By Letitia Stein
(Reuters) – Florida children whose parents came to the United States illegally can qualify for in-state college tuition rates under a bill that Governor Rick Scott signed into law on Monday.
The new law applies to undocumented students who attended a Florida school for at least three years.
Earlier efforts to extend in-state tuition rates to undocumented students at public colleges and universities had failed with opposition from leading Republicans. It passed this spring as party leaders increasingly appeal to Hispanic voters in an election year.
Scott, a Republican seeking re-election who previously opposed the measure, skirted the issue of illegal immigration in a news release that focused instead on tuition costs.
“Signing this historic legislation today will keep tuition low, and allow all students who grew up in Florida to have the same access to affordable higher education,” he said.
(Reporting By Letitia Stein in Tampa; Editing by David Adams)