Somewhat like California Gov. Jerry Brown, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is pushing hard for the rights of undocumented immigrants in his state. Gov. Christie on Saturday announced his support and efforts in passing the New Jersey Tuition Equality Act, which would allow undocumented immigrants to enjoy in-state college tuition.
Christie’s Saturday announcement is a complete reversal on his previous position held on tuition for undocumented immigrants. A surprising move considering that Christie railed against Texas Gov. Rick Perry for supporting the same kind of legislation in 2011. Christie said “I do not believe that, for the people who came here illegally, that we should be subsidizing, with taxpayer money, through in-state tuition, their education.”
However, during a speech that he delivered to the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey, Christie said “We need tuition equality for everyone in New Jersey.” He continued, “We are going to try to work on it. We will get it done in the Lame Duck.” Christie goes up for re-election in November.
Should the New Jersey Tuition Equality Act become law, it will dictate that undocumented immigrants must have maintained residence for at least three years and have earned a high school diploma or G.E.D. Commonly, residents in most states need to have maintain residency in the for a year to enjoy in-state tuitions.
California Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed several bills into California state law that protect the rights of undocumented immigrants. Domestic workers, who are mostly undocumented immigrants, now enjoy overtime pay and break benefits, and undocumented immigrants can now even practice law in California.