Two Years of Success: In-State Tuition


Daniela Donoso“I was born in Ecuador and came at the age of 6. I didn’t know I was undocumented until my parents talked to us (my brother and I) and they told us we might not go to college. At Florida State, the tuition difference is around 6,500 for in state students, for out of staters is can be almost 22 thousand. I just graduated from Florida State University and i’M a clear example on what undocumented students can do when given the opportunity with policies like In-State tuition.”

-Daniela Donoso


Sergio Gomez“I am Sergio Gomez, a sophomore at Florida State University, a Finance major, and an immigrant from Bogotá, Colombia. Having been moved to the United States at the tender age of three, I have grown up an American while still retaining a humble perspective on the opportunities my new home has provided with. But I must say what really compels me to be grateful for every little opportunity that I’m handed is the fear that it might all be taken away. As much as I want America to be a permanent part of my life, I am not a citizen or even a permanent resident. Unfortunately my family and I have been denied our legal status here in the United States. We took an honest path of immigration, got our required visas, never once broke a law (not even a traffic infraction), and have been productive members of society. I’m currently attending the Florida State University. Paying out of pocket is challenging enough but without in-state tuition my dreams of graduating as a seminole from FSU would never be realized.”  

– Sergio Gomez



Mariana Castro

“I came to Florida from Peru with my parents when I was 10 years old. I graduated in the top 10% of my high school class and was awarded a Bright Futures Scholarship. And then it was taken away because I’m an undocumented student. With the Bright Futures Scholarship and in-state tuition, I’d only have to pay approximately $3,000 for tuition each semester at UF instead of the estimated $6,000. According to UF’s website, out-of-state undergraduate students “should add $22,278 to projected tuition/fees” for the 2014-15 school year. I never thought College was a possibility, but thanks to In-State tuition, now is a reality.

-Mariana Castro


Julio Calderon

“I came to the United States at the age of 16, from Honduras. I never believed college was an option so I never really applied to any institution while in High School. I started at Miami Dade College because they gave me the opportunity to attend there while undocumented. I had to pay the out-of-State fee which made it impossible for me to graduate within two years, but eventually I did. While going to FIU I realized the Out-of-State tuition was almost impossible to pay so I started taking only one class. When the In-State tuition passed, then a full time enrollment for undocumented students changed from 7,500 to 2,500. It made it easier for many of us to attend and graduate faster.” -Julio Calderon 

Undocumented lawyer-to-be invited to State of the Union address by Rep. Kathy Castor

State of the Union audience


U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor invited Florida’s own Jose Manuel Godinez-Samperio to President Obama’s State of the Union on Tuesday, February 12. Jose Manuel traveled from central Florida to D.C. today to attend the address as Rep. Castor’s special guest. “I think this is the first time I’ve ever heard of it happening,” Jose Manuel said in a telephone call. “This is an historical moment because I don’t know of any other time when undocumented immigrants have been allowed at the State of the Union address.”

US Rep Kathy Castor invites Godinez Sampiero to SOTU Feb 2013


Jose Manuel Godinez-Samperio made history when he graduated from Florida State University Law School and passed the Florida Bar exam, then solicited admittance to the Florida Bar as an undocumented immigrant. The Florida Bar is now referring the question to the Florida Supreme Court.

Rep. Castor announced her invitation publicly Monday, February 11 at a press event outside the offices of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Tampa, Fla. She posed for photos with Jose Manuel and took questions from reporters.  Following the event, Rep. Castor wrote on her Facebook page:

“I am honored to have as my guest for tomorrow’s State of the Union Address, Jose Manuel Godinez-Samperio. He graduated valedictorian of his class at Armwood High School and went on to attend Florida State Law School. His story is representative of so many young people in my district and across the nation who deserve Comprehensive Immigration Reform that will permanently create a pathway to citizenship. I will continue to fight to make their dream a reality.”

Rep. Castor is in her fourth term of serving the Tampa Bay area in the U.S. House of Representatives. “I think it is great,” Jose Manuel said about the representative’s endorsement of immigration reform. “We need more people to ‘Say Yes’: we need 216 in the House, 60 in the Senate, and one president to ‘Say Yes.’”

Read the full press release from Rep. Castor’s office here.

Our Citizenship and FLDream legal clinics are back!

FLIC and several partner organizations are starting 2013 with a punch by organizing a major legal clinic in Miami to assist hundreds of legal permanent residents and undocumented immigrant youth in their path to becoming New Americans.

Kersti volunteers at Citizenship ClinicNext Saturday, January 26th, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., we will be at FIU College of Law in South Miami with a Florida New Americans citizenship clinic and an FL Dream Deferred Action clinic. There will be dozens of lawyers and volunteers to help legal permanent residents and DREAMers with their applications.

Florida New Americans is a citizenship program launched by FLIC in 2012. Since then, we successfully celebrated 7 citizenship clinics in Downtown Miami, Little Haiti, North Miami, Homestead and Broward, assisting over 1000 permanent residents and finalizing nearly 700 citizenship applications. Saturday’s citizenship clinic is co-sponsored by FIU and Univision 23.

FLDream Undocumented BannerFL Dream is a campaign to help low-income undocumented youth apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), created in mid 2012 by SWER, Pico Florida, FIU, Americans for Immigrant Justice and the Florida Immigrant Coalition. Since then, FL Dream has organized 10 free legal clinics in Miami, Broward and Homestead, helping approximately 4,000 immigrant families and finalizing close to 1,000 applications.

How can you participate?

To apply for citizenship, check out our Florida New Americans website to know if you qualify, what documents you need to bring, and to schedule an appointment.

To apply for DACA, check out our FL Dream website to know if you qualify, what documents you need to bring, and to schedule an appointment.

This will be the first of several Citizenship and FL Dream clinics FLIC and our partners and friends, plan to host in Florida throughout the year.

We’ll keep you posted on new dates and locations.

Hemos vuelto con nuestras clinicas de ciudadania y de accion diferida!

FLIC y organizaciones amigas iniciamos el 2013 con un hit! Vamos a realizar una importante jornada legal para ayudar a centenares de residentes permanentes legales y de jóvenes inmigrantes indocumentados en su camino para convertirse en nuevos americanos.

El próximo sábado 26 de enero, estaremos en la Escuela de Leyes de FIU en el sur de Miami, de 9 a.m. a 4 p.m con dos jornadas legales combinadas. Vamos a tener la clínica de ciudadanía Nuevos Americanos de la Florida y la clínica FLSueño para Acción Diferida. Decenas de abogados y voluntarios ayudarán a residentes permanentes legales y a jóvenes indocumentados llenar sus aplicaciones.

FNA Clinic photoNuevos Americanos de la Florida es un programa de ciudadanía lanzado por la Coalición de Inmigrantes de la Florida en 2012. Desde entonces, FLIC ha celebrado con éxito siete clínicas de ciudadanía en el sur de Florida, ayudando a más de 1.000 residentes permanentes y finalizando cerca de 700 aplicaciones de ciudadanía. La jornada legal del sábado 26 de enero es co-patrocinada por FIU y Univision 23.

FL DREAM logoFLSueño es una campaña para ayudar a jóvenes indocumentados de bajos ingresos que desean aplicar Acción Diferida para los Llegadas en la Infancia (DACA por sus siglas en inglés). La campaña fue creada a mediados de 2012 por SWER, Pico Florida, FIU, Americanos por la Justicia Inmigrante y la Coalición de Inmigrantes de Florida. Desde entonces, FLSueño ha organizado 10 clínicas legales gratuitas en Miami, Broward y Homestead, ayudando a cerca de 4.000 familias de inmigrantes y finalizando cerca de 1.000 aplicaciones.

Cómo puedes participar? 

Para aplicar a la ciudadanía, toda la información está en el sitio web de Florida New Americans. Ahí puedes saber cumples los requisitos, qué documentos necesitas traer y para sacar una cita para la clínica. También puedes ver más información en Facebook.

Para aplicar a la Acción Diferida, toda la información está en el sitio web de FL Sueño. Ahí puedes saber cumples los requisitos, qué documentos necesitas traer y para sacar una cita para la clínica. También puedes ver más información en Facebook.

Esta será la primera de muchas clínicas de ciudadanía de acción diferida que vamos a organizar este año en la Florida.

Pronto te estaremos informando sobre nuevas fechas y lugares…

Será Jose Manuel el primer abogado indocumentado de la Florida?

SE TESTIGO DE ESTE MOMENTO HISTÓRICO! Martes 2 de octubre de 9:00 a 9:40 a.m.

Mañana por la mañana, la Coalición de Inmigrantes de la Florida junto a amigos en toda la nación, estaremos pegados a nuestras pantalla, apoyando a José Manuel Godinez-Samperio mientras su caso es escuchado en la Corte Suprema de la Florida.

La Corte escuchará los argumentos sobre si José Manuel, un inmigrante indocumentado, puede ser admitido al Colegio de Abogados de la Florida para ejercer como abogado. José Manuel tendrá el honor de tener al distinguido Prof. Sandy D’Alemberte argumentando a su favor. El Prof. D’Alemberte, autor de la Constitución de la Florida, fue presidente de la American Bar Association, Presidente del FSU y Decano de la Facultad de Derecho.

Sé testigo de este momento histórico mañana haciendo clic aquí.

José Manuel nació en México y llegó a la Florida con sus padres a la edad de 9 años. A través de los años él se esforzó, superando muchos obstáculos para continuar su educación. En 2007, después de graduarse de New College y de involucrarse en el movimiento pro-inmigrante, solicitó a la Escuela de Derecho de la Universidad Estatal de la Florida (FSU), admitiendo en su ensayo el hecho de ser indocumentado. Después de graduarse y pasar el examen de la barra, solicitó ser admitido al Colegio de Abogados de Florida, pero esta institución ahora delegado el asunto a manos de la Corte Suprema de la Florida.

Estas son algunas breves palabras de José Manuel en la víspera de su juicio:

“Me siento ansioso, pero también animado por el apoyo abrumador, no sólo desde el movimiento pro-inmigrante, sino incluso de aquellos que normalmente adoptan sentimientos anti-inmigrantes. Mañana espero tener siete jueces imparciales haciendo un montón de preguntas diferentes. Espero que vean que he cumplido con todos los requisitos. Si me aceptan, me sentiría extraordinario. Podré ser un abogado y practicar derecho; la justicia siempre ha sido muy importante para mí. ¿Que si alguna vez dudé de poder llegar a ser un abogado? Todo el tiempo. Semestre tras semestre, me pregunté cómo podría pagar la matrícula; estudiaba, pero sin saber si iba a poder tomar el examen de la barra. Pero mi familia me inspiró. “El NO ya lo TIENES”, dijeron. Si yo lo intento, podría tener un tal vez; sin saber a ciencia cierta pero siempre avanzando. Yo obtengo mi fuerza de Dios. Si es su voluntad, va a suceder. Mi mensaje para todos nosotros es no darnos por vencidos. Sigamos intentándolo. Tenemos que ganar a todos los niveles. En última instancia, necesitamos una reforma migratoria federal”.

Damos las gracias a José Manuel y todos aquellos que se enfrentan a la exclusión, pero tienen el coraje y la fuerza para defender la dignidad y la libertad. Reciban nuestras oraciones y que su ejemplo nos inspire a todos a la acción.

Haz click en este enlace para ver la audiencia en el caso de José Manuel:

Will Jose Manuel be the first undocumented lawyer in Florida?

WITNESS HISTORY!  Tuesday, October 2nd, 9 am to 9:40 am

Tomorrow morning, the Florida Immigrant Coalition and other friends across the nation, will be glued to our computer screens, standing with Jose Manuel Godinez-Sampeiro ashis case is heard at the Florida Supreme Court.

The Court will hear arguments on whether Jose Manuel, an undocumented immigrant, can be admitted to the Florida Bar to practice law. Jose Manuel is honored to have the Distinguished Prof. Sandy D’Alemberte arguing in his favor. Prof. D’Alemberte authored the Florida Constitution, was President of the American Bar Association, President of FSU and Dean of the Law School.

You can witness part of history tomorrow by clicking here.

Jose Manuel was born in Mexico and came to Florida with his parents at the age of 9. Through the years he endeavored, overcoming many obstacles to pursue his education. Back in 2007, after graduating from New College and becoming involved with the immigrant rights movement, he applied to Florida State University (FSU) Law School, admitting in his application essay to being undocumented. After graduating and passing the Bar exam, he solicited to be admitted to the Florida Bar. Now The Florida Bar is referring the question to the Florida Supreme Court.

Below are brief words from Jose Manuel on the eve of his court case:

“I am feeling anxious, but also encouraged by overwhelming support; not just from the immigrant rights movement, but even from those who normally espouse anti-immigrant sentiment. Tomorrow I expect to have seven impartial Justices asking a lot of different questions. I hope they see that I have complied with all the requirements. If I get admitted, I would feel extraordinary. I would be able to be a lawyer and practice law, which is about justice and justice has always been very important to me. Did I ever doubt I could become a lawyer? All the time. Semester after semester, I wondered if and how I could afford to pay tuition; studying but never knowing whether I would be allowed to take the Bar exam. But my family inspired me. “El NO ya lo tienes”, they said. If I gave it a shot, I would have a maybe, not knowing but continuing forward. I get my strength from God. If it is His will, it will happen. My message to all of us is don’t give up. Keep trying. We have to win at all levels. Ultimately, we need federal immigration reform.”

We are grateful to Jose Manuel and all those who face exclusion but find the courage and strength to stand for dignity and freedom. May they receive our prayers and may their example inspire us all to action.

Click on this link to hear the arguments in Jose Manuel’s case:

A Dream Deferred?

By: Vanessa Nuñez, Students Working for Equal Rights (SWER)

Two years ago I remember sitting in my literature class reading Harlem by Langston Hughes and thinking as the DREAM Act had just failed, and my final motion denied in court, will my dreams be deferred?

I graduated from Miami-Dade’s Honors College with a 3.83 GPA, was accepted to all six universities I applied to, and even then, I still could not attend any of them. My dream was being deferred…

After a year of not attending school, and feeling helpless and depressed, June 15th came around and turned my world around!

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)… I knew it was not something permanent, but it was a big step forward! I remember that day coming back from Gainesville and having to re-read all the messages to believe that the announcement was real.

A week ago I found myself filling out the application for the Deferred Action and, though I was very calm, the second I saw myself staring at the square designated for the “applicant signature”, I felt overwhelmed with joy and a sense of accomplishment that no words could describe. With tears filling my eyes I signed the application and completed my packet.

This last Wednesday, I sent my package out to immigration and I am overcome by a sense of relief, freedom, and happiness that I have not felt in a while! But this feeling is not only for a personal reason, but also because I know that my sisters and brothers in the struggle will be feeling this too! I can continue my studies, work, and give back to the community that has invested so much in me. I can freely drive without fear; I can show an ID… simple things that I have longed for a while now, and that now is at my fingertips.

I am ecstatic to say the least, but it does not end here; we must continue to push for the DREAM Act!

A Dream Deferred?… I think not!

Deportation deferred!!

To know more about free legal clinics for DREAMers in South Florida, go to 

Atención DREAMers!

No hay suficientes palabras para expresar la emoción y el alivio que el anuncio del Presidente Obama con respecto al alivio administrativo para jóvenes inmigrantes indocumentados trajo a nuestras comunidades.

La política establece que los jóvenes elegibles para el DREAM Act que se encuentran actualmente en proceso de deportación, podrán solicitar acción diferida y, posiblemente, permiso de trabajo.

Aunque esto NO es un camino a la ciudadanía, es un gran paso en nuestra lucha por la reforma migratoria y tenemos que estar plenamente informados acerca de cómo beneficiarnos de ella.

Como ha habido mucha confusión e incertidumbre sobre la nueva política, FLIC y SWER quieren compartir informacion valiosa asi como PONER SOBRE AVISO a todos los DREAMers en la Florida y sus familias sobre posibles estafas por parte de notarios y abogados inescrupulosos.

La nueva política no se dará a conocer hasta 60 días después del anuncio de Obama, aproximadamente el 15 de agosto, y nadie debería presentar solicitudes antes de esa fecha.

Infórmate en linea

Aquí hay algunos recursos en línea con información útil:

Ven a un foro o una clínica 

Haga clic aquí para ver una lista actualizada de foros públicos y clínicas cerca a ti.

Para recibir más información, visita o llame al (786) 273-9748.

Attention DREAMers!

There are not enough words to express the excitement and relief that President Obama’s announcement on June 15th regarding administrative relief for undocumented immigrant youth brought to our communities.

The new policy states that DREAM Act eligible youth, who are currently in deportation procedures, will be able to apply for deferred action and possibly work permits. Although this is NOT a pathway to citizenship, it is a HUGE step in our battle for immigration reform and we need to be fully informed about how to benefit from it.

Since there has been much confusion and uncertainty about the new policy, FLIC and SWER want to provide access to information and also ALERT all DREAMers in Florida and their families about possible scams by unscrupulous notarios and lawyers.

The new policy will not be released until 60 days after the announcement, approximately August 15th, and no one should file applications before that date.

Search on the web

Here are a some online resources that provide helpful information:

Come to a Forum or Clinic

Click here to see an updated list of public forums and clinics happening near you.

To receive more information, visit or call (786) 273-9748.

Foros y Clínicas para DREAMers!


SWER y otros miembros de FLIC llevarán a cabo varios foros en las próximas semanas para informar a la comunidad sobre qué hacer y qué no hacer con relacion a la nueva política de inmigración de Obama que beneficia a los jóvenes indocumentados. Si deseas participar o saber más sobre la nueva política, ven a un foro cerca a ti!

(Solo están publicados los foros que aún no se han realizado. La información de foros anteriores a esta fecha ha sido borrada para evitar confusiones) 

Fecha: Lunes 30 de julio
Hora: 7:30 pm
Lugar: St. Clements Catholic Church – 2975 North Andrews Avenue , Wilton Manors, FL 33311
Organizado por: SWER Broward – Diego Sanchez: 

Fecha: Lunes 30 de julio 
Hora: 7:30 pm
Lugar: Iglesia Betania – 2490 NW 35th St, Miami, FL
Organizado por: SWER – Julio Calderon:

Fecha: Miércoles 1 de agosto
Hora: 7:30 pm
Lugar: Librería el Tesoro (Ministerio de Fe) – 1320 NW 7th St, Miami, FL
Organizado por: SWER – Julio Calderon:

Fecha: Martes, 31 de julio
Hora: 7:00 pm
Lugar: Salón de la Iglesia Bautista, 857 W. Meyers Blvd. Hwy 50, Mascotte, FL 34753
Organizado por: Asociación Campesina de la Florida

Fecha: Jueves, 2 de agosto
Hora: 6:00 pm
Ubicación: 302 Filmore Street, Naples, FL, 34104
Organizado por: ACLU, FWAF y FLIC – Grey Torrico:

Fecha: Sábado 4 de agosto
Hora: 4:00 pm
Ubicación: RCMA (Cafeteria) – 123 North 4th Street, Immokalee, FL
Organizado por: ACLU, FWAF y FLIC – Grey Torrico:

Fecha: Jueves 2 de agosto
Hora: 7:00 pm
Lugar: Chalet North (Salon) – 1800 Altine Drive, Apopka, FL 32703
Hosted by: Asociacion Campesina de la Florida – (407) 886-5151

Fecha: Jueves 9 de agosto
Hora: 7:00 pm
Ubicación: Iglesia Cristiana Edenezer – 9 North Park Avenue, Apopka, FL 32703
Organizado por: Asociación Campesina de la Florida  – (407) 886-5151

Fecha: Lunes 6 de agosto
Hora: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Lugar: 13600 SW 312th St, Homestead, FL 33033
Organizado por: Sembrando Flores & SWER

Fecha: Martes 7 de agosto 
Hora: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Lugar: 16085 SW 293rd Dr, Homestead, FL 33033
Organizado por: Sembrando Flores & SWER

Fecha: Miércoles 8 de agosto 
Hora: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Lugar: 13600 SW 312th St, Homestead, FL 33033
Organizado por: Sembrando Flores & SWER

Fecha: Jueves 9 de agosto 
Hora: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Lugar: RCMA – 38010 SW 195 Avenue, Florida City FL 33034
Organizado por: SWER
Fecha: Viernes 10 de agosto 
Hora: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Lugar: St, Martin de Porris 14881 Southwest 288th Street
Organizado por: SWER
Fecha: Sabado 11 de agosto 
Hora: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Lugar: San Joaquin, 19150 SW 117th Avenue, Miami, FL 33177
Organizado por: SWER

Si estás interesado en organizar un foro en tu zona, ponte en contacto con Diego Sánchez (, Julio Calderón ( o Frida Ulloa  (


Nuestros amigos de los Americans for Immigrant Justice están organizando una coalición de abogados pro-bono, que ayudaran a los DREAMers en el proceso de prepararse para presentar los documentos a USCIS para obtener a Acción Diferida a partir del 15 de agosto.

Pronto publicaremos más información acerca de las fechas de las clínicas.

Si tienes alguna pregunta acerca de esto, por favor envía un correo electrónico a o llama al 305-573-1106 , ext. 1660

Para recibir más información sobre la acción diferida, inscribete para recibir alertas de correo electrónico en o llama al (786) 273-9748