Christie Gets GOP Pushback on Immigrant Tuition Bill

Image: Christie Gets GOP Pushback on Immigrant Tuition Bill

Monday, 06 Jan 2014 10:02 AM

By Lisa Barron

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has postponed a ceremonial signing of the state's version of the Dream Act, which was due to take place Monday morning in the Hispanic stronghold of Union City.

The time and location, more than 60 miles from the capital of Trenton, would have made it hard for many legislators to be there, reports The Star-Ledger.

"The event was postponed to ensure that everyone who has worked on and is interested in this important piece of legislation will be able to attend," Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak told the newspaper.

The Republican governor formally signed New Jersey's Dream Act last month. It was originally an acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors when it was introduced in the U.S. Senate in 2001, but is still being debated in Congress. In the meantime, 14 states have passed their own versions of the act.

In New Jersey, it allows the children of immigrants who came to this country illegally and grew up in the state, to pay in-state tuition at its public colleges and universities.

Despite winning support for his move at home, Christie, however, has been condemned by some within his own party, reports CNN.

"This amnesty bill is just another in a really, really long list of reasons why Republican primary voters don't trust Christie," a national GOP operative told the network.

"From guns, to [Superstorm] Sandy spending, to hugging Obama, he'll have a tough time winning any early state primaries. Unless, of course, 'Morning Joe' holds an early state Republican primary that I'm unaware of," the operative added, referring to the liberal MSNBC program that has the governor on quite a lot.

On the other hand, standing up for what he believes in might win Christie some points, according to other GOP political experts.

"It's running over a political speed bump, not into a brick wall," Robert Cahaly, a longtime Republican operative in South Carolina, told CNN.

"He's got to do what he thinks is right and not apologize for it. Sort of his schtick."

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