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Thread: N.J. DREAM Act immigrant tuition measure gets closer to Chris Christie's desk

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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    N.J. DREAM Act immigrant tuition measure gets closer to Chris Christie's desk

    By Matt Friedman/The Star-Ledger
    on December 12, 2013 at 1:51 PM, updated December 13, 2013 at 6:59 AM

    TRENTON - Even though Gov. Chris Christie has vowed that he won't sign it, a state Assembly panel today approved the state Senate’s version of a bill that would grant in-state tuition to some unauthorized immigrants.

    The bill now requires a vote in the full Assembly before it reaches Christie’s desk.

    The Assembly Budget Committee voted 8 to 4 in a party-line vote to approve the measure (S2479), which would allow unauthorized immigrant students who graduated from high school in New Jersey after attending for at least three years to pay the lower in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities.

    The committee had already approved its own version of the bill in June. But today it amended it to match the version that has already passed the state Senate. That version would make those students eligible for state financial aid programs.

    “It’s long overdue. We spend on K-12 for these children hundreds of thousands of dollars, and when they get out of 12th grade it becomes unaffordable for them to get a higher education,” said committee chairman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson).

    While appealing to Hispanic voters during his campaign for re-election, Christie said he supports allowing unauthorized immigrants who grew up in New Jersey to pay in-state tuition. But after he was re-elected, Christie began raising objections to the bill, including allowing the students to qualify for state-funded Tuition Aid grants.

    Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) attempted to get the committee to advance the same bill it approved in June, even though he and the other Republicans on the committee voted against that version (A4225).

    “Rather than grasp the governor’s open hand, the Legislature would seem to be more interested in slapping it,” said O’Scanlon.

    Supporters of the measure have accused Christie of going back on his word, noting that the Senate version of the bill was the same when he expressed support for the concept, and that he could have spoken up before the bill began its rapid advance through the Legislature.

    “While others may mischaracterize its content, the bill before us is really about one thing: It’s about equality,” said Udi Ofer, executive director of the New Jersey ACLU.

    Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris) said the bill discriminates against American citizens from out of state in favor of non-citizens who grew up in the state.

    “Don’t we have obligations to our fellow citizens even though they might not live in the state of New Jersey?” said Webber.

    Barbara Eames, a co-founder of the tea party group Morris Patriots, said the bill “incentivizes illegal behavior,” “erodes the value of citizenship” and “abridges the rights of citizens.”

    “Where are the rights of the citizens anymore?” Eames said.

    Critics also claimed the bill would further burden the state and put more financial pressure on financial aid programs.

    But the bill’s supporters said the number of unauthorized immigrants entering college will be small. Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington) said he’s heard estimates that roughly 2 percent of the state’s high school students are in the country illegally.

    “Obviously not all that 2 percent goes to college. So, in theory, we’re talking about a percent and a half, to be generous?” Singleton said.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Kiara's Avatar
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    “It’s long overdue. We spend on K-12 for these children hundreds of thousands of dollars, and when they get out of 12th grade it becomes unaffordable for them to get a higher education,” said committee chairman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson).

    So spending hundreds of thousands of dollars wasn't enough for these kids of law breakers? Hundreds of thousands of dollars that we never should have spent in the first place, now they want more???? Many of our own kids can't afford college and could use a damned break. Why cater to foreigners?
    imblest likes this.

  3. #3
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    The OBO and the illegals keep telling us that they do the work we won't do. The work that we supposedly won't do doesn't require a college education!
    imblest and Jean like this.

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