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Gov. Christie Signs New Jersey 'DREAM Act' Into Law

Posted: December 20, 2013

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The law will give some students who are in the U.S. illegally the ability to pay cheaper, in-state tuition.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at a news conference Thursday.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at a news conference Thursday. Mel Evans

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill on Friday that will give some students who are in the U.S. illegally a break on their tuition.

Christie inked New Jersey's version of the DREAM Act, which the Republican governor supported in his last re-election bid.

The state's Legislature passed the bill after a compromise that dropped a provision that would also have allowed students in the country illegally to be eligible for state financial aid if they qualified under income guidelines, according to The Associated Press.

The AP reports:

"Christie had resisted going that far, saying it would be costly for the state and also make New Jersey a magnet for students in the country illegally but living in other states.

"The Democrat-controlled Legislature acquiesced to Christie's position and passed a new version of the bill Thursday."

USA Today writes:

"Under current law, children of undocumented immigrants who live in New Jersey are not eligible for the lower in-state tuition rates currently available to students who are citizens. The compromise bill would extend the in-state rates to children of the undocumented, a change that advocates have labeled 'tuition equality.'

"Some conservatives have pointed to Christie's backing of tuition equality as kowtowing to a liberal constituency and raised the specter that his position may come back to haunt him in any bid for the GOP nomination for president in 2016."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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