New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is expected to sign legislation Friday that would make his state the 18th to allow undocumented immigrants to qualify for in-state tuition.
But according to The New York Times, a provision was removed
from the Dream Act approved by the legislature Thursday that would have also made financial aid available.
The Republican governor, the Times reported, had insisted that the aid be denied, fearing that making it available would turn New Jersey into "a magnet state" for undocumented out-of-state students.
Only California, New Mexico and Texas allow illegal immigrants to receive financial aid, the Times noted.
Under the terms of the bill, only illegal immigrants who have graduated from a New Jersey high school after at least three years of attendance will be able to qualify for in-state tuition.
In his re-election campaign, Christie had campaigned heavily on the in-state tuition issue, easily coasting to a landslide victory with a strong 51 percent showing of support from Hispanics
, according to USA Today.
Christie also supports a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, a prickly issue within the GOP. A likely presidential candidate in 2016, Christie has built a reputation as an outspoken but compromising Republican who successfully governs as a red politician in a blue state.
At a press conference Thursday, Christie said he was owed apologies from critics who accused him during the campaign of using the tuition issue as a political ploy to attract Hispanic votes.
“This is what compromise looks like
and I’ll be waiting for all the apology letters that come in from all the people, some in this room, who said I was not serious about tuition equality, and somehow this was an election prank,” Christie told reporters, according to ABC News.
“This will once again be an example of New Jersey showing how you can come to a bipartisan agreement, not that we agree on everything, but that we find a way to bring people together and come to a position and benefit all the people of this state and shame on all the people, shame on all of you who accused me and others of playing politics with this issue, you were wrong.”
The legislation will take effect immediately, in time for the spring semester.
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