Professor Román Comments on a Recent Ruling on Non-Resident Tuition

In a recent Orlando Sentinel article, FIU Law Professor Ediberto Román comments on the recent ruling by U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore. The ruling determined that students at Florida’s public colleges and universities cannot be charged higher out-of-state tuition simply because their parents are in the U.S. illegally.

Professor Román is a nationally-acclaimed scholar and an award-winning educator with broad teaching interests and an extensive scholarship portfolio. His principal research interest involves analyzing the construction and interpretation of constitutional law and immigration policy.  His work may be best described as traditional in its structure and use of authority, but critical in its perspective. Román’s research necessarily deals with the intersection of, on the one hand, citizenship law, immigration law, public international law, and constitutional law and, on the other hand, theoretical perspectives based on classic philosophy, neo-liberal theory, critical race theory, post-colonial studies, Diaspora literature, and social theory generally.

Judge: Florida cannot charge students non-resident tuition due to parents

By Curt Anderson, AP Legal Affairs Writer

Students at Florida’s public colleges and universities cannot be charged higher out-of-state tuition simply because their parents are in the U.S. illegally, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore determined the policy violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution by forcing those students to unfairly pay three times as much as Florida residents. Children born in this country are citizens whether or not their parents have legal immigration status.

“The state regulations deny a benefit and create unique obstacles to attain public post-secondary public education for U.S. citizen children who would otherwise qualify for in-state tuition,” Moore wrote.

The ruling Friday came in a lawsuit filed by the Montgomery, Ala.-based Southern Poverty Law Center on behalf of several Florida students who were denied in-state tuition because they could not prove their parents are in this country legally. The center’s deputy legal director, Jerri Katzerman, said Tuesday that Moore’s ruling could give thousands of students greater access to an education.

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