Growing up in the 1960s, some of my earliest memories are of the Civil Rights Movement and the Beatles. It was an era that ushered in a philosophical and generational change in our nation. Ordinary people performed extraordinary feats that changed the world. Today, we have the opportunity to change the world and strengthen the future of thousands of young men and women by passing the Tuition Equality Act.
This legislation would allow undocumented students who have attended New Jersey high schools for a minimum of three (3) years to qualify for in-state tuition rates for New Jersey’s public colleges and universities. To qualify, they must have earned a diploma or GED from a NJ high school and sign an affidavit promising to adjust their immigration status if given the opportunity to do so.
There are many arguments as to why this legislation makes sense. Ultimately, this is about the strength of our state to lure businesses with an educated workforce and our country’s future. Having an educated populace is critical to our democracy and our standing worldwide. It has always been the American Dream to offer opportunities to those who work hard and seek to improve themselves. These are the kids next door who live, play and have grown up together in our communities. They are the faces of promise we see every day in our schoolyards, in our restaurants, in our places of worship, who share in making our communities vibrant and progressive.
I know if we stand together, we can offer these young men and women hope to continue their education and make the world a better place to live, work and to raise a family right here in New Jersey. Every person can make a difference in someone’s future. I know if you support the Tuition Equality Act, you will make a difference.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to standing together to give a new generation the tools to make New Jersey stronger.
Hoboken 2nd Ward Councilwoman