For Immediate Release
June 13th, 2013
Media Contact: Vera E. Parra | firstname.lastname@example.org | 917-519-7656
The NJ Tuition Equality Act (A.4225) comes before the NJ Assembly Budget Committee for a hearing/vote on Monday, June 17th
11:00am Press Conference: NJ DREAMers, student leaders, and community organizations call on legislators to pass the Tuition Equality Act now!
Trenton, NJ (Monday June 17th, 2013)- The New Jersey Assembly’s Budget Committee will have a hearing /vote on the NJ Tuition Equality Act (A. 4225). Students, leaders in higher education, community groups and faith-based organizations will gather at the State House in Trenton to hold a press conference before testifying in support of the bill at the hearing.
New Jersey has been the long-term residence and home to an estimated 40,000 undocumented young adults that entered the United States before the age of sixteen. These young people have attended primary and secondary schools in New Jersey but have found themselves financially excluded from accessing higher education; they must pay as out-of-state residents at public universities in NJ.
The Tuition Equality Act (A. 4225) would address this inequity by permitting every student, regardless of immigration status, who attended a high school in our state for three years, who graduated from a high school or received a GED in NJ, and who signs an affidavit promising to adjust their status (if they’re undocumented)- to qualify for resident/in-state rates at public universities.
There are 15 states nationwide that have adopted state-level policies to expand educational access to undocumented young adults. The momentum is undeniable- several thousand of these young adults already have work authorization under a federal initiative (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) but cannot access any state or federal financial aid. Amidst high school graduations, while college-bound students are registering for classes and enjoying their summer at the Jersey Shore- this bill must pass now to allow thousands of young people the opportunity to afford some classes for the Fall 2013 semester at universities throughout our state.
Campaign organizers are confident leadership in the Assembly and Senate will pass the NJ Tuition Equality Act before the July 1st recess.Youth leaders and community supporters call on the Senate to schedule a vote before the summer recess, giving Governor Christie the opportunity to enact the NJ Tuition Equality Act.
The New Jersey Dream Act campaign was launched at the State House in Trenton on January 8th and has since been gaining the support of educators, city councils, congregations, and community organizations across the state, most recently including the New Jersey Presidents’ Council. The time to pass this bill is now. With the 5th highest population of undocumented immigrants in the country, New Jersey is far behind.
When: Monday June 17t [Press Conference at 11:00am]
Who: Immigrant Youth, Student Leaders, and Community at Large
Where: New Jersey State House
125 West State Street
Trenton, NJ 08625
Sponsoring Organizations: New Jersey Dream Act Coalition, New Jersey United Students, Anakbayan-NJ