GOP Gov. Chris Christie now supports NJ Dream Act

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Oct. 15, 2013

NEWARK, NJ – After ten years of struggle, undocumented students and their supporters said they are one step closer to passing tuition equality or the Dream Act in New Jersey.

In his keynote address at the Latino Leadership Alliance over the weekend, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has always been a staunch opponent of the tuition equality act, publicly acknowledged that he is now supporting the state’s Dream Act.

Christie said, “We need to get to work in State Legislature on things like making sure that there’s tuition equality for everybody in New Jersey.”

The Tuition Equality Act would allow Dream Act-eligible youth to qualify for in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities in New Jersey.

Bea Sabino of Anak Bayan, New Jersey said in the past — the tuition equality bill failed to pass — because Christie committed to veto it.

She said his change of heart — may be a political move — but sees it as a welcome change.

“Having Republican Governor Chris Christie in a Blue State express support for this bill is an empowering experience for all of us whose been working on this campaign for almost a year now,” Sabino said, “So this is definitely a step towards victory.”

Silvia Huerta, an undocumented student, said she wants to stay hopeful — not just for herself but for the thousands of dreamers who can’t afford to finish school.

Huerta said, “If Chris Christie does pass the bill and signs it into law I think it would change so many people’s lives…my own included when I graduate college this Spring.”

Yves Nibungco of Bayan USA said they are going to hold the governor accountable for his promise to sign the bill into law.

“We ask our community, especially the Filipinos to get involved in making their legislator aware, to make them support tuition equality and when they go to the ballot this coming November 5, to think of tuition equality,” Nibungco said, “Vote based on which politician or gubernatorial candidate supports tuition equality.”

With the governor’s support, advocates and dreamers said they are now calling on their state congressmen and senators to put this bill back on the floor during the lame duck session and finally pass it this time around.

You may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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  • Thank you for an inspiring 2014! Dare to struggle! Dare to win! | Anakbayan New York-New Jersey
    2 January 2014 at 11:51 am - Reply

    […] Last but not the least, Anakbayan NJ helped lead the campaign and win the historic passing of the Tuition Equality Act in New Jersey also known as the New Jersey DREAM Act. [4] […]

  • Thank you for an inspiring 2013! Dare to struggle! Dare to win! | Anakbayan New York-New Jersey
    2 January 2014 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    […] Last but not the least, Anakbayan NJ helped lead the campaign and win the historic passing of the Tuition Equality Act in New Jersey also known as the New Jersey DREAM Act. [4] […]

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