Posted: March 20th, 2014 | Author: Victoria Karins | Filed under: Immigration Reform, Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: Immigration Reform, In-State Tuition, Undocumented Immigrants, Victoria Jaensch Karins | No Comments »
Reposted from ABC7’s MySuncoast.com
Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 4:56 pm
SARASOTA, Fla. — The Florida House of Representatives is taking up a bill that would offer in-state tuition rates to children of undocumented immigrants living in Florida, with hundreds of affected students in Tallahassee today urging more lawmakers to support the cause.
In-state tuition for children of undocumented immigrants has been a controversial topic, though the move has gotten bipartisan support in recent months.
“I just started this semester and for two classes I paid almost $3,000,” says Thania Erresuris, a student at State College of Florida. While $3,000 for one semester may not sound all that alarming, that amount is 380 percent higher than the in-state rate. Erresuris is forced to pay the higher rate despite the fact that she’s lived in Florida for most of her life.
“I had to do the Dream Act, so I’m basically not a resident in the eyes of the school, so I have to do out-of-state tuition,” she says. “I don’t like it because I’ve been here since I was 3 and this is my home, and I feel like it’s unfair because I’ve never been over to Mexico or anything.”
Erresuris is one of the many undocumented students facing what she calls unjust tuition rates.
“If it was regular tuition I would be able to take more classes, but because of [the higher cost] I can only take two,” she says.
The issue has caught the attention of lawmakers, with the Senate Education Committee passing a measure to that would allow undocumented immigrants to pay in-state college tuition. With the bill coming before the entire House Wednesday, immigration attorney Victoria Karins says passage would have a major impact
“This bill will largely benefit the Hispanic community, as that population is trying its hardest to advance in our society by attempting to get a better education [and] better jobs,” Karins says.
For dreamers like Erresuris, who is also a single mother on a fixed income, yes votes for HB 851 and SB 1400 would allow her to take more than two classes a semester, in turn helping her reach her ultimate goal much quicker.
“For me, education is important because I want to prove to my daughter that they need education. … I want to study nursing. I want to be a nurse. I want to actually further it to be a doctor, and I need this education to be able to further my self in life.” Erresuris says.
The House was still debating the measure as we published this story. We will update this page as more information about the vote becomes available.
Posted: November 7th, 2013 | Author: Victoria Karins | Filed under: Deferred Action, National News, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: Deferred Action, Green Card, Health Care Mandate, Individual Mandate, Obamacare, Permanent Resident, Undocumented Immigrants | No Comments »
Sarasota immigrants are asking what the new Affordable Care Act means for them. ImmigrationSarasota.com decided to investigate.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed on March 21, 2010, is the largest overhaul of the United States’ health care system since 1965. Its purpose is to reduce the cost of health care and increase the number of Americans with health insurance. One of the ways it achieves these goals is through the “individual mandate,” a provision that requires anyone who is legally present in the US to have health insurance or face a penalty to be assessed in their taxes.
“The individual mandate goes into effect on January 1, 2014 and applies to all those legally present in the US,” says Victoria Jaensch Karins, president of the Central Florida Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and attorney at Jaensch Immigration Law Firm. “This includes those on temporary visas such as F-1 student visas, E-2 investor visas, and H-1B work visas,” she continues.
This means that all legal US immigrants, including those on temporary visas, will have to buy health insurance if they don’t have it already.
“Immigrants should be made aware so they can make the appropriate preparations,” said Peter Matthiessen, CEO of Deusa Group and a licensed insurance agent in California, Florida, Texas and Georgia. “They should also be advised not to buy a foreign health insurance policy. Most US medical providers don’t accept them,” he continued.
According to Taylor Tollerton, partner at Professional Benefits, Inc., Sarasota’s leading insurance group, immigrants should also know that, “some health insurance companies don’t offer coverage to legal residents if they have not been in the U.S. for longer than 6 months.” She added that, “utilizing experts in the industry to help navigate your way through is vital.”
The Affordable Care Act establishes healthcare exchanges for insurance providers and consumers. Temporary and permanent immigrants are eligible to participate in the exchanges.
Immigrants may also purchase health insurance policies that are compliant with the Affordable Care Act privately, outside the exchange, through a licensed broker/agent. They are identical, except that possible subsidies do not apply. Persons with privacy concerns should consider avoiding the exchanges.
Undocumented aliens are exempt from the mandate to have health coverage and barred from the health insurance exchanges. However, undocumented parents can apply for “child-only” coverage for their legal immigrant or citizen child through the exchanges.
Peter Matthiessen is the CEO of Deusa Group. For the past 17 years, Deusa Group has specialized in this very complex insurance matter pertaining to foreign nationals entering or living in the USA. Insurance outside the USA is also offered. Every situation is different and requires a solution on a case by case basis. Inquiries are welcome at any time – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1979 by Jim Tollerton, Professional Benefits Inc. (PBI) is Sarasota’s leading independent insurance group serving the community with insurance plans for individuals and employers by helping to establish employee benefits, executive compensation programs, and succession plans. In 2007, Mr. Tollerton partnered with Taylor Tollerton Collins and formed a second division of PBI with Benefits and Planning, Inc. managed by Mrs. Collins. Professional Benefits serves several local organizations including: Education Foundation, Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation, First Step of Sarasota, Argus, and the local National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisor chapter. Mrs. Collins is available for interview.
“Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., date last updated (24 October 2013). Web. Date accessed (24 October 2013). <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patient_Protection_and_Affordable_Care_Act>