Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Will Weatherford again expressed his support for in-state tuition for undocumented Floridian students. On the first day of the 2014 legislative session, Weatherford justified his position on the House floor by saying "We should never punish a child for the mistake of their parents."
As has often been the case since taking over their chambers after the 2012 election, Weatherford stressed he and Gaetz are mostly on the same page but the speaker also brought up an issue on which they differ by calling for the children of undocumented immigrants to receive in-state tuition at Florida’s colleges and universities.
“The federal government has failed,” Weatherford said on Tuesday. “Our border is not secure. Our laws are not enforced.” Weatherford trashed the “inconsistent and confusing” federal policies.
Weatherford noted the children of illegal immigrants get the benefits of K-12 education in Florida but not when they seek higher education. “Then we slam the doors on their future,” Weatherford said. "Let's exercise our state's rights and open the door of opportunity for all of Florida's children."
Saying it was the right thing to do economically, Weatherford said there was also a moral argument to be made on the issue. "We should never punish a child for the mistake of their parents," Weatherford said.
Gaetz told Sunshine State News last week he opposed the speaker on this issue but he did not weigh in on the issue on Tuesday.