offer instate tuition to undocumented students passed the House Friday.

Now all that’s left is for Governor Rick Scott to ink his okay – a move that’s without much question since The governor voiced his support for the measure just after the vote.

Jose Godinez-Samperio passed the Bar exam, but under current state law, since he's not a U.S. citizen, he can't get admitted to the Florida Bar.
Kathleen Flynn

A non-citizen Florida State University law school graduate is just steps away from earning the right to practice law in the state.

When  Jose Godinez-Samperio was 9-years old, he came to the U.S.  from Mexico with his parents on a tourist visa. When the visa expired he and his parents legal infraction. But since then, Rep. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) says Godinez-Samperio has been a model Floridian. He became an Eagle Scout and graduated Valedictorian from his high school

Florida Democratic Party

The Florida Democratic Party is taking shots at Governor Rick Scott over a proposal giving undocumented students access to in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities.

Party officials are slamming Scott over a watered-down version of the bill now in play in the legislature.

The Florida Senate will weigh in on whether undocumented immigrants can be charged the in-state tuition rate for attending the state’s public colleges and universities.

The proposal, sponsored by Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, also reduces the state university system governing board’s authority to grant tuition increases above what the legislature approves.  But that’s not the part of the bill getting the most attention.

Rep. Matt Gaetz via Twitter

Even with dozens of bills left on the agenda, the Florida Senate on Monday devoted hours to honoring outgoing Senate President Don Gaetz. Gaetz reflected on the chamber’s proudest accomplishments since he took the helm last year.

Before an audience of senators, lobbyists, reporters and family members, Gaetz took his spot at the Senate lectern for what will be one of the last times.

“I’ve made a thousand mistakes, and I ask your forgiveness for any slight or any offense,” he said at one point in the speech.

Capital Report: 04-25-2014

Apr 25, 2014

As the House and Senate try to come up with a 75-billion dollar spending plan  for Florida, one of the biggest issues lawmakers will have to decide is the fate of the joint Florida A&M/ Florida State University Engineering School. Lynn Hatter reports that issue could be decided by the top lawmakers in both chambers.

Rene Garcia
Florida Senate / FLSenate.gov

Non-citizens brought to Florida illegally as children could get the chance to practice law under a measure the Senate passed today. A recent Florida Supreme Court opinion urged the Legislature to allow leeway for undocumented immigrants applying to the Florida Bar.

Florida Senate

The Florida Senate took a step today toward allowing the state Supreme Court discretion in admitting undocumented immigrants to practice law.  The vote to approve an amendment doing so comes after the Supreme Court recently denied an undocumented student admission to the bar. But in his written opinion, Justice Jorge Labarga urged the Legislature to act.

During a passionate floor debate, Sen. Charlie Dean (R-Inverness)  said the law student’s story changed how he thinks about immigrants.

Blaise Gainey


   It’s still several months from the primary elections but Governor Rick Scott and former governor Charlie Crist have already begun to take shots at one another. They’ve been going back and forth lately about in-state tuition for children of undocumented immigrants.  Crist stands behind the idea, and during a luncheon at Tiger Bay Tuesday he urged the governor and Republican leaders in the legislature to do the same.

A Florida Senate panel has rejected several attempts to revive a plan giving the children of undocumented immigrants in-state tuition.

Efforts to revive the proposal failed in the appropriations committee Tuesday as the bill sponsor, Sen. Jack Latvala’s (R-Clearwater) attempts to get the language amended onto other education bills were thwarted by Senate Rules Chairman John Thrasher. Thrasher ruled the language didn’t relate closely enough with the other proposals. 

After the votes, Governor Rick Scott talked with reporters and repeated his support for the proposal: