The RINO (Republicans in Name Only) Club is growing by leaps and bounds. The newest members are Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford, Florida Sen. Jack Latvala, and Gov. Rick Scott who all support in-state tuition for students who are in the United States illegally.
The bill in the House known as HB 851 has passed its final House committee and will most likely be sent to the floor for a full House vote. Rep. Weatherford stated that he did not want to punish children for the mistakes of their parents for bringing them here illegally. If they love America so much, why don't they apply for citizenship? Also, why doesn't Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deport the parents?
The average in-state tuition and fee costs at a four-year state college in Florida is approximately $25,000, or about $6,336 per year. For out-of-state students and illegal aliens, the cost averages more than $81,000 over four years, or about $20,390 per year. Therefore, under the bill, Florida taxpayers will provide every illegal-alien student an average of $14,000 per year to subsidize their tuition.
In the beginning, Governor Scott said he would consider the bill, but now has thrown his support to the Senate bill backed by Sen. Jack Latvala to give in-state tuition to illegal aliens. Senate President Don Gaetz, a true conservative Republican, opposes the bill, but would allow the proposal to be heard in his chamber.
Neither the House bill nor the Senate bill eliminates out-of-state tuition for U. S. citizens. When my family moved to California, I had to pay out-of-state tuition for my son to finish college, which cost me thousands of dollars. Why should U. S. citizens have to pay out-of-state tuition when they move to Florida while illegal aliens are granted in-state tuition?
In states such as California, New Mexico and Texas where they have laws giving illegal aliens in-state tuition, their next step is to lobby for making these students eligible for state financial aid, including scholarships or grants. There goes more American tax dollars.
Our state legislature and governor's office are controlled by Republicans, so it will take the RINOs to pass these bills. If Gov. Scott signs this bill, please send him a message when Election Day comes and sit this one out.
He made promises during his first election campaign to enforce our immigration laws, and on his first day in office signed an executive order to allow only U. S. citizens and legal residents to hold state jobs (E-Verify). Later, he added state contractors to his executive order. The unemployment rate dropped like a rock in the next two years because Americans were being hired instead of illegal aliens. He kept his promise after he was elected, but now has turned his back on the very voters who put him in office.
Please call Governor Rick Scott (850) 488-7146 if you are a true conservative and/or tea party member and let him know he will lose your vote if he signs this bill as it will mean a financial disaster for Florida taxpayers and Florida students who are already at the breaking point of trying to just pay their bills.
Betty Dobson is a retiree who lives in Brooksville. Email her at email@example.com.