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Students stage sit-in for in-state tuition

Two dozen young people and farm workers held a sit-in at House Majority Leader Carlos Lopez-Cantera's office this afternoon.

They were hoping to gain Lopez-Cantera's support for a bill that would provide in-state tuition for all graduates of Florida high schools, regardless of their immigration status.

"We need his help," said Evelyn Rivera, 23, who was born in Colombia, but moved to Orlando as a toddler. "It is important for young people like myself to have the right to in-state tuition." 

Lopez-Cantera spoke to the group, pointing out that a similar measure sponsored by Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, died in committee last week. That proposal sought to grant in-state tuition to students who were born in this country, but whose parents are non-citizens.

"I sympathize with their request," Lopez-Cantera said. "But due to the House rules, it would be very difficult for that bill to be heard."