NJ Legislature to Consider Giving Financial Aid to Illegal Aliens, Again

State of New Jersey StateThe New Jersey Assembly is currently considering legislation to award financial aid to illegal aliens residing in the state for the third year in a row. The state already allows illegal alien to receive in-state tuition rates at its public university and colleges, including its largest institution, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Assembly Bill (AB) 1650 would allow any student eligible for in-state tuition to be eligible for any financial aid administered by the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority or New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education, regardless of a student’s immigration status.

Language providing financial aid to illegal aliens was originally included in the DREAM Act passed by the state legislature in 2013. Governor Chris Christie initially vetoed measure stating the bill “fiscally imprudent and wholly unwise” and would make New Jersey a magnet for out-of-state illegal alien students.  Governor Christie justified his position by stating, “Giving undocumented out-of-state students benefits that out-of-state citizens aren’t eligible for, I’m not in favor of. So under the current piece of legislation, if you’re an undocumented student who lives in Pennsylvania, and you come over to go to private or parochial school in New Jersey, under this bill, you would then be entitled to, if you spent three years in that school, to in-state tuition. If you’re a citizen in Pennsylvania, and you come over, and spend three years, you’re not entitled to that.” Governor Christie ultimately signed the bill after the Legislature removed provisions that provided financial aid to illegal aliens. He did not explain, however, how in-state tuition differs from financial aid in this regard. Out-of-state residents are not eligible to receive in-state tuition or financial aid in New Jersey.

It is unclear whether Governor Christie will continue to oppose legislation granting financial aid to illegal aliens, as he has flip-flopped on the issue multiple times since taking office.  In 2011, Gov. Christie stated strong opposition to granting taxpayer-subsidized education benefits to illegal aliens. “I can’t favor that, because we need to have an immigration system where people follow the rules, and I can’t in a difficult time of budget constraints support the idea that we should be giving money in that regard to people who haven’t followed the rules, and take that money from people who have,” he stated. Governor Christie later backtracked while campaigning for reelection in 2013 when he pledged his support for taxpayer-funded tuition subsidies for illegal aliens at a Latino Leadership Alliance Gala.  It was just a few months later that Christie signed the amended DREAM Act.

Opponents to the measure contend that the measure is unfair to New Jersey families, as it would decrease available aid for New Jersey citizens. Indeed, New Jersey’s education budget already falls short in meeting the needs of its citizen and lawful resident students. The U.S. Department of Education listed Rutgers this year as having one of the highest public university tuitions in the country, with its students taking out more loans than ever to cover education costs. Additionally, New Jersey taxpayers already pay over $3.34 billion annually to subsidize illegal immigration in their state, more than half of which, $2.44 billion, is attributable to the costs of K-12 education for illegal aliens.

The Assembly Higher Education Committee must approve AB 1650 before it can be sent to the Assembly for the vote. If passed by the Assembly, the measure must survive consideration in the state Senate before it can be sent to Governor Christie’s desk for signature.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    I wouldn’t give you 2 cents for Chris Christie, he’s a crooked politician as we can all see and I hope Trump stays
    clear of him and his ********

  2. avatar
    Barbara Griffith on

    Its a good thing Cristie lost his bid running for the White House he’s a lot like all of the politicians that lost out to Trump.
    These fools would hand the country to Mexico without firing a shot or even trying to close up our open border. The border with Canada is just as bad. With Canada willing to take in at least 80,000 Syrians this coming year I wonder just how some of them are going to be kept out of the U.S. that border runs along several states that has no fencing at all that would do the job just some roads going from one country to the other with wheat fields on both sides of the border.
    At one crossing there is just a small phone booth where you can call a border patrol station and tell them you are crossing into Canada and how long you will be there. There is no way Canada can check any of these refugees any better than the U.S. can.

  3. avatar

    I recently had someone who lives in New Jersey complain to me about how high the taxes are, and that a friend had just left for another state that has lower taxes and there are others who have done the same. The state that the person moved to also happened to be a state that does not lavish benefits on illegal aliens. Sounds a lot like what is happening in California.

    Could this be a big nationwide trend, with taxpayers fleeing higher tax states that lavish benefits on illegal aliens, for lower tax states that don’t?

    • avatar

      Yes. Illinois, and the especially the sanctuary city of Chicago, have made illegals eligible for every benefit possible. Meanwhile their city taxes, and “fees”, are going through the roof, the state is having trouble balancing it’s budget, and a lot of people are moving across the border to Indiana. It speaks to the ultimate insanity, there is no other word for it, of these people that they refuse to accept that eventually push comes to shove. Welfare recipients are not a recipe for success and that is what many immigrants legal and illegal are, above their share of the population.

      • avatar

        You are wrong as usual…..unless you are legal or born here you will not get financial aid in the US.

        • avatar

          As usual, you are easily debunked. The web site Politifact addressed claims made by Illinois state representative Bill Mitchell in a speech on April 20, 2016:

          “Mitchell claimed that the state of Illinois spent $320 million on health care for illegal immigrants over the past six years. We rate this claim true.”

          • avatar

            Ask him to tell you how much is mismanaged N over spent…..that …again you claim politicians are liars and thieves but yet u believe one of them…

    • avatar
      Julia Tussey on

      It’s time to wake up stop helping people to free stuff at the expense of all the legal citizens of tie USA and start using our tax money to help the people who were born and raised here.