St. Petersburg Times Online: News of Florida
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
  • Bush challenges students to read
  • State may divert funds for manatee research
  • Around the state: Execution set for May 19 for killer of Tampa family
  • Legislature: Workers' comp remade in insurers' image
  • Legislature: 'Turkeys' may gobble $400-million
  • Legislature: Panel favors phone rate hike
  • Legislature: Panel okays ban on human cloning
  • Legislature: Digital ID cost may be pushed onto fees
  • Legislature: Bar to foreign student aid killed
  • Legislature: School bus stops could be moving

  • From the state wire

  • Hurricane Jeanne appears on track to hit Florida's east coast
  • Rumor mill working overtime after Florida hurricanes
  • Developments associated with Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne
  • Four killed in Panhandle plane crash were on Ivan charity mission
  • Hurricane Frances caused estimated $4.4 billion in insured damage
  • Disabled want more handicapped-accessible voting machines
  • USF forces administrators to resign over test score changes
  • Man's death at Universal Studios ruled accidental
  • State child welfare workers in Miami fail to do background checks
  • Hurricane Jeanne heads toward southeast U.S. coast
  • Hurricane Jeanne spurs more anxiety for storm-weary Floridians
  • Mistrial declared in case where teen was target of racial "joke"
  • Panhandle utility wants sewer plant moved to higher ground
  • State employee arrested on theft, bribery charges
  • Homestead house fire kills four children, one adult
  • Pierson leader tries to cut off relief to local fern cutters
  • Florida's high court rules Terri's law unconstitutional
  • Jacksonville students punished for putting stripper pole in dorm
  • FEMA handling nearly 600,000 applications for help
  • Man who killed wife, niece, self also killed mother in 1971
  • Producer sues city over lead ball fired by Miami police
  • Tourism suffers across Florida after pummeling by hurricanes
  • Key dates in the life of Terri Schiavo
  • An excerpt from the unanimous ruling in the Schiavo case
  • Four confirmed dead after small plane crash in Panhandle
  • Correction: Disney-Cruise Line story
    Print story Reuse or republish Subscribe to the Times


    Bar to foreign student aid killed

    A panel rejects denying aid to all students from nations labeled as terrorist-friendly.

    By LUCY MORGAN, Times Tallahassee Bureau Chief

    © St. Petersburg Times
    published April 15, 2003

    TALLAHASSEE -- A controversial bill that would have denied state financial aid to students from countries that support terrorism was killed Monday by the House Judiciary Committee.

    By a vote of 8-6, the committee rejected a bill that drew emotional testimony from students who came to America to study and to live.

    Rep. Dick Kravitz, R-Orange Park, sponsored the bill (HB 31), saying most students who come here from Iran, Iraq, Syria and four other countries suspected of fostering terrorism come with the blessings of oppressive regimes and often have close ties to those in power.

    But Hadia Mubarak, a Florida State University student who is the daughter of a Syrian doctor, chastised legislators for assuming that a student would automatically share the beliefs of a repressive leader.

    "It undermines their integrity and intelligence to say they can't think freely," Mubarak said. "Arab people don't have a clear sense of who Americans are. We can't convince them by bombing them. We need to educate them in institutions of higher learning so they become American ambassadors."

    Mubarak noted that the bill would hurt people like University of South Florida student Abdullah Hatahet, a Syrian whose father has been in jail in his home country for more than 20 years for opposing the ruling regime.

    "He will be applying for a master's program and would be affected by this," she added.

    FSU officials noted that many of the foreign students who get financial aid are graduate students who receive a stipend or tuition waiver while they assist teachers in complex subjects.

    Several committee members, themselves the sons and daughters of immigrants, also opposed the bill. Others questioned its constitutionality.

    "There is no better way to export democracy than having their students come to this country," said Rep. Gus Barreiro, R-Miami Beach, recalling college days with students from Iran when Americans were being held hostage.

    Florida provides financial aid to 822 students at a total cost of about $310,000. Several committee members suggested that the state consider banning scholarships for all foreigners because it's in dire financial straits.

    Print story Reuse or republish Subscribe to the Times

    Back to State news
    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
    Special Links
    Lucy Morgan

    From the Times state desk