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Legislature Debates In-State Tuition Rates for Undocumented Students

Posted: March 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Immigration Reform, Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Reposted from ABC7’s
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.

Signs that Immigration Reform May Happen This Year

Posted: February 3rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Immigration Reform, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

I recently returned from the AILA CFC conference where one of the topics of discussion was immigration reform.  Below I’ve included some signs that AILA sees as positive for immigration reform this year.

  1. John Boehner hired Rebecca Tallent, a top immigration policy aide who formerly worked for Sen McCain
  2. Only 16 Republicans signed on to a recent letter to Obama stating their opposition to immigration reform
  3. Rep. Goodlatte took over the House Judiciary Committee (the committee from which any immigration bill will derive)  from Rep. Lamar Smith, one of the most anti-immigrant legislators of the last two decades.  Some of that anti-immigrant staff loyal to Lamar and the anti-immigrant slant remain on Goodlatte’s staff, who are still very publicly anti-immigration reform.  But Goodlatte has of late been slowly stepping out publicly about immigration reform’s chances (for instance, saying that House Republicans will push to make it harder for undocumented to have a path to citizenship but easier to live and work in the U.S. – meaning some form of legalization seems to now be acceptable to House Republicans if there is no path to citizenship.
  4. NY Times: GOP Leadership Backs Legal Status for Many Undocumented Immigrants.  According to The New York Times, the House Republican leadership’s outline of immigration principles will call for a path to legal status, but not citizenship, for many of the 11 million adult undocumented immigrants in this country. For immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, however, Republicans would offer a path to citizenship.

Victoria Jaensch Karins Elected Chairperson of American Immigration Lawyers Association, Central Florida Chapter

Posted: May 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Sarasota Immigration Attorney Victoria Jaensch Karins

Sarasota Immigration Attorney Victoria Jaensch Karins

Jaensch Immigration Law Firm is proud to announce that attorney Victoria Jaensch Karins has been elected chairperson of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Central Florida Chapter (AILA-CFC).  The Central Florida Chapter includes over 300 immigration attorneys and, aside from southeast Florida, covers the entire state.  Previously Ms. Karins served as the Education Chair and the Vice Chair Tampa Region for AILA-CFC.  She is the first AILA-CFC chairperson ever from Sarasota.

As chair Ms. Karins will serve as the initial point of contact between AILA-CFC and outside organizations, companies, and agencies.  She will be in charge of the chapter’s general operations and communications to and from the national level.

“It is an honor to be elected to this post.  I look forward to serving my fellow immigration attorneys with enthusiasm,” says Ms. Karins, who obtained her law degree in 1994 and has been practicing immigration law ever since.  Together with her brother, managing attorney P. Christopher Jaensch, and the other attorneys at Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, she is part of the largest immigration law firm on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

“With major potential changes in immigration law on the horizon it is very important for immigration attorneys to work together for positive reform,” says Ms. Karins, referring to the Senate bipartisan immigration reform bill.  She herself has already been to DC to lobby for reform.  “The political climate seems amenable to immigration reform,” says Ms. Karins, “the bill still has to go through the committee process and floor debate and we look forward to helping shape it throughout the process,” she continued.  “That being said,” she added, “it is also important for us to educate the public to reduce the potential for fraudulent activities from unlicensed and fly-by-night organizations, otherwise known as notarios.”

Immigration reform could bring far-reaching changes such as the creation of a start-up visa, retiree visa, and most controversially, a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.  “Certain people are too focused on the provisions regarding the path to citizenship, the bill contains so much more,” says Ms. Karins.  “The creation of a start-up visa for foreign entrepreneurs, a W visa for foreign workers, the expansion of the H-1B visa program, and the creation of a retiree visa could all be very positive in terms of increased vitality and economic growth,” she continued.

For further questions Ms. Karins can be reached via her email – – or by phone – (941) 366-9841.

Victoria Jaensch Karins Graduates from Leadership Manatee

Posted: April 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm | Tags: , , | No Comments »

We are very proud to have a Leadership Manatee graduate in our midst!

Victoria Jaensch Karins graduated from the Leadership Manatee program in March.  The program, administered by the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, is designed to expose current and future leaders to all aspects of Manatee County.  It is Manatee County’s premier leadership training program and has more than 850 graduates.

The program’s purpose is:

  • To identify community leaders of diverse backgrounds
  • To develop their potential and desire to accept civic responsibilities and leadership roles
  • To expose community leaders to the problems and opportunities that face Manatee County
  • To build a realistic understanding of leadership in today’s complex society
  • To open a dialogue among emerging and current community leaders
  • To acquaint leaders with the processes, programs, opportunities and challenges for individual involvement in Manatee County

“I felt honored to be a part of Leadership Manatee,” said Ms. Karins, “I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the opportunities in our community and meeting my fellow leaders.  I congratulate them and I wish them all the best.”

Ms. Karins plans on using what she learned in the Leadership Manatee program to better assist immigrants in the Sarasota-Bradenton area.  The immigration work she performs brings diversity and vibrancy to the Gulf Coast.

Victoria Jaensch Karins at Leadership Manatee Graduation

Victoria Jaensch Karins at Leadership Manatee Graduation


Posted: June 28th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , | No Comments »


Sarasota Immigration Attorney Victoria Jaensch Karins

Sarasota, FL – Local immigration attorney, Victoria Jaensch Karins, was recently accepted into the Leadership Manatee Class of 2012/2013. According to the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, “the Leadership Manatee program, begun in 1982, is designed to expose current and future leaders to all aspects of Manatee County. It is Manatee County’s premier leadership training program and has more than 850 graduates.”

Ms. Karins has been practicing immigration law for 17 years. She works at the Jaensch Immigration Law Firm in Sarasota. Her clients range from families seeking resolution to immigration issues to employers seeking to hire someone from overseas.

“I love my work because I get to add to the richness and diversity of the area,” Ms. Karins says. “I’m very honored to be a member of the next leadership class,” she continues. “I’m really looking forward to meeting my fellow class members, learning about what they do, and learning about how we can work together to improve the community.”

Jaensch Immigration Law Firm is located at 2198 Main St, Sarasota, FL 34237.  It is the largest immigration law firm on Florida’s Gulf Coast.  It can be reached via telephone at (941) 366-9841.  For more information on the firm and on immigration issues visit: