The Florida legislature is attempting to sanction xenophobia.
Rep. Dick Kravitz, R-Orange Park, sponsored a bill-HB 31-that would cut aid to students from countries the U.S. government says support terrorism.
This bill will prohibit students from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria and Sudan from receiving any scholarships, fellowships, grants, fee waivers or financial aid.
Kravitz believes students from the targeted countries are likely tied to their government.
To think a bill such as this will deter terrorists is absolutely ridiculous.
It will only serve to punish students for the actions of their governments. This bill would legalize discrimination.
HB 31 has already won approval from the House Higher Education Subcommittee. The House Education K-20 Committee approved the bill, on Monday, by a 12-11 vote. It will now go to the House Judiciary Committee.
This action must not pass the state legislature.
People who support HB 31 justify it because the terrorists who crashed into the World Trade Towers were on student visas.
“I’m tired of people taking advantage of our generosity,” Kravitz told the Tallahassee Democrat.
A person is not a terrorist because their government supports terrorism. America does not have a homogenous society.
It is wrong to assume other nations do.
An Iraqi lawyer risked his life to save prisoner of war Jessica Lynch.
This bill would deny him funding if he wanted to further his education at a Florida university.
When people feel threatened, they react by creating laws they think are going to keep them safe.
In reality, they are making the situation worse.
The South reacted to the end of slavery by creating Jim Crow laws. The region is still recovering from its effects.
Floridians must call its representatives and tell them they were not elected to pass discrimination and intolerance into law.
The legislature must stop all attempts to pass HB 31, immediately.
Augustine Rho for the Famuan