Education

Christie Expected to Sign Immigrant Tuition Bill

December 20, 2013
 

Thousands of students who grew up in New Jersey but are in the country illegally will soon be able to pay in-state tuition at its public colleges and universities after passage of the so-called "Dream Act" Thursday.

After weeks of feuding, Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democrats who control the Legislature reached a breakthrough Thursday by agreeing to a compromise over details of the landmark bill, which was first proposed a decade ago.

"I’m overwhelmed with joy," said state Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), the bill’s sponsor, as she fought back tears.

Ruiz and state Senate leaders announced their agreement at a press conference Thursday morning, surrounded by students donning cap-and-gown outfits.

After some procedural back-and-forth, Christie agreed to sign legislation (S2479) that would allow unauthorized immigrants who graduated high school in New Jersey after attending that school for at least three years to be eligible for the lower in-state rates at public higher educational institutions, including in-county rates at community colleges.

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