New Jersey Governor Publicly Signs DREAM Act, Calls Undocumented Students 'An Inspiration'
On January 7, 2014, the Governor of New Jersey publicly signed the state’s DREAM Act, which provides in-state tuition benefits at public colleges and universities to undocumented graduates of New Jersey high schools. The legislation, which the Governor privately signed last month, emerged from a bipartisan compromise after legislators agreed to remove a provision that would have extended financial aid eligibility to undocumented students. The Governor previously said he would veto the bill if the financial aid provision remained.
Explaining his support for the law, the Governor stated, “Our job I believe as a government is to give every one of these children, who we have already invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in, an opportunity to maximize that investment for their own benefit, for the benefit of their families, and for the benefit of our state and our country.” The Governor also urged students who stand to benefit from the legislation to “make the most of the opportunity,” while a U.S. Senator for New Jersey released a statement describing New Jersey as “a more welcoming and inclusive state for immigrants and their families” due to the new law.