Dec 19, 2013
Members of the New Jersey DREAM Act coalition worked for more than a year for a measure that moves the state closer to providing equality and opportunity for undocumented students.
A coalition of CWA activists, students, the faith group PICO, immigration advocacy groups, SEIU and the American Civil Liberties Union convinced the New Jersey state legislature to stand tough on legislation to allow undocumented immigrants who attended and graduated from a New Jersey high school to be eligible for in-state rates at public higher educational institutions, including in-county rates at community colleges.
As a result, these young students, who grew up in the state, now will be able to attend college and other higher education programs at in-state tuition rates.
Governor Chris Christie had wanted to weaken the bill even more but finally agreed to a compromise. Christie did veto provisions that would have granted those students eligibility for state financial aid programs. Christie campaigned for re-election last year and claimed he supported "tuition equality." Over the past few weeks he has been raising objections to the bill.
Hetty Rosenstein, CWA's New Jersey state director, said, "CWA has worked with students, immigration rights advocates, the ACLU, other unions, and the religious community for more than a year to get this done. Through direct action and intense public pressure, we ran a campaign that will force Chris Christie to do what he never wanted to do: sign a bill that will bring us closer to equality and opportunity for undocumented students."
Christie was expected to sign the bill today.