Christie Apparently Softens Stance to Offer In State Tuition to Illegal Immigrants – Do You Agree with Him? [POLL]
Unfair though it might have seemed at the time, and to me it still does, the issue of offering illegal immigrants the opportunity to attend state colleges at in-state rates was always black and white.
That is, even if your parents brought you here as a young child, you still, in my eyes, wouldn’t qualify to attend state run colleges here by paying in-state rates; since I feel it legitimizes the crime your parents committed in the first place.
Critics would claim that it would be unfair to penalize those children – now adults – since they theoretically had no choice in having been brought here in the first place.
Apparently the Governor seems to agree, reversing a stand he once had.
Gov. Chris Christie surprised immigration reform advocates this weekend when he appeared to reverse his position on allowing undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition at New Jersey's public colleges.
The issue — which advocates call "tuition equality" — has been debated in the state Legislature for years. Christie previously said he opposes changing the law to permit students who entered the country illegally to pay in-state tuition rates.
But at the Latino Leadership Alliance gala dinner at the Hyatt Hotel in New Brunswick on Saturday night, Christie seemed to speak in support of tuition equality during his keynote speech.
"I believe that every child should be able to be given the opportunity to reach their God-given potential. That's a moral requirement. We need to work together to make sure that that happens. We need to make sure that we continue to work on the issues that will make those children believe they have a bigger and brighter future. We need to get to work in the state Legislature on things like making sure that there's tuition equality for everybody in New Jersey," Christie said, according to several videos of the event posted online.
Tuition equality supporters issued press releases after the dinner praising Christie for softening his stance on the issue. The video of his speech was also shared by students on social media sites and posted on the "Tuition Equity for New Jersey DREAMers" Facebook site.
However, representatives of Christie's campaign have declined to comment on whether the statement indicates the governor has changed his position on tuition equality.
In 2011, Christie said at a town meeting in Sayreville that he did not support offering in-state tuition to the children of immigrants living in the country illegally.
"I can't favor that, because we need to have an immigration system where people follow the rules, and I can't in a difficult time of budget constraints support the idea that we should be giving money in that regard to people who haven't followed the rules, and take that money from people who have," Christie said at the time.
Udi Ofer, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, said he interpreted Christie's speech at the Latino event as an endorsement of the legislation.
"We are very encouraged by Governor Christie's words in support of tuition equality. His announcement should give a boost to lawmakers from both parties to pass the Tuition Equality Act and send it to the Governor for his signature as soon as possible," Ofer said.
The tuition bill (A4225) stalled in Trenton in June after Assembly leaders delayed a vote over concerns the legislation could be politically damaging in a campaign season.
If approved, the new law would offer in-state college tuition to anyone who attends high school in New Jersey for three years or more. Under the current law, students who enter the U.S. illegally can already attend K-12 public schools. But students without proof of citizenship must pay out-of-state tuition at New Jersey colleges.
At Rutgers, for example, in-state undergraduates pay $13,499 in annual tuition and fees. Out-of-state students pay $27,523.
I saw the video and immediately thought, “….sounds like he’s playing to the crowd!”
And while the tone of the address sounds as though his position on offering in state rates to the children of illegals – do you agree that we should?
Take THAT..Marco Rubio!